Tis the season to go skiing | ParkRecord.com

Tis the season to go skiing

SKYLER BELL, Of the Record staff

Their timing seems perfect. Park City Mountain Resort advertised its opening day as Nov. 17 and The Canyons the day after. It seems both will come to pass.

With the snow holding off until just this week, neither resort could have opened any earlier, but, from the looks of things, both will open this weekend.

"For certain we’re going to have the Payday lift open on Friday," Krista Parry, PCMR spokesperson, said. "But what we need is another few nights of good snowmaking and it looks like we’ll get that. We’ll probably open First Time lift as well."

She said they are anticipating more snow this week, and if the forecast pans out they plan to open more of the resort soon.

"We need a couple more dumps up top to open that up," Parry said. "We’re hoping with the storms moving in that we’ll be able to open the rest fairly soon. It’s always great to get open, if it’s only a couple of runs. You start to feel the energy around the resort."

In addition to the lifts, also opening will be the Legacy Lodge, Legacy Sports, Park City Mountain Rentals and the ski/snowboard school. Pricing, which is contingent on how much terrain is open, has yet to be set.

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The Canyons plans to have several lifts open Saturday, barring a last-minute rain storm.

"Without a doubt we’ll be opening," said Libby Dowd, spokesperson for The Canyons. "No more wishing for the ski season to be upon us, it’s officially here."

The Canyons will start loading passengers on the lifts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Skiers and snowboarders will have access to the Flight of the Canyons, Saddleback Express, High Meadow and Sweet Pea lifts with additional lifts and terrain to open in the days and weeks to come, as the weather allows, Dowd said.

Until further notice, lift tickets to The Canyons will be priced at an early season rate of $39. Prices for the rest of the season have not been released.

"We had a busy summer around the resort with construction of a new lift, opening up new terrain, upgrading Tombstone, remodeled Red Pine Lodge at mid mountain and numerous other projects that we are eager to show off to our guest," Scott Pierpont, president of The Canyons said.

Although the alpine resorts get more notoriety, it will be White Pine Touring that can stake the claim of opening first. The cross-country track has already had a few skiers trying out the snow.

Charlie Sturgis, self-proclaimed minister of outdoor satisfaction, said the track will likely be ready to open today or tomorrow, but that he doesn’t have the business-side of things set up yet, so use of the track will be free of charge.

"We’ll be skiable by Wednesday or Thursday, but, because of how our lease works, we won’t be able to do business," he said. "We’ll be open for pass holders or anybody or wants to ski free. How many ski resorts in Utah open early and give away free skiing?"

Sturgis said only half of the terrain will be open this week, with the other half following quickly.

"To start it will be just the 5k," he said. "We have a 12-inch minimum before we can do the 3k side, so we’re close, and the farm side hasn’t been graded, but that will be cool when we get that open."

Sturgis said he believes the early snow is good for Park City’s morale. Being able to ski, he said, is why most people moved into town in the first place.

"I think excitement is fairly high," he said. "Cross-country folks are the quiet types, but people were out there yesterday skiing. It’s really good for town to have snow on the ground before Thanksgiving. It’s good for people. It’s good for business."

Tickets for White Pine are $18 for a single-day throughout the season and season passes and 10-punch cards are still available.

"If we can make the weekend, that would be great, but I’m not sure we can make it," he said. "Prior to being able to run things business wise, I guess we’ll just ski for free."