While new facilities and programs abound across Utah's 13 ski and snowboard
resorts this winter, this season's biggest improvement to greet visitors to
the state may not be a new lift, new snowmaking or even a new run. Instead,
it might be a new set of liquor laws.
This past summer Utah legislators enacted the most significant change to the
state's liquor laws in 40 years. Utah bars are now open to the general
public and the state's previous private club system, which required
customers to fill out an application and pay a fee for the right to enter a
bar, has been eliminated. The private club system was blamed by many for the
misconception that it was difficult to get an alcoholic drink in Utah.
The state's resorts have celebrated the change by sprucing up their
amenities, products and services for the 2009-10 winter season. Snow is
already falling and Utah's resorts have bundled up with a variety of
improvements designed to please their guests.
Alta Ski Area's popular Albion Basin Day Lodge has been remodeled to better
accommodate guests. At Beaver Mountain in the far northeastern corner of the
state, a new conveyor lift has been added to better access the resort's
Customers who purchase 10 gallons of gas or more at select gas stations in
Southern Utah will receive a coupon offering 50 percent off mid-week skiing
at Utah's only southern ski and snowboard resort, Brian Head.
The new Dakota Mountain Lodge & Golden Door Spa, Waldorf Astoria
Collection's first ski-in, ski-out property, will accommodate guests at The
Canyons Resort starting this season. The lodge features 175 guest rooms and
suites, elegant amenities, custom furnishings and gourmet kitchens. Guests
will also be able to dine at its Spruce Restaurant, the San Francisco
landmark's first outpost.
Deer Valley Resort has expanded its services to include a new property
management division that will assure "the Deer Valley difference" from the
moment guests check-in. In addition, the St. Regis Deer Crest Resort will
provide a new lodging option for Deer Valley guests, featuring 181 guest
rooms including 67 suites, luxury amenities, a ski beach and infinity pool.
A new funicular lift will carry St. Regis guests from Deer Valley's Snow
Park Lodge, and the Remede Spa will enable guests to refresh with signature
treatments after a day on the slopes.
Park City Mountain Resort has enhanced its downhill experience with two new
Kids Adventure Trails designed specifically for the Kids Signature 5
program, as well as additional glade skiing and other enhancements off
Crescent Ridge to allow greater usability for all levels of skiers and
New Sunset Safari guided snowcat tours will take Powder Mountain guests to
mountain peaks with unobstructed views of Ogden Valley, the Wasatch
Mountains and beyond to the Unita Mountain Range. Tours culminate with
alfresco dining while watching the sun set over the Wasatch Mountains. On
the return trip, moonlight turns the snow covered slopes into a shimmering
wonderland, adding a romantic touch to the adventure.
Snowbasin will add over 20 new features to their terrain park, offering the
perfect level of thrill for everyone in the family. The resort will also
host the 2010 Dew Tour Jan. 15-17 where top freeskiers and snowboarders will
compete in slopestyle and superpipe events.
At Snowbird, Path to Paradise and the unloading area of Mineral Basin
Express have been regraded to improve skier transportation. The biggest
on-mountain change in the state, however, is at Solitude Mountain Resort,
where installation has begun on Powderhorn II, a $1.5 million quad chairlift
that will replace the original Powderhorn double, a holdover from its
Powderhorn II will start from the bottom of Sunshine Bowl, travel above the
Concord ski run, and end in the same location as the original Powderhorn
Lift. The move to a mid-mountain starting point allows expert snowriders to
make continuous laps on the upper mountain - from Diamond Lane to Sunshine
Bowl - without the need to return to the base area via beginner runs.
Visitors will enjoy a seven minute lift ride on the new lift, as opposed to
twelve minutes on the old double.
Sundance Resort lights up the night with new night skiing on Monday,
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Then check out
the Owl Bar, which features the restored 1890's bar once frequented by Butch
Cassidy's Hole in the Wall Gang.
Wolf Creek Utah will enhance their beginner experience by expanding both
rental operations and ski school. In addition to improving the rental
process, the Mountain Learning Center is announcing a "price-roll back."
Class lessons are being offered at a 25 percent discount.