Bigger and Better

Utah’s ski resorts gear up just in time for winter

By: Kaitlyn Voyce

It’s the beginning of fall, but already, your clients are preparing for the ski season, and Utah is ready. From new lifts and terrain to North America’s first ski tunnel, the state’s ski resorts are ready to welcome skiers with more amenities in the 2006-2007 winter season.

The Canyons Resort, one of the country’s largest ski and snowboard resorts, will maintain its status by adding more than 200 acres of glades and trails with the opening of the Dreamcatcher quad. The Tombstone quad will be replaced by a six-pack chairlift, helping to decrease congestion problems.

Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort’s intermediate terrain will become more accessible with North America’s first 600-foot tunnel. The tunnel, which contains a conveyor lift, will provide access to Mineral Basin from Peruvian Gulch. The tunnel eliminates many switchbacks and the steepest pitch of Chip’s Run, while providing an efficient way to reach Hidden Peak without using the Tram. The Peruvian lift will receive a new high-speed quad and the top station will be relocated to below the steepest Chip’s Run pitch. The lift transports 1,800 people per hour with an eight-minute ride. If wind conditions prevent Tram operation, the Peruvian lift will allow continued access to Peruvian Gulch and Mineral Basin. Snowbird is also introducing the “SnowCam” (, allowing skiers to check storm conditions before heading for the improved lifts and slopes. Snowbird’s flagship property, the Cliff Lodge, also just completed $5.6 million in renovations, with new furnishings, bedding and more.

To provide skiers with more snow in the pre-season, 14 new, more energy efficient snowmaking guns have been installed at Park City Mountain Resort. New rails, funboxes and jumps featured at four terrain parks have design input from the Park City All-Star team, including gold medalist Shaun White.

Wolf Mountain is also working on improving snowmaking and will see changes, such as a yurt for the children’s drop-off ski school, an expanded terrain park and longer runs. The terrain park project is being done out of earth so that “Wolf’s Lair” can double as a mountain bike free-ride park in the summer.