During this week last year, ski areas in Utah and across the country shut down suddenly to counter the explosion of coronavirus cases in resort towns. A year later, resorts and skiers and snowboarders alike are relishing ending this season on their own terms.
Nordic Valley will be the first ski area to wind down operations, with its last day slated for March 28. All but one will wrap the season by April 18.
That one, of course, is Snowbird, which as spokesperson Sarah Sherman wrote in an email, is “home to #LongestSeasonInUtah.”
Snowbird will begin cutting back open terrain starting April 11 and start weekend-only operations May 14. Sherman said the resort plans to stay open in a limited capacity through at least Memorial Day (May 31), conditions permitting. Ideally, however, it will be able to push the season out to the next major holiday, just as it did in 2019.
“At the end of the day, how long we stay open comes down to snow and conditions on the mountain,” Sherman wrote. “If we have a strong snowpack, we’ve been able to stay open for the Fourth of July.”
Whether it functions as an insurance policy or just a little extra coverage for the spring break crowd, resorts are forecast to receive several inches of snow the next two weekends. Snowbird is expecting between 8-12 inches Saturday. Brian Head should get about eight inches between Saturday and Tuesday, according to the snow forecasting site OpenSnow. Brighton could get 15 inches in that span, Park City a foot and Beaver Mountain near Logan could see up to 10 inches.
Avalanche danger has risen slightly in a few areas since the Utah Avalanche Center dropped its rating to “Low” in the mountains around Salt Lake City, Provo and Ogden two weeks ago. While Salt Lake and the Uintas remain at a “Low” rating, the rest of the state’s mountainous areas, including around Provo, Ogden and Logan, carry a “Moderate” danger.
UTAH SKI RESORT CLOSING DATES
March 28 — Nordic Valley
April 3 — Cherry Peak*
April 4 — Beaver Mountain, Eagle Point, Sundance
April 11 — Deer Valley, Park City, Powder Mountain, Snowbasin
April 18 — Alta, Brian Head, Brighton, Solitude, Woodward Park City
May 31 — Snowbird*
** All closing dates are conditions permitting