Winter can finally begin in Utah.
Nevermind that the calendar said it started way back in December and that the snow has been piling up since November. Not until Friday, when Deer Valley unveils its new Burns Express lift, will the final piece of this puzzle of a season fall into place.
A ribbon-cutting celebration will be held at the resort at 1:30 p.m.
The Burns Express is a high speed, four-person lift that will give skiers coming from Snow Park Lodge, the resort’s main entrance, easier access to the Little Baldy Peak area. The Doppelmayr lift mostly leads to beginner terrain, including the Deer Hollow and Gnat’s Eye runs. Yet intermediate and advanced runs can also be found off the lift.
The Burns Express replaces the two-person, fixed-grip Burns lift that many might know as the chair that led to the base of the Champions run used in World Cup and Olympic moguls competitions. It is the final piece in the $6 million capital investment Deer Valley made in its learning area this season.
“Now, when skiers are ready to advance from the learning area,” Rob Sogard, vice president of skier services said in a statement, “Burns Express will provide a smoother transition to some of the easiest green runs on the mountain.”
Like Alta Ski Area’s Sunnyside lift, which just started turning late last month, the installation of the Burns Express was delayed by supply chain issues and snow, resort spokesperson Emily Summers said. Originally slated to be finished in December, it will be the last lift installed in Utah and the second-to-last in the United States this season. The last will be the Plunge at Telluride in Colorado.
That leaves La Fenster at Belle Neige in Quebec, Canada, as the last lift scheduled to be installed this season in North America. According to Lift Blog, La Fenster was always expected to go online in late February.
Attendees of this week’s FIS Freestyle World Cup event at Deer Valley can reach the jumps for Friday’s aerials competition and the Champions course for Saturday’s dual moguls races via the Snowflake lift out of Snow Park Lodge. Snowflake was extended as part of the beginner terrain renovations and can deliver spectators about three-quarters of the way up to the competition base.
Those wishing to watch the events from the comfort of their homes can turn to Outside+ for the aerials qualifiers (2 p.m.) and finals (7:30 p.m.) Friday. The dual moguls prelims (4:30 p.m.) and finals (7:30 p.m.), which could feature Park City locals and 2022 Olympians Nick Page and Cole McDonald, will be Saturday on the same network. An overview will be shown at 9 a.m. Saturday on CNBC and again at 11 a.m. Sunday on NBC.
Correction: Feb. 3, 2023, 10 a.m. >> Burns Express is the second-to-last lift to be installed in the United States during the 2022-23 season. A previous version of this article stated it is the last.