Deer Valley extends ski season, a rare move made possible by plentiful snow
Bald Mountain, Bald Eagle Mountain lifts will remain open longer than planned
Deer Valley Resort on Thursday extended its ski season, a rare decision by the resort that was made possible this year by the plentiful and continuing snowfall in the Wasatch Mountains.
Deer Valley had been scheduled to close for the winter on April 16. The resort said it will keep the lifts on Bald Mountain and Bald Eagle Mountain open until April 23, if conditions permit. Bald Eagle Mountain rises from outside Snow Park Lodge and is frequently skied by people who start and end the day at Snow Park. Bald Mountain is one of the peaks accessed at Silver Lake Village.
It is highly unusual for Deer Valley to alter the dates of a ski season. The extra week will be welcomed by the resort’s skiers as well as people who work in the tourism industry since the additional days would be expected to generate at least limited economic activity.
Deer Valley said snowfall on Wednesday increased the season total to 485 inches, breaking a 484-inch record set in the 2016-2017 winter. The measurements are taken at an elevation of 9,000 feet on the Ontario run. The 485-inch total to date also puts Deer Valley within reach of a 500-inch winter, something that in Utah is typically limited to the mountain resorts in Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon.
The National Weather Service forecast on Thursday called for sunny conditions through Sunday with snow showers starting Sunday night and extending through Wednesday.
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“The historic snowfall has officially made this season our snowiest on record with over a month of skiing left. These incredible conditions also created our longest season by being able to extend ski operations beyond both our planned opening and closing days,” Deer Valley President and Chief Operating Officer Todd Bennett said in a prepared statement released by the resort. “I am grateful to our dedicated employees who have kept the mountain operating and guests smiling. They’ve maintained their unparalleled service and commitment to teamwork through the challenging weather conditions this year.”
The decision was made in the two weeks after Deer Valley indicated it had not altered its scheduled closing date.
The extension of the ski season follows an opening in late November at Deer Valley that was four days earlier than planned. An early opening was also extraordinarily rare for the resort.
The announcement by Deer Valley on Thursday was made in the period after Park City Mountain indicated it had extended its ski season. The season at Park City Mountain had been slated to finish April 9 before a two-week extension, until April 23. Park City Mountain at the time said an April 23 closing date would make the 2022-2023 ski season the longest at the resort since the season of 1992-1993.
Park City Mountain in early March said by then it had received 130% of the average snowfall of an entire winter. Park City Mountain in November also opened the ski season several days early.