Many resorts in the Wasatch have spent the last couple of season adjusting to the “new world order” of ownership, and they are now settling in to their place in that. Here’s what’s new as the first set of Utah resorts drop the ropes.
At Snowbasin outside of Ogden, main base Earl’s Lodge get a the first phase of renovations over the summer, increase seating capacity in the lounge Cinnebar by 50 percent. On the mountain, crews spent the summer grading along the bottom of Mt. Ogden Bowl for non-experts to get down easier.
Terrain park haven Brighton’s big news is it joins the Ikon Pass partnership program, with seven days of skiing and riding free with the pass from Alterra Mountain Co. Kids 10 and under ski and ride for free.
At Alta atop Little Cottonwood Canyon, the old-school Grizzly rope tow is gone and in its place a fixed-grip quad chair. The new lift will enhance travel around the base area, especially to the Snowpine Lodge – the oldest lodge in Alta -- which has been replaced with 58 luxury rooms. The first luxury hostelry in the valley, the Snowpine will have a spa, new restaurant and pub – and 19 dorm-style rooms as a nod to its past.
Over the divide, Park City Mountain continues to burnish its offerings. The High Meadow exclusive learning area – atop the Red Pine gondola out of the former Canyons base area -- gets a new high-speed quad chair, shortening the uphill ride time by 70 percent. Also at the Vail-owned mountain, more seating at the Cloud Dine restaurant and a total remake, including a new bar, at Mid-Mountain Lodge will welcome skiers and riders this season.
Also in Utah, southern-tier Brian Head is now open, where families and never-everts get special treatment.