Utah had its best Ski Season Ever in 2018-19

Utah had its best Ski Season Ever in 2018-19

Utah ski resorts saw their best season ever in terms of skier days in 2018-19 with a total of 5,125,441 visits. The state also saw one of its best snow years on record, with every ski resort recording above normal amounts of The Greatest Snow on Earth.

All smiles at Sundance Ski Resort. Photo: Marc Piscotty-UOT. Utah had its best Ski Season Ever in 2018-19
SHOT 3/17/16 2:53:33 PM – Sundance Mountain Resort is a ski resort located 13 miles northeast of Provo, Utah. Spanning over 5,000 acres on the slopes of Mount Timpanogos in Utah’s Wasatch Range, alpine skiing began on the site in 1944. Actor Robert Redford acquired the area in 1968 and established a year-round resort which would later spawn the independent Sundance Film Festival and the non-profit Sundance Institute. Sundance is committed to the balance of art, nature and community. (Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2016) Utah had its best Ski Season Ever in 2018-19

“It was a great season to ski and ride in Utah, and our visitor numbers reflect that,” said Ski Utah President & CEO Nathan Rafferty. “Snow is a big business driver and snowfall numbers across the state were some of the best we’ve seen in recent years. Our resorts invested in programming and capital improvements to elevate experiences on and off the mountain. We also gained new visitors through expanded season pass options. This record season speaks to the strength of Utah’s ski industry and its role in winter tourism for our state.”

Utah’s skier days for 2018-19 were 12% higher than the state’s previous record of 4.58 million in 2016-17 and up 24% from the 2017-18 season. The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) released preliminary numbers at the end of April putting the 2018-19 season as the fourth best ever on record with over 59 million skier visits nationally. All regions saw an increase in visitation, with the Rocky Mountain region setting a record of 24 million visitors.

Locals and visitors alike undoubtedly took advantage of the copious amounts of snowfall that fell throughout the season, allowing resorts to open plenty of terrain and maintain top-tier conditions. From November 15 to April 15, at least one Utah resort saw measurable snowfall on 111 days.

Ski Utah Team Athletes skiing in Deer Valley on a powder Day-Photo-ChrisPearson- Ski Utah. Utah had its best Ski Season Ever in 2018-19.
Ski Utah Team Athletes skiing in Deer Valley on a powder Day-Photo-ChrisPearson- Ski Utah. Utah had its best Ski Season Ever in 2018-19.

“One of the key factors that made this season so memorable was the consistency of snowfall,” said Evan Thayer, local forecaster for Open Snow. “Since the resorts opened, we went no more than seven days without snowfall. We also avoided long stretches of high pressure and warm temperatures, which meant that the snow quality remained high for the duration of the season.”

Utah’s ski industry is a major contributor to the state’s economy. The 2017-18 season was the state’s second-best season from an economic standpoint with $1.322 billion in total visitor spending. Out-of-state skier and snowboarder spending ($1.068 billion) resulted in the creation of more than 21,000 total jobs and $226.4 million in state and local tax revenue. Updated economic impact numbers for the 2018-19 season will be available later this summer.

 

A group of friends skiers and boarders are all smiles - Top of John Paul Lift in Snowbasin. Photo: Chris Pearson. Ski Utah. Utah had its best Ski Season Ever in 2018-19
A group of friends skiers and boarders are all smiles – Top of John Paul Lift in Snowbasin. Photo: Chris Pearson. Ski Utah. Utah had its best Ski Season Ever in 2018-19

Total Utah statewide skier days for the past 10 years are as follows:

Season Skier Days* All-Time Rank (Last 10 yrs.)
2018 – 19 5,125,441 1
2017 – 18 4,145,321 6
2016 – 17 4,584,658 2
2015 – 16 4,457,575 3
2014 – 15 3,946,762 9
2013 – 14 4,148,573 5
2012 – 13 4,018,812 8
2011 – 12 3,825,090 10
2010 – 11 4,247,510 4
2009-10 4,070,822 7

*The National Ski Areas Association defines ‘skier days’ as one person visiting a ski area for all or any part of a day or night for the purpose of skiing/snowboarding.

The Valley Crest Elementary School took the Ski Utah's Fourth Grade School program by taking a learn-to-ski lesson in Snowbird. Photo: Chris Pearson. Ski Utah. Utah had its best Ski Season Ever in 2018-19
The Valley Crest Elementary School took the Ski Utah’s Fourth Grade School program by taking a learn-to-ski lesson in Snowbird. Photo: Chris Pearson. Ski Utah. Utah had its best Ski Season Ever in 2018-19

More information: Ski Utah

 

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SHOT 1/24/16 5:41:48 PM - Brighton Ski Resort is a ski area located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, 30 miles (48 km) from downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. Brighton Ski Resort was the first ski resort in Utah, and one of the first in the United States. Brighton was started in 1936 when members of the Alpine Ski Club built a rope tow from wire and an old elevator motor. Brighton claims to be a "no-frills" resort whose sole business is to provide skiers and snowboarders with top-notch trails. Brighton is also known for its extensive backcountry access, visitors can purchase single ride lift tickets to reach the backcountry access gates at the top of the resort. Although the terrain inbounds at Brighton can rival that of the backcountry, Brighton is known for its cliffs, chutes, bowls and natural features. (Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2016) Utah had its best Ski Season Ever in 2018-19
SHOT 1/24/16 5:41:48 PM – Brighton Ski Resort is a ski area located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, 30 miles (48 km) from downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. Brighton Ski Resort was the first ski resort in Utah, and one of the first in the United States. Brighton was started in 1936 when members of the Alpine Ski Club built a rope tow from wire and an old elevator motor. Brighton claims to be a “no-frills” resort whose sole business is to provide skiers and snowboarders with top-notch trails. Brighton is also known for its extensive backcountry access, visitors can purchase single ride lift tickets to reach the backcountry access gates at the top of the resort. Although the terrain inbounds at Brighton can rival that of the backcountry, Brighton is known for its cliffs, chutes, bowls and natural features. (Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2016) Utah had its best Ski Season Ever in 2018-19

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Featured Image: Ski Utah – Paul Bundy photo. Opening Weekend in Timberline. Utah had its best Ski Season Ever in 2018-19

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