City Guide 2015: Out & About | City Guide | Salt Lake City Weekly

City Guide 2015: Out & About 

The people to know and the places to be

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Powder Brats
We admit it: When it comes to snow and slopes, we're spoiled.

By L. Clark Tate
comments@cityweekly.net

Words Utah skiers like: monster dumps. Lake-effect snow. Bluebird pow days. Words skiers don't like: ice. Slush. Long lines. And the worst: climate change.

It's true. We're staring down the barrel of warmer winters, so ski resorts have to switch it up. Several new ownership schemes are making waves in 2015, and efforts to up snow-independent activities—such as foodie events, specialty kid camps and summer activities—offer new options beyond wintertime fun.

But fear not. There are still monster dumps, lake-effect snow and bluebird pow days. Utah's Cottonwood canyons remain one of the snowiest places in the world. As such, lately, the trade group Ski Utah along with seven ski resorts have been promoting the concept of OneWasatch, which, if permitted, would connect Big and Little Cottonwood canyons with Park City resorts. To give you a hint of what this European-style skiing experience will be like, Ski Utah is now offering Interconnect Tours to advanced-to-expert skiers age 16 and older from Deer Valley and Snowbird resorts. The Deer Valley tour covers an average of 25 miles and travels to Park City Mountain Resort, Solitude, Brighton, Alta, Snowbird and the backcountry terrain in between.

The Snowbird tour is advanced, as it involves more hiking and sidestepping. It travels to Alta, Brighton, Solitude and the backcountry in between. Phone 801-534-1907 for pricing and information.

And for those just looking to schuss down the slopes, you can find out what's new with your favorite ski slope on the following pages.

SALT LAKE AREA

Alta Ski Area
  • Alta Ski Area

Alta Ski Area
• Top of Little Cottonwood Canyon—45 minutes southeast of SLC
• Highway 210 Little Cottonwood Canyon, Alta, 801-359-1078, Alta.com
• Adult Day Pass: $84 (plus $37 per day for Snowbird)
What's New: The popular Corkscrew run, the only green run to access the Wildcat Base, mellows out even more with a newly graded slope. By pre-registering for the Boarding Pass program, air travelers flying to Salt Lake City International Airport can ski Alta (and Snowbird) for half price within 24 hours of arrival.

Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort
  • Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort

Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort
• Little Cottonwood Canyon—40 minutes southeast of SLC
• 9600 Little Cottonwood Canyon Road, Snowbird, 801-933-2222, Snowbird.com
• Adult Day Pass: $95
What's New: A new restaurant/restroom/ski patrol/hangout on Hidden Peak is under construction. It should be up and running by the 2015-16 season. By pre-registering for the Boarding Pass program, air travelers flying to Salt Lake City International Airport can ski Snowbird (and Alta) for half price within 24 hours of arrival.

Brighton Resort
• Top of Big Cottonwood Canyon—50 minutes southeast of SLC
• 8302 S. Brighton Loop Road, Brighton, 801-532-4731, BrightonResort.com
• Adult Day Pass: $68
What's New: Brighton is going for a big- bang-per-buck factor by keeping lift, rental and lesson prices affordable. A dozen or so freestyle terrain-park events will keep things lively, while night skiing offers long days of family fun.

Solitude Mountain Resort - MICHAEL BROWN
  • MICHAEL BROWN
  • Solitude Mountain Resort

Solitude Mountain Resort
• Big Cottonwood Canyon—45 minutes southeast of SLC
• 12000 Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Solitude, 801-534-1400, SkiSolitude.com
• Adult Day Pass: $77
What's New: A new, yet-unnamed run from the Sunrise Lift offers fresh terrain, and two new snowcats will help smooth out the snowpack. Efforts to replace the Summit Chairlift are underway; a shiny new version should be in place for the 2015 season. And the Honeycomb Grill will be serving brunch this season every Sunday.

Sundance Resort
• Provo Canyon—one hour south of SLC
• 8841 N. Alpine Loop Road, Sundance, 866-259-7468, SundanceResort.com
• Adult Day Pass: $65
What's New: Season tickets include three free days at Brian Head along with year-round lift use (for hiking and biking tours come spring). Two punch-card lift-ticket options provide five days of skiing for the price of four ($295) or 10 for the price of eight ($550). The twilight race series is back, offering cool prizes and a chance to "beat the pros" at their own game ($12 participation, $10 lift ticket).

NORTHERN UTAH

Powder Mountain
• Ogden Valley—one hour northeast of SLC
• 8000 N. 5100 East, Eden, 801-745-3772, PowderMountain.com
• Adult Day Pass: $69
What's New: The Sundown Lift, accessing green, blue and black mountaintop terrain, is now a speedy, modern quad. Powder Mountain is celebrating its 42nd anniversary by amping up value, offering $42 tickets every Wednesday. Locals ski mid-week for $54, as do season-pass holders for any other Utah resort on any day. College kids ski for $40 (Monday through Thursday) with a valid ID.

Snowbasin A Sun Valley Resort - RYAN POW SHOTS_SNOWBASIN_A SUN VALLEY RESORT
  • RYAN POW SHOTS_snowbasin_a sun valley resort
  • Snowbasin A Sun Valley Resort

Snowbasin Resort
• Ogden Valley—55 minutes north of SLC
• 3925 E. Snowbasin Road, Huntsville, 801-620-1100, Snowbasin.com
• Adult Day Pass: $89
What's New: The Dining Discovery program offers culinary expeditions and classes, while the snowpack will get a boost from 30 energy-efficient snow guns and three new cats. A new snowboarding park, the Burton Dinosaur Riglet, teaches 3- to 6-year-olds to ride while traversing lava and mountain landscapes.

Beaver Mountain
• Logan Canyon—two hours northeast of SLC
• 40000 E. Highway 89, Garden City, 435-946-3610, SkiTheBeav.com
• Adult Day Pass: $48
What's New: The Beav is offering season-pass holders a bonus this year: three free days at Brian Head Resort. Well-known Logan caterers Justin Hamilton and Chip Lara are taking over The Café at Beaver Mountain; expect delicious results.

Cherry Peak Resort
• Cherry Creek Canyon—two hours northeast of SLC
• 3200 E. 11000 North, Richmond, 435-554-8344, SkiCPR.com
• Adult Day Pass: $42
What's New: Located near Logan, Cherry Peak is Utah's newest ski resort, bringing the number of ski resorts to 15. Cherry Peak features three triple chairlifts serving 20 runs and 200-plus skiable acres. In addition, there is a five-lane tubing hill, ice skating and a snow-making system.

Nordic Valley
• Ogden Valley—one hour north of SLC
• 3567 Nordic Valley Way, Eden, 801-745-3511, NordicValley.com
• Adult Day Pass: $39
What's New: New owners, old name—Wolf Mountain is back to its Nordic Valley roots. The ski area is also expanding, debuting four new intermediate-to-advanced ski lines this winter. While a lift is in the works for next season, all-terrain vehicles will lap the runs this year. Every Friday night after Jan. 1, a slopeside rail jam will offer prizes. The lodge offers expanded seating and upgraded fare (gluten-free pizza, anyone?) And this is just the beginning of the resort's five-year plan; stay tuned.

SOUTHERN/CENTRAL UTAH

Brian Head Resort
  • Brian Head Resort

Brian Head
• South of Parowan—four hours south of SLC
• 329 S. Highway 193, Brian Head, 866-930-1010, BrianHead.com
• Adult Day Pass: $54
What's New: Brian Head celebrates turning 50 this year and is marking the occasion with a new high-speed Giant Steps quad lift that cuts ride times in half. A new terrain-based learning center will speed the progression from newbie to nonstop shredder. Saturdays and Sundays, Brian Head hosts NASTAR racing.

Eagle Point Ski Resort
• Near Beaver—three hours and 30 minutes south of SLC
• 150 Southwest Village Circle, Beaver, 855-324-5378, SkiEaglePoint.com
• Adult Day Pass: $30 Thursday, $48 Friday-Sunday
What's New: This is the first full season that the Little Eagle Lift will service the Tushar Ridge steeps. Park Lab, the resident terrain fest, has 12 new features to test out your tricks. Anyone under 6 or over 70 skis free all season. Kids 6-17 ski free, except for holidays, with certain Eagle Point Reservation lodging packages.

PARK CITY

Canyons Resort
• Park City—40 minutes east of SLC
• 4000 Canyons Resort Drive, Park City, 435-649-5400, CanyonsResort.com
• Adult Day Pass: $107
What's New: The killer season deals doled out last season—the Epic and Epic Local passes—are back. The deal allows unlimited access to 12 of Vail's resorts, as well as 10 others spanning Europe and Japan. Dream Peak's Cloud Dine, usually bursting at the seams, is nearly doubling its indoor and deck seating.

Deer Valley Resort
• Park City—45 minutes east of SLC
• 2250 Deer Valley Drive South, Park City, 435-649-1000, DeerValley.com
• Adult Day Pass: $114
What's New: Deer Valley is throwing down $6 million on upgrades. New restaurant The Brass Tag offers comfort food hot out of the brick oven, while the artisan-cheese operation in Silver Lake Lodge is expanding. Shiny toys include four new Cadillacs, expanded snowmaking infrastructure, 34 EPA-approved snowmobiles and five new snowcats ready for the nightly grooming prowl.

Park City Mountain Resort
• Park City—40 minutes east of SLC
• 1345 Lowell Ave., Park City, 435-649-8111, ParkCityMountain.com
• Adult Day Pass: $105
What's New: Vail purchased Park City Mountain Resort in fall 2013, bringing it into the Epic fold. Thus, a PCMR season pass now rates benefits at 22 resorts (including unlimited skiing at 12 Vail resorts in the United States). A restricted Epic Local version is also available. Plenty of popular events will be back this season, including the family-oriented Snowasis carnival March 28-April 5.

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