Skiing Tourism 03

Children skiers board the lift during a lesson at Snowbasin Resort on Friday, March 1, 2019.

Residents in Northern Utah might not be thrilled about the chilly May showers this week, but those concerned about water and involved in the recreation business are wrapping up a successful spring.

On Tuesday, Ski Utah — a nonprofit trade organization — reported that Utah ski resorts saw their top season in 2018-19 for skier days with a total of 5,125,441 visits. Skier days are defined as one person visiting a ski area for all or any part of a day to ski or snowboard. This is coupled with what is considered a fantastic snow year for Utah, with many resorts reporting above normal snow inch counts.

According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), the 2018-19 season was considered the fourth best on record nationally for visitors, with an increase in visitation across all regions; Utah visitors increased by 24% from 2017-18.

Utah mountains, along with other adjoining states, saw a lot busier slopes and lift lines this year. The Rocky Mountain region was reported to have 24 million visitors.

“Since the resorts opened, we went no more than seven days without snowfall,” said Evan Thayer, local forecaster for Open Snow in a press release. “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.”

A new all-time aggregated record for occupancy, rate, and revenue among participating destination mountain resorts was set in six western states. Inntopia released a market briefing Monday with the final results of the 2018-19 winter season. For the full winter encompassing November through April, as of April 30, actual occupancy was up 5.6 percent compared to the previous season and was up all six months of the winter season.

While Snowbird is the only Utah resort still operating a lift, Snowbasin saw a dusting of snow on Tuesday. Snowbasin reports its season total at 429 inches.

The Utah Weather Service forecast for the remainder of the week along the Wasatch Front predicts the cooler weather pattern will continue through the week and into the holiday weekend.

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