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Deer Valley gets powder day for historic early opening

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Parker Malatesta
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The view from the Snow Park base Tuesday afternoon.

Deer Valley Resort had its earliest opening day in decades Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, Deer Valley reported 10 inches of fresh snow thanks to the recent storm.

Nine lifts are running, with 35 trails open, 17 of them groomed.

The mountain was quiet, and the Snow Park parking lot was only about half full around noon.

Gina Magnuson lives in Canyons Village and was enjoying the conditions Tuesday.

“It’s been beautiful,” Magnuson said. “Not many lines, the snow is like amazing. It’s been awesome.”

She said she plans to stick with Deer Valley this year, as she was turned off by the conditions at Park City Mountain last season.

“Did not get an Epic Pass,” Magnuson said. “The lines were just really crazy last year, and I just like the idea of coming to Deer Valley and not having to deal with that.”

Joseph Woodbury of Lehi came to Deer Valley Tuesday to take advantage of the $99 lift ticket special the resort is offering for the first couple days of the season. The weather conditions were also a plus.

“It just dumped last night, sunny this morning," Woodbury said. "It’s looking like we’re going to get some more snow, and it’s like 10 degrees so all the snow is crisp. It’s great.”

Woodbury normally skis Little Cottonwood Canyon, and said he welcomed the idea of Deer Valley possibly partnering with Mayflower, the new resort being built near the Jordanelle Reservoir.

“I mean they did that with Snowbird and Alta, and I love it — being able to ski between the two," he said.

"I think the more terrain you can connect the better, it just opens stuff up. Allows people to park at one resort, and ski multiple resorts — cause parking is half the problem.”

When it opens in 2025, Mayflower will have double the terrain of Deer Valley. No agreement has been announced, but Deer Valley President and COO Todd Bennett has spoken optimistically about a future partnership.

Robert Mangiagli has skied Deer Valley for over 40 years, and owns a second home in Park City. He also said he supports a potential partnership with Mayflower.

Mangiagli added that he’s also a fan of the resort’s plan to redevelop the Snow Park base area parking lot.

The proposal, which has received sharp criticism from nearby residents, is set to return to the Park City Planning Commission in December.

Parker Malatesta covers Park City for KPCW. Before coming to NPR, he spent one year as a general assignment reporter for TownLift in Park City. He previously was the news editor at The News Record, the student paper at the University of Cincinnati. He loves running, reading, and urban planning.