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Deer Valley opens Saturday for 43rd season

What Deer Valley Resort's opening week looked like in Dec. 2022
Leslie Thatcher
What Deer Valley Resort's opening week looked like in Dec. 2022

With a winter storm in the forecast this weekend, that’s good news for the opening of Deer Valley Resort on Saturday.

In the two years that Todd Bennett has served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Deer Valley Resort, he’s seen the spectrum of resort openings due to snowfall. Last year, the resort was able to open most of the mountain thanks to natural snowfall. This year, the resort has emptied both of its snowmaking ponds and has refilled them to take advantage of the cold temperatures.

“Starting around Thursday night, Thanksgiving evening, we started getting some really nice cold temperatures,” Bennett said. “And the team has been able to go around the clock for a while. We did drain our ponds. We have 25 million gallons of water at the base of the mountain and 15 million up on the top of the mountain. And it was so cold that we were able to drain down some of those retaining ponds.”

Between the machine-made snow and Mother Nature, he expects they’ll be able to get more of the mountain open shortly.

“It looks like we've got a storm coming in over the next five days of kind of looking at Open Snow [a weather reporting website] between 18 and 24 inches. So, that's going to help a whole heck of a lot. So, if we can get 24 hours of snowmaking around the clock, we do about three runs every couple of days. So, a lot is going to depend on if the temperatures stay cold and do we get a little bit of natural to help augment.”

The resort plans to open Saturday at 9 a.m. with seven of the 21 lifts and 10 runs.

A change this year is that the daily ski reports on KPCW will be presented by members of the Deer Valley Ski Patrol. Bennett says it just makes sense.

“Ski patrollers, they're the closest to it,” he said. “Often times the ski patrollers were connecting with the folks that were calling in and giving them the notes. And so, we just figured why not have the ski patrol, who's got the information at hand, call in and make that call?”

Bennett says staffing is at 100% in most areas, except for the kitchens. There will be a couple of new additions to the food and beverage line-up. The resort is bringing back a version of the seafood buffet called Cast & Cut at Snow Park Lodge opening Dec. 16 and the resort’s first-ever 21+ apres-ski bar, the Royal Street Bar located at Silver Lake.

Opening day brings back the 6th annual Shred for Red, a fundraiser for the Utah Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Participants raised a half-million dollars last year. Bennett says they hope to beat that this year.

And a reminder for those with IKON passes – reservations are required to ski at Deer Valley this year. Bennett suggests anyone planning to ski during any holiday periods makes reservations now. The last day skiers can purchase an IKON season pass is Dec. 14.