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Deer Valley opens with spring time temps

Deer Valley opened for the season on Saturday. It was an unseasonably warm day with temperatures that felt more like spring.

Deer Valley Communications Manager Emily Summers said opening day is a lot like the first day of school with the return of staff and guests. She said people enjoyed the terrain on both the lower and upper mountains.

"We were able to open with nine ski runs serviced by seven chairlifts, and that's across our Bald Eagle, which is the Snow Park area and Bald Mountain that Silver Lake-front kind of face there."

Early December temperatures typically range from 18 to 28 degrees. The Park City area had a high temperature of 56 degrees Saturday.

Summers said runs open up with about two feet of machine-made snow. She said the current snow depth is 20 inches, and the resort will continue to add base depth and open more runs as the snowmaking temperatures and mother nature allow. About three-quarters of Deer Valley's runs have snowmaking capability.

"Manmade snow--they've got that down to an art. That team is extremely experienced. And it's a system that we invest in heavily every year. We call it our insurance policy for reasons just like this. So that snow is holding up well. I don't know, temperature wise, where we compare in similar years, but we did have a very similar opening in 2017/18 -- a little bit more, but again, pretty similar on the chairlifts in 2016/17. So, it does happen and usually, things will pick up pretty quick, especially with how much snowmaking we're able to do."

This year at Deer Valley, masks are required when inside unless someone is eating or drinking.

"We do still have the grab-and-go options at Snow Park and Silver Lake, and then once Empire opens, there'll be one there as well. So, we have kept the additional dining options. And then we do encourage reservations if you have large parties of eight or more."

The restaurant in Snow Park Lodge at the base is now called Fresh Tracks Kitchen. It's open daily, with a new menu from 11 to 6 for skier lunch and Après Ski.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.