Ski Utah

On today's Local News Hour:

( 00:28)Drew Hardesty has today’s Utah Avalanche Forecast Center Report.

( 07:56) Summit County Council Member Malena Stevens recaps Wednesday's meeting, including a 3-hour pubic hearing on the Dakota Pacific development at Kimball Junction.

( 23.:24) Ski Utah CEO Nathan Rafferty has a mid-season update on this winter's ski and ride season.

( 46:11)Youth Sports Alliance Programs Director Heather Sims has an update on the after school snow programs and need for volunteers.

Today on the Local News Hour:

Happy 40th Birthday to KPCW!

(07:25) - Summit County Council Member Kim Carson has a recap of yesterday’s meeting.

(21:30) - President and CEO of Ski Utah Nathan Rafferty has details of the 2019-20 ski season – Utah’s 4th best ever despite the early closure due to the pandemic.

(31:40) - Blaire Feulner, founder of KPCW, talks about how the station started 40 years ago and KPCW General Manager Renai Miller talks about the future of the station.

Deer Valley Ski Resort

Ski Utah announced on Wednesday that despite losing the last couple months of winter to COVID-19, the 2019-20 ski season in Utah was still the fourth-best season on record for skier visits.


Skiing and snowboarding in Utah came to an abrupt end in mid-March when the first resorts in the state began closing due to COVID-19. Ski Utah CEO Nathan Rafferty says the early closures were devastating for the industry with over $232 million in lost revenue.

In 1979, the Utah Legislature passed the Inherent Risk to Skiing Act. Republican Sen. Dan Hemmert wants to update that decades-old law with this year’s Senate Bill 228. Hemmert says anyone who skis assumes a risk.

“You are putting on pieces of wood and metal that have a plastic base,” Hemmert said. “You’re getting on snow, and you’re going downhill, and you can go fast, and there are trees and rocks and other people, and things can happen.”

Ski Utah

Utah’s ski season is hopefully beginning in just a few weeks.     And the man in charge of promoting “The Greatest Snow on Earth” says he’s optimistic.    

We talked to the CEO of  Ski Utah, Nathan Rafferty,  shortly after he delivered his report on the State of the Ski Season.

Rafferty said if the upcoming season has half the powder they saw in  2018-19 , he will be excited.

The only problem they had with last year, he said,  is that it had to follow the weak winter season of the year before that.      

The boosters of Utah powder, like the head of Ski Utah Nathan Rafferty, were ecstatic about the state’s record-breaking ski season. 

While the industry has been transformed by the marketing of the Epic and Ikon Passes, Rafferty said the advantages they bring outweigh the challenges.


Rafferty said that not every ski resort in the state set a record for 2018-19 but the vast majority did. 

Deer Valley Resort

This year, Gov. Gary Herbert declared January 2019 and Jan. 11 as Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month and Day in Utah. Since 2009, Utah resorts have joined resorts nationwide in an effort to teach beginners to ski and snowboard. KPCW’s Emily Means has more.

Utah is billed as having the greatest snow on Earth, so winter sports are a major draw to the state. But not all locals feel at home on the slopes. This is the 11th season of the Learn to Ski & Snowboard initiative. Ski Utah Communications Director Caitlin Furin says Utah resorts have been involved since the beginning.

Ski Officials Predict A Great Ski Season

Oct 30, 2018
Ski Utah

Ski season is on its way and the director of Ski Utah said things are looking good for the upcoming season. Melissa Allison has more:

Despite the lackluster snow this past winter, enough snow riders enjoyed the slopes to make the 2017-2018 one of the top 10 for skier day sin the state’s history.

Utah’s 14 ski areas posted their sixth best season for skier days last winter. The season started November 21st at Brighton and ended May 13th at Snowbird. Ski Utah is reporting 4.1 million skier days, down almost 10% from last season’s all-time record.

Ski Utah president Nathan Rafferty says that’s not bad considering the winter we were dealt

The Wasatch Mountain snowpack is the lowest in decades but some of Utah’s ski industry experts say conditions are surprisingly good and that the season is not over yet.  There are challenges the ski resorts and hospitality businesses face when Mother Nature doesn’t deliver the goods.   Carolyn Murray has this:

Park City Mountain

Utah ski resorts are ready for the upcoming season -- they just need now to be patient as temperatures drop and the snow begins to fall. When it does, the state could be looking at a third and unprecedented record-breaking season. KPCW's Leslie Thatcher has more.

Ski Utah will lobby Utah lawmakers to change liquor laws this ski season. KPCW's Leslie Thatcher has more.

Utah State Office of Tourism/Paul Morrison Photography

Utah’s Office of Tourism and Film has 3.4 million dollars to allocate to local marketing efforts around the state.   Summit and Wasatch counties will receive some of these cooperative marketing funds. Carolyn Murray has more:

Biggest Worry: Will Deer Valley Remain Snowboard Free?

Aug 22, 2017
Courtesy of Deer Valley

The Park City Community is buzzing with the ski industry announcement on Monday that Deer Valley Resort is being sold to an expansive corporate interest that rivals Vail. Some big questions linger.  Carolyn Murray has more: 

Ski Utah Announces All Time Record Ski Days

Jun 14, 2017

Ski Utah announces an all-time record in skier days, skier spending and ski tax revenues.  Across the board, it’s a banner year for Utah’s Ski Industry.  Carolyn Murray has more on this closing, year-end press conference.