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First Utah Ski Resorts Set to Open 2014-15 Season

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Ski Utah announced Tuesday the start of the official countdown to the start of the 2014 ski season. shows Solitude Mountain Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon is due to open next Friday with five more planning to open by next weekend.  Nathan Rafferty is president of the coalition of ski resorts in Utah. He says two things gauge the season.

“And that’s economy and snow and…you know snow trumps all.”

Rafferty says nagging issues surrounding Park City Mountain Resort and Vail Resorts has been a drag on the local industry. PCMR, Talisker and Vail wrangled for nearly three years over Park City terrain. PCMR had failed to renew their lease on the Talisker property.

“Just a lot of uncertainty and when that all went away with the acquisition,” says Rafferty, “you know, I’ve just found people were really excited and Vail brings a ton to our industry here in the state.”

Rafferty says the number of visitors last season increased 4% over the previous year and was 9% higher than 2 years ago.

“We’re excited. It’s kind of go time in our world and all we need is a little help from Mother Nature and we’re off and running,” says Rafferty.

Utah’s newest ski resort is scheduled to open the second week of December. Cherry Peak Resort is a 3-Triple-Chairlift operation near Richmond, in Cache County.

NOTE: This web story was edited from the original based on updated information on resort opening dates posted at

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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