ski industry | KUER 90.1

ski industry

It's already been a noteworthy season for Steamboat Ski Resort in Northern Colorado. In October alone, the mountain saw 63 inches of snow, a record high. And that's why the resort's Loryn Duke said it was an easy decision to open on November 15it's earliest opening ever.

Brian Albers / KUER

Editor’s Note: During impeachment inquiry hearings, KUER is offering news roundups from around the state and audio of those stories as a resource for our audience.

Photo of a sign listing the distance to Brighton Resort.
Jon Reed / KUER

Utah’s ski season officially began Tuesday as Brighton Resort opened with two lifts and about 12 inches of mostly man-made snow.

There's no doubt skiing can be a very expensive sport, and now there's a concern that mergers and acquisitions could make it even more pricey. So is it increasingly a sport for the wealthy?


The ski industry is an important economic driver in our region, but it's facing a lot of changes. Climate change, for one, is transforming ski resort leaders into activists and lobbyists.

The Fading Dream Of The American Ski Bum

Jan 1, 2019

For generations, the siren song of deep powder and steep inclines has lured starry-eyed young people into the time-honored tradition of "ski bumming."

The phrase is as much a term of endearment as an aspiration to a life lived simply: Pick a mountain, find some roommates, and ski or snowboard as much as humanly possible. But decades of corporate mergers and tourism are turning once-scrappy ski towns into high-end resorts, leaving the alluring glow of ski bum life to grow dim in much of the Mountain West.

The ski industry is one of the most important contributors to the economy in the Mountain West. And it's dealing with some pretty big changes right now. Probably the biggest one is climate. Winters are getting shorter and mountain resorts are having to adapt. 

Ski Utah

Four ski resorts powered up their chair lifts over the holiday weekend and several more are preparing to following the latest winter storm.

Tourism Spending At Record High

May 27, 2016
Brian Grimmett

A new report from the University of Utah shows that tourists spent 8 billion dollars in the state last year. 

Brian Grimmett

Several winter snow storms in December have been a welcome sight for Utah ski resorts and supporting businesses.

Nurpu via Creative Commons

Deer Valley Resort will take over operations at Solitude Mountain Resort starting today. The Park City company finalized the purchase yesterday.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah planners have unveiled a blueprint for the future of the central Wasatch Mountains. From resort expansion to new public lands, a lot of competing interests have had to come together, and now they’re looking to the public for feedback.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Utah Symphony and Opera announced a promotion Monday intended to bring ski tourists to their concerts. A quartet of symphony musicians dons ski boots, puffy hoods and goggles to help make the announcement. President and CEO Melia Tourangeau says everyone’s heard about the greatest snow on earth, but they want tourists to know what else Utah has to offer.

“What people don’t often know is that in addition to being a great ski city, we also have one of the finest orchestras and opera companies in the country, ” Tourangeau says.

Andrea Smardon

Utah’s ski industry leaders want to connect seven ski resorts in the Wasatch mountains. Ski Utah held a press conference Wednesday along with the general managers from the resorts to outline the interconnect concept.

Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty says it’s not a specific plan yet, but a concept. They call it One Wasatch, and the goal is to create the most efficient and enjoyable interconnected mountain resort ski experience in North America.

Ski Utah

How will the Utah ski season be this year? Well, that mostly depends on the snow. But ski resorts and the state’s tourism organizations are optimistic that this could be one of Utah’s better years.  Not only will it be a winter Olympic year which brings more attention to the ski industry, but this is the first year Utah will be included as part of the Epic Pass – a special pass for selected resorts around the world. The Epic Pass will likely mean more out of state visitors, and it also means better deals for locals.