What are Utah’s ski resorts up to this season?

By Stephanie Nitsch

To help set the mood for the 2012-2013 season, ski resorts around Utah have unveiled new improvements and features to make this the best winter yet.  Here’s what to expect on the slopes at Utah’s world-class ski resorts.

It’s all about the kids at Park City Mountain this winter. Pint-sized shredders can get their start at the new, family-friendly Little Kings Terrain Park off Bonanza Lift before stepping up to the new Neffland Terrain Park. This all-ages, Candyland-style park at the top of Eaglet Lift is full of sweet features for the progressive skier or rider, including a new 13-foot tall halfpipe, designed with input

from pro snowboarder Bode Merrill. Park City will also host I Ride Park City freestyle camps for kids ages 9-15. This three-day camp for skiers and snowboarders combines freestyle instruction in a private park with video shooting and editing, using GoPro cameras to create action-packed video clips at the end of the session. parkcitymountain.com, 800-222-7275

Canyons continues to improve the overall mountain experience with the Ultimate Mountain Experience, a winter sports fantasy camp for ambitious skiers or riders. Nearly a dozen Olympic

and professional athletes will instruct multi-day camps and private clinics that are geared toward improving specific skill sets. Receive personalized pointers from your favorite winter sports superstar  and kick back over après ski during the two camps, January 11-13 or March 8-10, or customize your own 1-3 day package throughout the season. canyonsresort.com, 888-226-9667

Catch a ride on Deer Valley’s newest chairlift, Mountaineer Express, for quick access to the top of Little Baldy Mountain. This high-speed quad replaces the fixed-grip Deer Crest Lift and transports skiers to a panoramic ridge top above the Jordanelle Reservoir. On the opposite side of the resort, Empire Canyon Lodge’s new patio will entice al fresco diners looking for a bite with a view, thanks to heated pavers on the deck that ensure there’s always a dry spot to sit. deervalley.com, 800-424-3337

As if you didn’t already rack up enough vertical during a visit to Snowbird, this legendary Cottonwood Canyon Resort has replaced the old Little Cloud Chair with a high-speed quad. The new lift with the same moniker follows the same scenic path as the old chair, accessing stellar terrain found in Little Cloud Bowl and Mineral Basin, but cuts the ride time nearly in half for more ski time. snowbird.com, 800-232-9542

Not much has changed at Alta over the past 75 years. The mom and pop  vibe, the bottomless powder and the steep, ski-only terrain still exists, but that hasn’t stopped Alta from releasing a commemorative photography book, filled with timeless images that take you on a visual chronology of the resort’s skiing history. In honor of their milestone year, Alta will also host a slew of celebrations and deals throughout January. alta.com, 801-359-1078

While you won’t see much hype about Brighton on a billboard, don’t be fooled. This snowboard-friendly resort attracts some of the industry’s best park riders to its slopes. And with the addition of 20 new features in the terrain park, beginners through experts can try their skills in the playful park. brightonresort.com, 855-201-7669

Powder Mountain, which touts more than 7,000 acres of in-bounds and backcountry terrain, continues to live up to its name. This powder paradise outside of Ogden will debut a dozen new features in their natural terrain park. A consistent, flowy line of wooden features, which includes a log quarterpipe, rainbow rails and other freestyle hits, are scattered throughout the trees off the existing Hidden Lake Terrain Park. To commemorate its 41st anniversary, Powder Mountain will offer $41 adult lift tickets every Wednesday throughout the season.powdermountain.com, 801-745-3772

Expect more lifts to run seven days a week at Snowbasin this season. While certain lifts only operated during peak periods in the past, this Ogden area resort will keep the chairs cranking to give skiers and riders more choices when it comes to getting to the top. snowbasin.com, 888-437-5488

Robert Redford’s enchanting Sundance Resort gains a new lift for faster car- to-mountain access from the upper parking lot. The chairlift shuttles riders to the top of Maverick Trail and connects with numerous intermediate runs, including the terrain park, before cascading down into the open arms of Mt. Timpanogos. sundanceresort.com, 866-259-7468

Powder stashes last longer at Utah’s newest resort, Eagle Point, but that will probably change this season when the word about this Southern Utah gem gets out—especially when you can ski or ride for free. Visit Eagle Point on any Thursday throughout January, and receive a free lift ticket, no strings attached. The deal is even sweeter for California residents, who simply need to show proof of ID to claim a free lift ticket all season long, any day of the week. skieaglepoint.com, 855-324-5378




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