Utah ski resorts look to this summer and next ski season

All the resorts in Utah are in their last days of the season and survived without any closures or outbreaks related to COVID. Now they turn their attention to this summer.

“I think we can all rejoice in hiking and biking and recreating safely outdoors,” said Alison Palmintere of Ski Utah.

She said Utah resorts didn’t need to offer more options this summer to earn extra cash after another ski season affected by pandemic restrictions.

“I don’t think the resorts are trying to make up for what happened last season. I think we can all agree that last season was a big success,” she said.

She doesn’t have specific numbers yet, but said this season was a win for all Utah stations.

At the Alta ski area, Andria Huskinson said she hopes programs at her environmental centers could resume this summer. She anticipates that the restrictions will ease over time.

“I mean, we hope. I think everyone is hoping,” said Huskinson.

At Snowbird, some of the changes they made during the pandemic will stick around, like their take-out options for food and drink, as well as options for parking reservations.

“There were so many people who loved to know when they left their homes that they had a place no matter what,” said Sarah Sherman of Snowbird.

She said this summer they expected face masks and reduced ability to play, but would be open to streetcar rides, hiking, downhill tobogganing and their roller coaster.

Next year, stations said they expect one of their busiest seasons as restrictions are lifted and people start traveling more.

As more local skiers hit the slopes during the pandemic, the shortage of skiers at destinations has taken a toll on restaurants and lodges.

“This year, however, we haven’t seen any international travelers, and we generally see them,” said Huskinson.

She said for those coming from out of town this season, the trends have changed. There were fewer long weekend trips and more cases of people staying several weeks at a time. She said this could continue next year, as more people will likely have the option to work remotely.

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