Meanwhile, last year’s ski season demonstrated that early season conditions are not always indicative of what snow conditions will be throughout the season.

In announcing its Thanksgiving Day opening for this year, officials with Park City Mountain Resort noted that after opening on Nov. 26 last season, the resort recorded 455 inches of snow — 100 inches above the 355-inch seasonal average.

And despite the recent unseasonably warm weather, there is still optimism for the upcoming season, said Bill Rock, Park City Mountain Resort's chief operating officer.

“We’ve seen several strong nights of early season snowmaking, and with a favorable weather forecast over the next 10 days, our expert snowmaking team is ready to make snow at every opportunity that weather permits," Rock said in a statement. "We look forward to providing our guests with a great opening day ski and ride experience in time for Thanksgiving.”

Venerable ski-only resort Alta Ski Area is celebrating its 80th season of skiing at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

With opening day approaching, Connie Marshall, Alta's director of marketing and public relations, said the local ski areas are always hopeful for an early start to the season. But recent years have shown that late starts can still prove quite prosperous.

"We've noticed that our winters are a little late getting started due (in part) to climate change," Marshall said. "We've gotten a little more adaptive at projecting our opening day. You just have faith and know the reality that Utah (always) gets snow."

Ski resort opening days

  • Alta — Nov. 22
  • Snowbasin — Nov. 22
  • Snowbird — Nov. 22
  • Park City — Nov. 23
  • Deer Valley — Dec. 2
  • Solitude — Dec. 2
  • Sundance — Dec. 8
  • Nordic Valley — Dec. 9
  • Cherry Peak — Dec. 18
  • Eagle Point — Dec. 21

NOTE: Opening dates still to be determined at Beaver Mountain, Brian Head, Brighton and Powder Mountain.

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Jasen Lee, KSL
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