Snow Making Skiers Happy

Snow Making Skiers Happy

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Jed Boal ReportingThe snow causes plenty of problems on the roads, but it brings a blizzard of business for the mountain resorts. Ski Utah expects another year of growth for the industry.

Last year big snow storms hit the Wasatch Front in October and delivered mid-season skiing conditions by November. The resorts cannot expect to keep up with those phenomenal stats this year, but they do expect more skiers and boarders.

A month ago, many snowboarders and skiers worried the snow would never fly. Today that's changed.

William Roberts, Skier: "We have a blizzard with fresh powder and we're looking forward to getting out and enjoying the powder."

Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty worried the same thing as a youngster growing up in Utah. He always relied on his mother's wisdom, and consulted her again this fall.

Nathan Rafferty, SkiUtah: "I did have to call my mom and ask her what's going to happen. She said, 'Don't worry, this is what happens in Utah.' Sure enough, mom's prediction was correct."

Snowfall measures more than 100 inches at some resorts, bases are three to five feet deep. It's a little late, but better than average and it's unrealistic to compare any year to last year.

Nathan Rafferty: "Last year was the perfect storm, we couldn't have scripted it any better. We had deep snow in middle to late October."

Nationally, industry growth is flat, but for the second year in a row, Utah resorts attracted a record number of skiers, up 12 percent from the previous season, for a total of 3.9 million skier days. That translates into 10-30 percent more bookings statewide for this season, and Christmas bookings are up.

Locals skiing the storm today know why they call this place home.

Scott Keller, Skier: "The dry powder, the greatest snow on earth. As they say, I believe them."

Nearly all Utah resorts are open; those that are not will open soon.

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