BRIGHTON — Ski season is “on” in Utah. Brighton Ski Resort opened Thursday with enough terrain to put smiles on the faces of many skiers and snowboarders, the first Utah resort to open for the season. Early season conditions on a bluebird day were better than many of them expected.
“I’m just doing what I love. It’s awesome out here,” said Trey Marty, who always likes to get out and snowboard on opening day, and catch up with old friends on the slopes.
“The stoke is high when everybody’s here,” he said.
For many riders on the mountain Thursday, it was like the end of summer vacation: seeing old friends for the first time in a long time.
“There’s a whole bunch of friends I haven’t seen all summer up here,” said Justin Schofield, a snowboarder. “So, it’s awesome to see them now.”
As dry as it's been in Utah this fall, a November 15th opening is not bad.
“That early snow we got in October helped a bunch,” said Jared Winkler, a spokesman for the resort. “Then it kind of stuck around at the higher elevations. So, we’ve just been making snow at the lower elevations to kind of fill in the slow spots, and now it’s looking really good.”
Two lifts are running with five runs open, on a base between 10 and 20 inches. Early season tickets are discounted at $48.
“The stoke levels are high, and everyone is just excited to be out skiing and shredding,” said Caitlin Furin, Ski Utah Communications Director. “It’s a beautiful day. The coverage is great up here. The snow is awesome.”
Some snow riders set their sights on opening day long before the date is even announced.
“My goal for the past month was trying to be the first person on the lift,” said Orrin Skinner, a skier. “I didn’t get it this year. But, next year I’ll get it.”
He was actually playing hooky from school while he was carving on the slopes. But, that’s OK with his dad, who looks at opening day like a holiday.
“There’s nothing better than being out here on the first day,” said his father, Kevin Skinner. “Some people take off for the deer hunt. Some people take off to go Christmas shopping. We take off to come ski the first day the resorts open.”
Last season, below average snowfall left some skiers unsatisfied. So, there’s pent-up demand as everyone gets out and plays.
“I hope we just get dumped on all winter,” said Skinner.