Scott G Winterton, KSL

Utah ski resorts prepare for ski season, COVID

By Tania Dean, KSL TV | Posted - Oct. 25, 2020 at 10:16 p.m.



OGDEN – The first snow day of the season had people heading to the mountains to take a sneak peek of what's to come.

The ski resorts had to close down early last season because of COVID-19, but they're planning to open on schedule this year, with a few changes.

Snowbasin turned on its snow-making system Sunday for the first time.

"With the temperatures being what it is, humidity being what it is, we were able to turn this beast on and its full bore here right now until opening day in about a month," said general manager Davy Ratchford.

As for the folks who stopped by Snowbasin just to take a look at the snow-making machines, there was definitely excitement in the air.

"It was snowing when I woke up this morning, and I stuck my nose outside and I could tell it was going to be a snow day," said Tom Sprafke. "I just can't wait to file my edges and wax my skis and get out here and have some fun!"

"It's one reason why we moved here, and so I'm excited we can do it year round," said Olivia Leamer. "I want to get really good at it and maybe learn some tricks."

Because of COVID, ski season will look a little different this year.

The number of people allowed in the lodge and the gondolas will be limited. A face covering will be required inside and in lines. But no reservations are necessary, and Snowbasin said they'll have more outdoor dining and warming stations to help spread people out.

"The big thing for the ski industry collectively is that we want to get open and stay open," said Ratchford.

The changes didn't seem to bother skiers and snowboarders too much.

"I feel like with skiing, it's not necessarily somewhere where we'd be too close to other people," said Charles Lombard. "Maybe in the lodges, that would be a bit different, but I feel like on the slopes, it probably won't change much."

They're just ready to strap on their boots and hit the slopes.

"Everything that we're hearing is that it's going to be an above average season," said Ratchford. "I think that the smiles on our faces are going to be way above average."

More than half a dozen ski resorts plan to open right around the Thanksgiving holiday.

For a complete list, visit the Ski Utah website.

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