Utah resorts still seeing skiers

Utah resorts still seeing skiers

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Despite the tough economy, Utah's ski resorts say people are still booking ski vacations, albeit a bit late.

Some resorts say bookings have picked up with the recent spate of snow storms; other say they are offering special deals to lure vacationers.

Families often book ski vacations months or even a year in advance. Not so this year, ski and resort officials said. Some people have held off while they wait to see if their finances will allow for a trip.

"It's something people are passionately driven to do," said Ski Utah spokeswoman Jessica Kunzer. "People will make a lot of other sacrifices before they will cancel their ski or snowboard vacations."

Deer Valley spokeswoman Coleen Reardon says a recent storm got the resort's phones ringing.

"We're not looking to break any records this year, but we are optimistic that things are going to pick up." Reardon said. "I don't think we'll be able to exhale all winter."

It's been the same story for Alta. Holiday bookings slowly filled in, though the post-Christmas outlook is a little soft, said spokeswoman Connie Marshall.

"We haven't really faced this kind of economic situation," Marshall said. "We have dealt with different recessions ... but this is such a new thing for most of us."

Snowbird said it got last-minute bookings, possibly because it offered several specials for bargain hunters.

"Our hope is that they are addicted to their ski vacation, that they'll make that vacation work for them," said Snowbird spokesman Jared Ishkanian. "We hope they see it as not so much a luxury in their minds, as a necessity."

Ski Utah, which promotes the state's ski and snowboard industry, said it's not ready to lower expectations yet.

"Our goal is a 3 percent increase over last year," Kunzer said. "We just don't see the point of banking on a loss."

Information from: Deseret News

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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