The West Coast has been hammered by a series of storms causing widespread property damage. Still, there is a silver lining for some enduring Mother Nature’s wrath. In Lake Tahoe, nearly 30 inches of fresh snow has fallen, allowing ski resorts there to open early. Likewise, Utah’s Wasatch Range has already received more than 4 feet of snow prompting Alta, Brighton, Solitude and Snowbird to open for business.
If you are a snow bunny, Old Man Winter’s early arrival is fantastic news. Many of the nation’s major ski destinations are hoping the snow and cold sticks around for a while in order to attract a record number of visitors. For those looking to hit the slopes in the weeks preceding Christmas, consider the following:
Several ski resorts in Utah are celebrating major milestones this season, including Utah’s Alta. Next month, a special program featuring fireworks and a torchlight parade will commemorate the 74th anniversary of the state’s first chairlift.
Meanwhile, in Colorado, Vail is kicking off a season-long shindig commemorating its 50th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the area will launch a 10-passenger high-speed gondola featuring heated, cushioned seats and free Wi-Fi. Other highlights include a birthday celebration on December 15th and the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships held from February 25 to March 2, 2013.
In addition, to help cash-strapped travelers, some resorts are offering “snow guarantees.” For example, in Winter Park, Colorado, guests scheduled to arrive or depart through December 20 can reschedule their trips later in the season, provided they notify the resort 48 hours prior to their original booking. Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly resort is also helping travelers stretch their dollar by providing a refund or change of dates between December 15, 2012 and March 31, 2013, if less than 50% of the resort’s 97 runs are open between two and seven days before arrival.