Utah resorts ready to build on recent record-breaking ski seasons

SALT LAKE CITY — After a historic season last year, Utah’s 14 ski resorts are poised to start the new ski season as early as next week.

Beginning the day before Thanksgiving, at least three ski areas will officially begin operations for the upcoming 2017-18 winter season, Nathan Rafferty, president and CEO of Ski Utah, said Tuesday.

Noting that the past two seasons have been record-breaking, with more than 4 million skier days annually, Rafferty said the state’s top winter tourism industry is anxiously anticipating another season of “the greatest snow on Earth.”

“We’re crossing our fingers and looking forward to what we hope to be a third record season in a row,” he said. “We’ve got a ton of momentum, and that’s always important in our industry.”

The 2016-17 ski season was 197 days long and amassed 4.58 million skier days, despite having a relatively late start, Rafferty said. But industry officials are optimistic that Mother Nature will begin to cooperate in the very near future.

While the resorts prepare for the new season, Rafferty said his organization and industry representatives will spend at least part of the time this winter lobbying the state Legislature to address concerns about a recently passed law lowering the state’s legal blood alcohol limit from .08 percent to .05 percent starting in December 2018.

“The (law) that passed last year … is particularly troubling to us in the tourism industry,” Rafferty told an audience of media and resort officials gathered in the Ski Utah offices. “Our overall goal is not to see it repealed, but see it tweaked a little bit. We’re optimistic that we can see something happen.”

Regarding possible adjustments, Rafferty mentioned separate penalties for .05 to .07 percent violations and those greater than .08 percent. He noted that both Colorado and New York have lesser penalties for …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

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