A Sad Time of Year
It’s a sad time of year. A few days ago I cleaned out the pockets of my snowboard jacket and pants, folded them up, and put them on the back of the top shelf in my closet. For many of us the season is over.
As I mourned the passing of another season, I recalled something that I’d been told by locals several times in random pub conversations: there’s a resort in Utah that has stayed open until the Fourth of July several times.
I had also been told that many resorts open and close at the same time (this year most closed on April 14th) because they are required to by their lease with the US Forest Service. I also thought it was economically impractical for a ski resort to stay open so long after the ski tourism season had ended.
“Where could this resort be?” I wondered. A few minutes online and I had my answer: Snowbird. This year, the resort – one of Utah’s favourites – is planning to stay open until Memorial Day, though after the 12th of the month they will be closed on weekdays.
The Economics of Late-Season Skiing
How could this be possible? I had to find out, so I called up Snowbird’s Communications Manager, Emily Moench.
The next day we met in her office in Snowbird Centre.
She was not aware, she said, of any restrictions on opening and closing dates in Forest Service land leases. She told me that she thought most resorts closed because of the lack of business late in the year. The fact that all the other resorts close is what actually makes it possible for Snowbird to stay open. At that point, even though demand has dwindled, they’re the only game in town and that brings enough business to keep them running.
To sweeten the deal, Snowbird also drops it’s day passes from $85 to $65 and offers an additional discount to any person who holds a season’s pass at any resort in North America. (It’s worth noting that at the time of writing Liftopia was selling day passes to Snowbird for $54.99.)
Let the Party Begin!
Spring skiing and riding is always a bit different than that in the winter. There’s more of a party vibe. Shirts come off. Bikinis make an appearance. Beer flows freely.
In the spirit of the spring skiing mood, Snowbird has live music on the deck every week. All performances take place on the Plaza Deck from 12 – 3pm weather permitting. Here’s the schedule:
- May 3: AM Bump Trio
- May 4: Tribe of I
- May 5: DJ Knucklz
- May 10: Ghostowne
- May 11: Lake Effect
- May 12: DJ Jordan Peterson
- May 17: Dan Weldon Band
- May 18: Marinade
- May 19: Tribe of I
- May 24: Porch to Porch
- May 25: Folk Hogan
- May 26: Space Turtle
- May 27: 2 ½ White Guys
- May 31: DNA
Other Late-Season Resorts
Not close enough to Utah for a trip to Snowbird? Not to worry, there are a few other resorts staying open nearly as long: