The Utah Transit Authority presently has all ski bus routes across the state in operation. This covers Provo to Ogden and includes the brand new fleet of buses servicing Snowbasin and Powder Mountain.
To help make the process of riding the bus to the resorts easier this season, Ski Utah is proud to announce an improvement to the Ski Utah App, with the ‘Ride The Bus’ tab. This allows any user to use their location to find the fastest public transit route to any Utah resort.
“Ski Utah is thrilled to have updated our mobile app to include UTA’s Ski Bus services in hopes to assist both locals and visiting skiers/riders in getting to and from the resort,” says CEO/President of Ski Utah Nathan Rafferty. “This addition only helps strengthen the great partnership Ski Utah and the Resorts have with UTA. We look forward to seeing continued growth in ridership during the 2017-18 season.”
Also, new this year, bus riders can purchase ski bus fare using the free UTA GoRide app. Please note that you’ll need to purchase two tickets to make a round trip on the ski bus. You can purchase tickets in advance and buy tickets for multiple riders. Activate the ticket when you’re ready to ride and show the activation screen to your bus driver as proof of fare.
Deer Valley to Host the 2018 Visa Freestyle International FIS World Cup
The world’s best aerial and mogul skiers will take to Deer Valley Resort’s slopes again this winter to compete in the 2018 Visa Freestyle International FIS World Cup, held Wednesday, January 10 through Friday, January 12, 2018. Regarded as one of the best venues in the international freestyle community, Deer Valley Resort has played host to international and world competitions for 20 consecutive years, including the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, two World Championships and 16 World Cups.
Visiting guests of the World Cup will watch as competitors twist, fly and race their way to the podium on the same runs used during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The freestyle competition begins Wednesday evening, January 10, with men’s and women’s mogul competitions scheduled on Champion ski run at 7 p.m. and another men’s and women’s mogul competition on Thursday night at 7 p.m. Friday night brings the flight of the men’s and women’s aerial competition held on White Owl ski run at 8 p.m. Finals for all disciplines will take place each evening, with firework displays concluding each night. Each discipline will also be filmed and televised on NBC and NBC Sports Network.
A complete schedule of the 2018 Visa Freestyle International World Cup events can be found at www.deervalley.com.
New Weekly Dining Discovery Cinnabar Experiences Start This Month at Snowbasin Resort
Snowbasin Resort announces the new weekly Dining Discovery Cinnabar Experience that kicks off Tuesday, January 9th. Explore cravings and try a new item every Tuesday in the Cinnabar.
Scott Sniggs, Executive Chef says, “This is a unique opportunity to bring specialized cuisine to spice up your average ski day. The series encourages guests to step out of their culinary comfort zone, amidst the comfortable environment of Snowbasin.”
Each week one of Snowbasin’s award-winning chefs will develop the items and roam the Cinnabar to answer any questions and talk about the methods and ingredients.
January 9th/February 20th– Mongolian Hot Pots
Explore your cravings of Traditional Hot Pots where a simmering pot of broth is placed in the center of the table for sharing and the many ingredients are then cooked by those sharing the pot in the hot broth. The technique dates back more than 1000 years in Mongolia to the Jin Dynasty. It’s considered a very hearty, wintertime meal that fits perfectly with the spirit of Dining Discovery.
January 16th/February 27th – The Joys of Beer and Chicken Wings
Who doesn’t like beer and wings? A match made in heaven for any dedicated fan of après ski. Snowbasin will have special beers available for pairing and the Chefs will be busy making wings. They plan to have over a dozen different kinds of flavors with all different spice levels; available in orders of three.
January 23rd/March 6th– Fresh Pasta
Snowbasin’s culinary team will create a fresh home-made pasta menu that will no doubt excite your dining cravings. Pasta choices will be a ‘world-tour’ of dining bliss focused on items that many folks do not get to sample in this country very often.
January 30th– Korean Kimchi and Bulgogi
Bulgogi literally means “fire meat” made of thin, marinated slices of beef grilled on a barbecue or on a stove-top griddle. It is also often stir-fried in a pan in home cooking. Sirloin, rib eye or brisket are frequently used cuts of beef for the dish. Served traditionally with rice and an assortment of kimchi and marinated vegetables.
February 6th/March 13th– Tapas
Tapas, is well known throughout Spain as a ‘snack’ served hot or cold. The Snowbasin chefs will be focusing on regional Spanish ingredients and techniques that will no doubt be a craving worth exploring.
February 13th– ‘Fat Tuesday’ Creole Cuisine
Eat hearty for Mardi Gras! Cinnabar will host a ‘Fat Tuesday’ meal not be missed. The Director of Dining and Entertainment, Peter Baker, will take the culinary reigns for the Cinnabar this one day to demonstrate his ‘Nola’ culinary skills. Items to include shrimp etoufee, red beans & rice, and gumbo.
Liftopia Users Name Alta #2 Ski Area in North America, and #1 in Best Snow
Alta Ski Area has been recognized as #2 Top Overall Ski Area in North America. Number one rankings include #1 Snow Consistency and Quality in High West; #1 Snow Consistency and Quality in North America; #1 Overall Best in Snow in High West and #1 Overall Best in Snow in North America, receiving national recognition in the 2017-18 Best in Snow Awards, Powered By Liftopia.
Honoring ski resorts across North America, Liftopia — the largest online and mobile marketplace for lift tickets and mountain activities — announced the 2017-18 Best in Snow Awards on December 18. The awards bring uber-local, relevant and must-know intel to beginning skiers as well as ski and snowboard aficionados. Unlike other ski awards, the Best in Snow Awards is the only ranking that calculates survey feedback from thousands of skiers and snowboarders and incorporates the largest dataset in the industry to determine the ski areas consumers are most passionate about. Winners are ranked and divided among seven categories for regions including the Northeast, West Coast, High West, Southeast and Midwest.
“We are honored to be recognized by Liftopia as the #2 ski area in North America and the ski area with the best snow consistency and quality”, states Alta’s General Manager, Mike Maughan. “Being also ranked in the top ten for challenge, value and beginner friendly contribute to the reason why Alta is a favorite of many skiers. These accolades are great recognitions for our 80th Anniversary season.”
To compile the 2017-18 Best In Snow Awards, Powered by Liftopia, more than 12,000 consumers were surveyed to measure their enthusiasm on specific aspects of their favorite resorts such as challenging terrain, crowds, family friendliness, snow consistency and overall quality. Respondents took into consideration criteria such as snow quality and conditions, grooming, accessibility, terrain variety and difficulty, vertical drop, learn to ski and snowboard programs, staff and instructors, resort size, crowds and lift lines, accessibility of lifts and beginner terrain, off-slope activities, the surrounding community, and cost of lift tickets, rentals and programs, among others. The responses were weighted with a proprietary algorithm based on Liftopia’s exclusive dataset that includes skier and snowboarder visits annually, acreage, uphill capacity and average true cost of skiing, to surface the best ski areas overall and across seven categories and five regions.
“Skiers are by nature adventurous and today’s travelers are looking for the new, the interesting, the unknown areas to vacation. By measuring customers passion for their favorite areas, The Best in Snow Awards give consumers an opportunity to see which ski areas may become their next new favorite. Our method ensures a level playing field for ski areas of all sizes and brings skiers lesser known ski areas in addition to the larger ones we already know and love,” said Evan Reece, co-founder and CEO of Liftopia.
Snowfall May Be Down, But Bookings Are Up
While most of the western U.S. is experiencing below-average snowfall thus far this season, based on data released by Inntopia in their monthly DestiMetrics Market Briefing, resorts across not only Utah but also six other western states are not experiencing a negative impact on their bookings as of Nov. 30.
For the month of November, occupancy was up 7.1 percent and revenues were up 11.4 percent compared to the same month last year at approximately 290 property management companies sampled by DestiMetrics in 20 mountain destination communities, representing approximately 30,000 rooms across those seven western states. Looking forward, occupancy for the full winter season from November through April is up 2.8 percent with increases in five of the six months, with only December declining.
November and April are showing the biggest increases while January, February, and March are up very slightly although they are essentially flat compared to last winter. Compared to last winter at this time, the Average Daily Rate (ADR) has climbed up 4.1 percent leading to an aggregated revenue surge for the season of 7.5 percent.
“Considering that last month’s data showed a year-over-year decline in occupancy compared to the previous year, the booking trends through Nov. 30 are definitely good news,” reported Tom Foley, vice president of Business Intelligence for Inntopia. “However, the key to a successful season depends largely on how December fares,” he continued. “Since there isn’t a pre-Christmas school break this year, much of that business is shifting to the first week of January and if the snowfall fails to materialize, we can expect a reversal of this month’s gains,” he cautioned.
Bookings made during November for arrivals in the month were up 23.2 percent while bookings for arrivals for the six-month period are up 15.8 percent compared to the same time last year. The Briefing noted that many of the bookings are due largely to the long-distance destination traveler.
Once again, strong economic metrics are getting some of the credit for both the occupancy and revenue gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared to its seventh consecutive all-time monthly record by gaining 3.8 percent to close at 24,272.3 on Nov. 30 for the highest single day closing in history. The consumer market followed the financial news, with the Consumer Confidence Index gaining 2.6 percent to reach 129.5 points and its highest level since November 2000. Employers added another 228,000 jobs during November spurred by positive economic news and consumer’s reaction. The Unemployment Rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent.
“The establishment of a strong booking base early in the season and a shift to occupancy gains from last month’s declines, provides an insurance policy against potential weather or economic challenges later in the season,” said Foley. “However, all this data was collected through Nov. 30 and in the past two weeks, trends may have started shifting based on both snowfall and the holiday schedule this year, so we encourage our participating lodging properties to monitor their booking patterns closely and be prepared to make adjustments as needed.”
SNOCRU Releases New 4.0 App Version for Apple and Android
SNOCRU, the award winning all-in-one snowsports app has released SNOCRU 4.0 available on iOS and Google Play. This new app release is the biggest refresh to ever happen to the app with a complete design and functionality overhaul. The new app, which was officially first released on iOS and Google Play in 2011, features a completely redesigned user interface, as well as new functionality that was beta tested throughout 2017. SNOCRU has also released a handful of new features to compliment the new intuitive design. New features include integration with Apple HealthKit, animated tracks, animated track sharing, unlimited run tracking, an ad-free experience for season pass holders, new maps, as well as robust resort leaderboards.
“Over the last six years we’ve had a lot of time to build new cutting edge features and functionality into SNOCRU, with that came a rather heavy and somewhat uneasy app to understand. The new SNOCRU 4.0 release makes it easier for any user to understand how to ski with SNOCRU in their pocket. I can’t wait for skiers to enjoy the new app experience as well as our latest new features.” said Ed Lewis, founder and ceo. Adding, “We went all out on this latest app release, determined to simplify such a robust app. We’ve made some big changes and think users will be stoked with the new design and functionality.”
Perhaps the largest improvement the new SNOCRU app offers is the ability it gives users to enjoy a best in class tracking experience. Heat Mapping and Animated Track Sharing are two brand new features to make it to the app. Heat Mapping gives skiers a visual representation of their speed over the resort ski map, this shows skiers their fastest and slowest spots while tracking. Animated Track Sharing allows skiers and riders to share a video to social media of the runs they skied that day. According to Ed Lewis, “SNOCRU is committed to pushing the status quo of how users engage with each other, and that doesn’t stop with tracking. SNOCRU Challenges and Achievements through the DayCru feature create a really fun way to bring people back to SNOCRU. We want people to have fun out there and I think SNOCRU is enabling a new kind of skiing and snowboarding.”
The SNOCRU app — like many of the most popular mobile apps — comes with Smartwatch integration, allowing users to start, stop and view their tracks on their wrist.
SNOCRU, based in Park City, is a free app available on the App Store and Google Play.
Solitude Gets Its Own Labeled Brew
Solitude Mountain Resort and Bohemian Brewery have announced the release of Solitude BrewSki Mountain Lager—a special brew created specifically for Solitude Mountain Resort. Available now in stores in 12-ounce cans and on draft at the resort just in time for the ski season and Christmas, Solitude BrewSki was originally created as a one- off beer as part of Bohemian Brewery’s “Brewer’Stache” line.
Solitude BrewSki was concocted while Bohemian Brewery shared a few beers with Staffan Ecklund and Andrew Fletcher of Solitude Mountain Resort’s food and beverage team. The team wanted to offer a winter/ski beer that was easy to enjoy on-mountain, without the heavy undertones and body typically associated with winter releases. A German-style Pilsner, Solitude BrewSki quickly rose in such popularity that Bohemian Brewery and Solitude Mountain Resort decided to release it as a standing offering.
Solitude BrewSki was officially released during the Big Cottonwood Canyon BrewSki event held just before Christmas at the Thirsty Squirrel in Solitude Village.