Two More Utah Resorts Announce Big Upgrades Ahead of the Ski Season

This article originally appeared on Ski Mag

Resort upgrades and major infrastructure improvements are in full swing over in Northeast Utah. Major investments in two of the state's ski resorts, in addition to the massive expansion planned for Deer Valley, are taking things to the next level. That, combined with one of the most efficient ski airports and some of the country's best snowfall has Utah particularly well-positioned as the go-to destination for skiers in the West.

The newest announcement comes out of Powder Mountain, the sprawling, rootsy ski area in which former Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings now owns a majority share. Hastings and company are investing $100 million in the resort over the next several seasons. What skiers will see this season includes a guided backcountry terrain expansion and an enhanced beginner experience.

The guided backcountry terrain will comprise 500 new acres of some of the mountain's steepest terrain. DMI (Don't Mention It) offers views out over the Eden Valley and Ogden Divide, with 3,000 vertical feet of bowls, chutes, and technical terrain known for holding snow for days.

Powder Mountain Snowcat
The new DMI-guided terrain isn’t the only cat-served playground at Powder Mountain. The ski area also offers pay-per-ride cat skiing on the Lightning Ridge and Raintree terrain pods. (Photo: Powder Mountain/Ian Matteson)

The guided experience will begin with a snowcat ride up Lightning Ridge, then a short hike. Skiers will be met at the bottom by a shuttle and taken back up for refills. The mountain also notes that all safety equipment will be provided.

The other notable upgrade for the season is the regrading of the Sundown learning terrain and the addition of a new magic carpet, which will replace the old Tiger Tow rope tow. Progression will be the focus during the regrading process, keeping the growth of beginner skills top of mind. Sundown will also get the resort's first snowmaking capabilities--Powder has never had a snowmaking system before--and will stay open for night skiing, also a first for the 51-year-old ski area, with tickets priced at $19.

Powder Mountain Snowcat
The Middle Bowl high-speed six-person chair is one of three new lifts at the resort over the last four seasons. (Photo: Powder Mountain/Ian Matteson)

"We are excited to provide a greatly enhanced beginner experience for newcomers to skiing and riding," said Pow Mow General Manager Kevin Mitchell. "This, combined with our new Nordic and snowshoe trails for non-skiers and newly added guided expert terrain, truly provides a progression of uncrowded experience for everyone at Powder Mountain."

Just to the southwest, Snowbasin is installing a new lift, the DeMoisy Express, which will double the lift capacity to the Strawberry side of the mountain. The chair will be a high-speed six-pack and should be operational in December. It's Snowbasin's third new lift in four years.

The resort is also increasing its parking capacity, adding 124 new spots across its five lots, and adding a new patio at Strawberry Lodge, a 5,000-square-foot addition with heated cobblestones and 180 seats.

Snowbasin bathrooms
Not your typical ski resort bathrooms, indeed. (Photo: Courtesy of Snowbasin)

Finally, the resort is continuing to up its bathroom game. We don't typically report on the restroom situation at ski resorts for obvious reasons, but Snowbasin has become well known for its bougie comfort stations, so much so that our readers never fail to comment on them during our annual SKI Reader Resort Survey. Now they'll have over a dozen more chances to experience them for themselves with 14 new stalls at the base area Grizzly Center this season.

Take it from one impressed reader: "Snowbasin is so beautiful, well-groomed, staff are so nice, the bathroom is... WOW!!!!!"

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