Brighton and Solitude ski resorts in a race to open first

Brighton and Solitude ski resorts in a race to open first

The Big Cottonwood Canyon resorts both plan to open this week.

(Julie Jag | The Salt Lake Tribune) Snowboarders and skiers line up to ride the Majestic lift at Brighton Resort on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021. The resort has moved up its 2022 opening date to Friday, Nov. 11.

Ski resorts in Utah have been opening earlier than expected this year due to plentiful snowfall in late October and so far in November.

On Wednesday, another resort added itself to that list.

Brighton Resort announced it will open for the season on Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Majestic, Explorer and Snake Creek runs will be the first snow-happy Utahns can enjoy. Crest Express is expected to open soon after, per a news release, and night operations are scheduled to start Dec. 12.

The mountain has 60 new inches of snow since Oct. 22, which is the driving force for Brighton’s early opening.

“Early season snowfall and low temps allowed us to set up the mountain pretty early in the season this year,” Jared Winkler, Brighton Resort Director of Marketing, said in a statement. “We estimate that between 50 and 200 snowboarders and skiers have been coming up here every day since the first big storm of the season a few weeks ago.”

Veterans and active military members can ski for free on Friday, the resort said, and their spouses qualify for discounted tickets. Ikon Pass holders don’t need to make a reservation.

Solitude Mountain Resort was also slated to open Friday, but announced soon after Brighton that it will open even earlier. Solitude will now open Thursday, marking its earliest opening since 2013. It was originally slated to open Nov. 18, along with three other resorts.

Solitude currently has 79 inches of snow, per a news release from the resort.

Brian Head in southern Utah is already open.

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