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Weather prevented firing off the snow guns

Temperature swing makes man-made snow tough

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) - Many local resorts are gearing up for ski season, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of more mountain snow. Early season snowfall gave us a taste of winter two weeks ago, but since then, temperatures drastically warmed up.

"Up and down like a yo-yo. We had snow and we had t-shirt weather, and today we are cooling off and looking a little more promising," Dave Farmer, an area supervisor at Brighton Resort, said.

The ski industry brings in more than a billion dollars to Utah's economy, natural storms are imperative, but without cold temperatures, the usage of snowmaking machines can't happen.

"It's absolutely critical, if we didn't make snow, we wouldn't be able to keep it. Mother Nature would give up some snow, but it wouldn't last," said Dave Farmer, an area supervisor at Brighton Resort.

Man-made snow is very moist and allows for a strong base to form around the mountain. Temperature swings can really ruin the amount of work that goes into making snow. 

"We have to play the temperature. We need temps and favorable conditions to make snow for 24 hours a day, so we need to be really close to freezing during the day so we can go around the clock and make it happen," said Farmer.

Brighton Resort looks forward to the cold temperatures settling in and continue to monitor the numbers. Smaller resorts like Beaver Mountain and Nordic Valley solely rely on nature, but the current chill had several Wasatch Front resorts jumping on the chance to make snow. 

"Park City and Deer Valley had their guns firing. Alta and Snowbasin did as well," Caitlin Furin, the Director of Communications at Ski Utah, told ABC4 News. 

Postponed opening dates don't dictate an entire season. Last year, a sluggish start to winter storms still lead to record attendance in February and March at Brian Head Resort in Southern Utah. Many skeptics say early season storms are skipping Utah, but Ski Utah isn't concerned. 

"There were some resorts that beat us to  the punch this year as far as getting open first, but here in Utah we have the greatest snow on Earth, and if we are going to wait to ski, that is what we are going to experience," said Furin.

The marketing director at Brighton Resort says pre-season sales have not been impacted by the weather pattern.

For the latest deals and season pass prices, including "Go Cards," visit http://www.brightonresort.com/go-cards/.


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