ALTA, Utah (ABC4) — The town marshal of Alta has deputized ski patrols on Monday for the first time ever so that they have the ability to enforce interlodge orders.

An interlodge event is when snow levels are so high that patrons and employees will be confined to resort buildings as avalanche mitigation work is being performed. Alta officials say that because 80% of the buildings in the town are in avalanche slide paths, it is prohibited to move outdoors between lodges and other buildings while an interlodge order is in place.

On Monday, April 3, the entire ski patrol force at Alta was sworn in as “special deputies” with power to issue interlodge citations. The town of Alta was placed under interlodge on Monday, April 3, at 8 p.m. with no estimated opening time.

Per the ordinances in the town of Alta, violating an interlodge order is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.

“The hills have eyes,” Alta officials warned. “Don’t go outside after closure goes into effect.”

After receiving more than 200 inches of snow in March, Alta became the first Utah ski resort to surpass the 800-inch mark in 2023. To put the achievement in context, Alta Ski Area usually averages a snowfall total of about 475 inches each winter season.

As of April 4, Alta Ski Area’s snowfall total sits at 834 inches and counting, breaking its previous record of 748 inches during the 1981-82 season.

While back-to-back winter storms brought good news to Alta’s snowfall totals, they also forced the ski resort to shut down multiple times the past week due to dangerous weather conditions.

State Route 210, which leads to Alta, had been closed since Monday for avalanche mitigation work. Additionally, Alta Ski Area announced that it will be closed on Tuesday and was only partially open on Monday.

According to Alta officials, the National Weather Service expects a major winter storm to impact the town until Wednesday, April 5, with snow totals that may go up to 60 inches. Guests should expect extended interlodge orders and prolonged road closures, especially for SR 210.