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Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Friday, November 30, 2007

Go Hike, As Soon As The Snow Stops

A major storm is pounding Utah right now and it is expected to bring welcome snow to our mountain areas. It has the potential to produce heavy rain in southern Utah, and has prompted a flood watch in the St George area.

Mountain roads statewide will be wet and may have snowpacked spots. Crews anticipated the storm and will be busy all night plowing and salting road surfaces. If you are traveling tonight or tomorrow morning, take care and check local reports for the latest projections.

As the storm passes, ski enthusiasts will hit the resorts to enjoy the new snow. Me, I prefer sunshine and so I'll be hiking in southern Utah's red rock country.

There is still plenty of opportunity to hike in mild conditions in southern Utah. Daytime temperatures are expected to climb into the upper 48s next week in Moab, and into the mid 60s next week in St George. Very nice conditions for desert hiking.

I was at Goblin Valley State Park a couple weeks ago and we enjoyed hiking in warm sunshine. Here's a video clip showing my trip.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ski Resorts Improve Terrain, Lifts and Facilities

Three more Utah ski resorts will open this weekend, and ski conditions are now improving on a daily basis.

Alta and Snowbird will open Friday and Brian Head will follow on Saturday.

Tuesday's storm blanketed resorts with 4-14 inches of new power, depending on location, and a bigger storm is scheduled for Saturday. As a result, ski conditions should be great this weekend. Highway conditions could be ugly in mountain areas Saturday morning, but plow crews will be out in force to keep roads open.

Meanwhile, this new article from the Deseret Morning News lists improvements ski resorts have made since last season. Here are excerpts:

The big news here (Brian Head) is the addition of two new triple, fixed-grip lifts and a bridge. A bridge? This will be a vital connection linking what has been in the past two separate ski areas — Navajo and Giant Step. Skiers will be able to ski over the bridge, which spans the highway, to get to the base lifts of the two areas. The new lifts also opened up roughly 35 acres of new terrain.

DEER VALLEY — More than $9 million was spent over the summer in improvements, which included the new Lady Morgan Express high-speed, detachable chairlift. Since 1990, the resort has spent more than $115 million in improvements, which is one reason it is constantly at the top of the "favorite resort" list for skiers.

The resort also installed a GPS system that will allow staff to determine snow depth on any part of the mountain to aid grooming and snowmaking.

PARK CITY MOUNTAIN RESORT — Skiers will notice dramatic chances in the landscape between Single Jack and Sunnyside runs. The new area will be called Motherlode Meadows. Staff also created a new run off McConkey's lift for intermediate skiers.

Read the entire article.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Festival of Trees Gets Underway

Utah's Festival of Trees, which benefits Primary Children’s Medical Center, got under way today and will continue through Dec 1. Hours are 10 am to 10 pm each day

The festival is held at South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 South State Street, Sandy.

Tickets are $4.00 for adults, $2.50 for children ages 2-11 and for senior citizens.

Discount tickets ($3.50 for adults; $2.00 for children) are available at Zions Banks offices.

Every penny raised is used to provide medical care for needy children at Primary Children’s Medical Center.

For 37 years, the Festival of Trees has been a “Gift of Love” from Utah to children. Come join the fun.

See the festival website for details.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Storm Today Should Improve Ski Conditions

Six Utah ski resorts are now open, and another is scheduled to open Friday. So far skiing is on mostly man-made snow, but that could change this week because several cold winter storms are lined up approaching the state. By weekend, ski conditions should be much improved across the state.

Snow is likely this afternoon and may continue off and on through Friday. Crews will be out plowing roads and so travel should not be impacted much. Still, some mountain roads may become snowpacked so take care and watch the weather reports.

Here's the latest on resort openings:
Brighton - Open
Park City Mtn - Open
Snowbasin - Open
Solitude - Open
The Canyons - Open
Wolf Mtn - Open
Snowbird - Nov 30
Sundance - Dec 7
Deer Valley - Dec 8
Alta - TBA
Beaver Mtn - TBA
Brian Head - TBA
Powder Mtn - TBA

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hitman Comedy To launch Sundance Film Festival

The 2008 Sundance Film Festival will open on Jan 17 in Park City, featuring Playwright Martin McDonagh's first feature: "In Bruges."

The BBC has this report about the announcement. Here are excerpts:

In Bruges stars Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell as two Irish assassins sent to the Belgian city by employer Ralph Fiennes after bungling a job.

"In many ways In Bruges is a quintessential Sundance film," said festival director Geoffrey Gilmore.
"It's brutal, philosophical, funny, and totally original, he continued, describing 37-year-old McDonagh as "a masterful storyteller."
Run by Robert Redford's Sundance Institute, the annual event is America's leading showcase for low-budget, independent and specialty movies.

Read the entire report.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Football Holy War Erupts as BYU hosts Utah Saturday

Bombs will be falling in Utah this week, and fireworks will erupt Saturday as the University of Utah football team invades enemy territory and faces Brigham Young University in a noon game. Traffic will be crazy around LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The rivalry is one of the most intense in the US. The pre-game antics and the action on the field will all prove to be amusing. byu.scout.com has this surprisingly objective look at the game. Here are excerpts:

In recent years, the game has lived up to all the preceding hype and hyperbole, and Saturday’s matchup should be no exception. This season, BYU’s (ranked No. 23 in latest Associated Press and USA Today polls) potent offense has yet to put all the pieces together but has still looked impressive nonetheless. Meanwhile, Utah’s demoralizing defense has been spectacular of late.

Both coaches have their young charges playing close to peak levels at the right time right now heading into the traditional acrimonious rivalry matchup Saturday, which will gift-wrap a second-consecutive Mountain West Conference championship for Mendenhall with a Cougar victory – or an outside shot for Whittingham and Utah to share the MWC title if BYU loses both of its remaining games (against the Utes and San Diego State).

Keys to the game: BYU is playing at home where they enjoy the second-longest home field win streak of any NCAA Div. I team. Moreover, the Cougars’ victory last Saturday at Wyoming represented its 14th straight victory over a MWC league opponent – both at home and on the road.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this headline and story: Rivalry week brings out the best - and worst - of what sport is about. Here's one descriptive tidbit:

In the words of Utah fan Newel White, "It's intense, it's fierce, it's unforgiving to the loser and it makes sensible people highly irrational - isn't that what really matters in a rivalry?"

Friday, November 16, 2007

Explore Utah's Scenic Natural Bridges

Mild temperatures are expected to continue for the next several days, offering perfect conditions for hiking the dry desert canyons of southern Utah.

KUTV has this interesting new report, with video, featuring Natural Bridges National Monument.

In the video, reporter Reece Stein describes hiking under the bridges and includes comments from tourists. As you watch the video clip you get a realistic idea of what it is like to hike there at this time of year.

Watch the video.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dine Out For Thanksgiving Dinner

Want to enjoy a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner without the hassle of cooking - and without having to worry about dirty dishes? This news article suggests Salt Lake, Park City and Midway restaurants serving holiday meals.

Options range from gourmet feasts to traditional family style meals. Prices are all over the board, from $59 per person at Glitretind (at Stein Eriksen Lodge) to $24.75 at the Grub Steak Restaurant to $14.99 at Mimi's Cafe.

Read the complete article.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Solitude Will Open Friday, Other Ski Resorts Watch Weather

Warm and relatively dry weather may interfere with planned opening days for Utah ski resorts. The Salt Lake Tribune gives details in this new article. Here are excerpts:

Solitude in Big Cottonwood Canyon, however, will open Friday as announced. Three runs - Moonbeam, Apex and Links - have enough artificial snow to ski on, said spokesman Dave DeSeelhorst. But most of the mountain awaits some good, old-fashioned Utah dumps of the white stuff.

The Canyons, near Park City, is holding fast to its Saturday start date, said Libby Dowd. But resort officials will make the final decision in the coming days.
The best shot for a storm with significant precipitation is Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
But that won't help at Little Cottonwood Canyon resort Alta, which had scheduled a Thursday opener. Officials there will watch the skies and wait before they crank up the chairlifts, said Connie Marshall.

Next door, at Snowbird, opening day set for Saturday may be put off, said Laura Schaffer.

"We're just going to watch the weather for a while," she said.
At Park City Mountain Resort, Friday's slated opening most likely will be put on hold, said Paula Fabel.


Read the complete article.

Monday, November 12, 2007

'World Class' Ski Community Planned For Heber Valley

Dean Sellers, an Arizona land developer, has launched efforts to build a ski and golf resort community south of Heber City, near the mouth of Daniels Canyon. He has purchased much of the land in the area and has lined up private investors to finance the development. He plans to name the community Aspen, Utah.

The Deseret Morning News published this article about the proposal. Here are excerpts:

"What we have is a big, magnificent piece of raw beauty," Sellers says.

The project is slated as a mixed-use community, to include a "world-class" ski resort, golf course, hotels, upscale retail and commercial, lodges, town homes, condominiums, cabins and cottages on lots varying in size.


KUTV has this report about the project. Here are additional details:

Sellers said he spent more than 30 years in Arizona brokering large residential and commercial developments and had the wherewithal to build a ski town from scratch, with backing from investors he wouldn't identify. He said he acquired 5,700 acres from cattle ranchers, part of the 8,366 acres of land that would form the new town.

Sellers told the AP his land was ideal for a ski area, facing the northeast - the best orientation for snow accumulation. It would rise from about 7,600 feet in elevation to 9,000 feet. The terrain is dotted with mature Aspen trees, justifying the town name, said Sellers, who said he wasn't concerned it could be confused for the Colorado ski town by the same name, 339 miles to the west.

Sellers said he hired some of the best ski engineers to lay out a ski area he said will resemble the nearby resorts of Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley.


This news release describes the project. Here are excerpts:

A new high-end recreation community and resort, rich in amenities including world-class downhill skiing equivalent to Deer Valley, will be built on 8,366 acres in Utah’s Heber Valley, according to Dean K. Sellers, developer. But unlike other recent big-money developments within the state – for example, the Proctor & Gamble paper products manufacturing plant in Box Elder County that received a performance-based incentive package worth up to $85 million in tax rebates over 20 years from the State – Aspen, Utah will be built solely with private funds.

"Utah now has the opportunity to create something that has not been accomplished in the State for more than a quarter of a century. Aspen, Utah will combine the best of Park City and Deer Valley as the newest jewel in the crown of the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Utah Lucky To Have Top Ski Resorts In Nation

Utah ski resorts continue to tally up top rankings in nation-wide and world-wide surveys. In this new article, Ray Grass lists some recent awards and explains why we have the top ski resorts in the nation. Here are excerpts:

I can't tell you how many times I've heard the word "lucky" from out-of-staters in reference to being able to live and ski and/or snowboard in Utah. Lucky to have such great snow. Lucky to have such great mountains. Lucky to have such great resorts and to have them all so close. Lucky to be able to choose a resort just minutes before leaving the house.

The two areas where Utah resorts really stole the hearts of skiers were in the categories of snow and access. Voters placed five Utah resorts in the top 10 for snow and seven in the top 10 when it came to access.

Nowhere in the world are there so many resorts so close.

...There are lots of similar stories. One man surfed in the morning in California, flew to Utah and skied in the afternoon. Another golfed in Arizona and skied in Utah on the same day, and another flew into Utah in the morning from New York, skied and returned to New York in time for a late-evening dinner.


Read the entire article.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Park City Touted as Affordable Winter Vacation Spot

An approaching storm is expected to drop snow on Utah's mountains this weekend, improving conditions as our ski resorts prepare to open the 07/08 season.

Meanwhile, TransWorldNews.com has this new article on Park City. Here are excerpts:

It is time to take the skis out and let the fun begin. Those who are still wondering where to ski this year should consider Park City, Utah.

A beautifully remodeled and redecorated condo, fully equipped with everything from pots and pans in a new kitchen to DVD's in the living room, linens, fireplace and Cable TV, is available for only $135 USD per night.

A 4-Star vacation rental condo located at The Canyons Resort is only $175 USD per night. The Canyons is the largest ski resort in Utah and 5th largest in North America. Guests of this condo will enjoy the comfort and convenience of The Grand Summit. Perfect for a party of 8, this condo has breathtaking views, spa and a restaurant in the lobby.


Read the complete article.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Adopt-A-Native Elder Navajo Rug Show and Sale

Adopt-A-Native Elder presents the 18th Annual Navajo Rug Show and Sale, November 9 - 11, 2007 at Snow Park Lodge in Deer Valley. This year’s theme is A Mother’s Legacy, The Male Weavers and will feature the extraordinary work of many top male weavers. The show provides visitors a unique opportunity to learn more about the Native American culture, witness traditional ceremonies and meet Navajo elders and their families who travel from their homeland for the show.

The Navajo Rug Show and Sale is an annual event organized and staffed by volunteers and funded by gifts, grants and charitable contributions. This generous support makes it possible for the Native American artists and weavers exhibiting at the show to keep 100% of the proceeds from their sales.

The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program is a non-profit, humanitarian organization providing health and sustenance support including food, clothing, heating fuel, and medical supplies to traditional Navajo elders living on the reservation.

More information
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