2018 and the Winter that Never Quite Was
For many of us in the mountain west, this winter was a challenging and discouraging one. Utah experienced one of its driest seasons in history while just a few hundred miles north, Montana got buried; doubtlessly diverting a large percentage of our ski visitors chased the storms to other mountain destinations. A meager 18” of snow was recorded at the base of Park City Mountain by December 22nd. Mid-February had a third of the average snowfall compared to a normal year and as a final adieu, with rain in the forecast on closing day weekend, Park City resorts closed out the season with an approximate 50-inch base. As if Mother Nature was sending us a peace offering on closing day, we were able to enjoy the day with sun and snow, making for a bittersweet farewell.
We are tremendously grateful for the efforts on behalf of our resorts and the 25-year evolution of the snow-making process. Man-made snow was a savior in securing our ski season and ensuring that our guests were still able to have an enjoyable and memorable vacation. Good snow year or bad snow year, snow-making is a fundamental contribution to keeping our locals and guests happy.
During such years when low snow forecasts redirect travelers to better ski conditions, group bookings help preserve our season. Groups book well in advance and look forward to their travel plans regardless of the snow conditions. We are already seeing an uptick in bookings for February and March of 2019.
While visitors may have spent fewer days on the mountain this year, our restaurants and retail outlets saw an increase in traffic. Concierge services increased exponentially in comparison to last winter season and Park City Lodging enjoyed the opportunity to connect with our guests and community more frequently, expanding services and cultivating more personal relationships and rapport. I’m incredibly proud and very grateful to my team for their creative efforts in reservations and marketing and also to our homeowners for allowing us the flexibility to address the challenges of a season not seen since 1976. With this demanding season behind us, we welcome a magnificent Park City summer and look forward to new opportunities for growth and success.