Don’t put away those boots just yet! Last weekend was the President’s Day holiday, which essentially means that all of Southern California just had its way with any ski resort within reach. But now that the mayhem is over, it’s our turn again. So, quick, before your thoughts turn to bikinis and pool parties, remember: It’s still very cold just about everywhere else in the U.S. except here! In this month’s ski and winter sports report, we visit a boutique Utah resort that’s just 30 minutes past Brian Head Resort and well worth the drive.
Making up for a lackluster January snowfall, Eagle Point Resort is once again a winter wonderland thanks to a solid two weeks of the good stuff and low, low temperatures. Eagle Point rewards committed snow hounds with more than 600 skiable acres, five lifts, a newly expanded and relocated ParkFab terrain park and 40 runs spread across two mountains. The first is exclusively dedicated to beginner (20 percent) and intermediate (35 percent) runs, while the second is a challenging playground for the advanced/expert snow-sports enthusiast (45 percent), with a few beautifully groomed and lots of au naturel black diamond runs. Plus, the resort is only open Thursday through Sunday, with zero snowmaking, so first tracks on Thursday after a snowfall is about as good as it gets!
New for this season, a hot line upgrades the Skyline Café at the upper lodge so you needn’t always come down to the main Canyonside Lodge for a hot meal while you ride. The upper ridgeline snow cat that previously serviced the most wicked runs on the expert mountain has been replaced by a short surface lift, allowing you to reach the resort’s furthest boundary—or beyond, into the backcountry—without completely unbuckling or taking your skis off. New luxury ski-in, ski-out lodging units have been added into the rental pool (check out the Aspen Suites at Wooded Ridge with Direct TV) and fun new features have been added to the terrain park.
Looking further out about a year or two, keep an eye on the Glacier Glade run’s treeline for signs of progress on Aspen Crest, an 85-acre all ski-in, ski-out community with home sites for sale this summer, condos and eventually a hotel. The resort has already broken ground on the access road for the three-phase project.
But perhaps the best changes for this season are the prices for a lift ticket: $10 on Thursday, $25 Friday and Sunday, and $48 Saturday. And children 6 and under are free. Yes, seriously.
Beyond the attractive prices, what I love most about this mountain—and why I’m happy to drive the extra 30 minutes for the privilege—is that Eagle Point Resort has been privately owned by three guys since just before it opened for the 2010 season. Unlike at most massive mountain resorts, owner-operator Shane Gadbaw lives on-site with his family—there are runs named for his children. He’s likely to be the first person you encounter on Thursdays and Saturdays, while on Fridays and Sundays you’ll see him on the slopes, helping the fallen and tossing stray pebbles off the trail. Since Gadbaw and his partners control the entire resort experience from check in, ticketing and rentals to the excellent dining and bar options, they can make small tweaks and measure successes.
The winter fun continues 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, through April 6. Come and get it!
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