Ski Southern Utah, already? Revamped Brian Head opens early

Opening day at Brian Head, A snowboarder on the "Heavenly Daze" run, Brian Head Resort, Brian Head, Utah, Nov. 15, 2013 | Photo by Mike Saemisch, Courtesy of Josh Madsen, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Skiers and snowboarders rejoice: This past Friday, Brian Head ski resort opened for the season — weeks before usual. The third resort in all of Utah to open this winter season, Brian Head is boasting $3.5 million worth of improvements this year, including a revamped terrain park, renovated lodges, and updated night skiing options.

Currently, Brian Head has an 18-inch snow base, plus more snow collecting from Brian Head’s snow machines, the resorts sales and marketing manager, Josh Madsen, said. Temperatures are ideal for increasing their snow base, plus more snow is in the near forecast.

Opening day at Brian Head, Skiers and Snowboarders on the "Heavenly Daze" run, Brian Head Resort, Brian Head, Utah, Nov. 15, 2013 | Photo by Mike Saemisch, Courtesy of Josh Madsen, St. George News
Opening day at Brian Head, Skiers and Snowboarders on the “Heavenly Daze” run, Brian Head Resort, Brian Head, Utah, Nov. 15, 2013 | Photo by Mike Saemisch, Courtesy of Josh Madsen, St. George News

Although the entire resort isn’t open yet,  Madsen said they didn’t wan’t to wait any longer this year. “Everyone is excited to get on snow and have a long and great winter,” he said. “Why not open early?” For now, Brian Head has opened three ski runs, a terrain park and one of their eight chair lifts.

Adult lift tickets are $25 a day and Brian Head is open seven days a week. Costs for season tickets vary with special discounts for students and seniors.

Millions of dollars in upgrades

One of the sizable additions this year is the “Bag Jump” which is located in Brian Head’s terrain park. The first of its kind in Utah. It’s basically a gigantic 40 square foot airbag. Essentially it works like a foam pit, Madsen said. “People can actually build snow jumps into it.” Even though the bag jump isn’t open this early in the season, Madsen said it will be once they get a little more snow. The bag jump will cost $20 a day for an unlimited number of jumps.

Besides the bag jump much of the revamped terrain park system is currently open. The new terrain system, will consist of four progressive park areas – Foundation, Detour, Bypass and the Bag Jump – and collectively called the Stephen Wade Auto Centers Training Grounds. The training grounds will feature a construction theme and over 20 new features this year.

Lastly Brian Head Resort is stepping up its game by revamping its terrain park system.

For night skiers and snowboarders, this year, Brian Head has added more night runs, and lighted the terrain park. A new stone patio and gas fire pits have been added for visitors to warm up by at night.

Two of Brian Head’s lodges have also had makeovers. The Giant Steps Lodge and Navajo Lodge boast new interiors, new restaurants and food options, and a new bar, the Last Chair Saloon bar at Giant Steps Lodge.

Besides the upgrades, Brian Head still features 650 acres of lift-served trails with an average snowfall of nearly 400 inches a year. The highest peak of Brian Head’s ski resort is listed at 11,307 feet above sea level. With that elevation above sea level,  Brian Head is the highest ski resort in Utah.

For up to date condition reports visit Brian Head’s conditions page or watch the resort’s live webcam.

The “other Southern Utah ski resort,” Eagle Point is slated to open Dec. 19.

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Opening day at Brian Head, A snowboarder on the "Heavenly Daze" run, Brian Head Resort, Brian Head, Utah, Nov. 15, 2013 | Photo by Mike Saemisch, Courtesy of Josh Madsen, St. George News
Opening day at Brian Head, A snowboarder on the “Heavenly Daze” run, Brian Head Resort, Brian Head, Utah, Nov. 15, 2013 | Photo by Mike Saemisch, Courtesy of Josh Madsen, St. George News

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1 Comment

  • Stewart Scoles November 20, 2013 at 12:31 am

    The Bag Jump sounds great at only $20 but guessing it’s going to be crowded peak times

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