If there is an aversion to the inversion from tourists visiting the state to ski, there are very few signs of it. This is the biggest week of the ski season with visitors paying up to $2,500 dollars a week to rent an SUV, if they can find one. Susie English is the communications director of Ski Utah, a non-profit organization that promotes the ski and snowboard industry in the state. She says the weather and snow are excellent even though some resorts still have early season conditions.
“Deer Valley will actually sell out during this week. They limit the number of lift tickets they sell," says English, "and so this is…you know the season truly starts this week.”
English says poor air quality is a factor keeping people away but she says the cleaner air at higher elevations is also a reason to make the trip.
“It takes 20 minutes to get up and out of the air and you’re in these gorgeous mountains and even if you’re not a skier or a snowboarder, you can just go and hike or whatever you want to do…um beautiful blue sky when you don’t even know it’s like that when you’re in Salt Lake,” says English.
She says Ski Utah meets many summer and fall convention visitors during events like ComicCon to promote skiing in the state. She says only about 25 percent of Wasatch Front residents ski, and statewide that number drops to 7 percent. Ski Utah works to grow the industry in Utah with big discounts for youngsters. 8,000 passes to all Utah resorts were handed out worldwide through the 5th and 6th Grade Passport program.