Closing Day At The Wasatch Front Resorts: A Tradition Unlike Any Other


Kiffer Creveling

Enjoying the last day of the ski season at Snowbird during the annual pond skim on Sunday, May 13, 2018. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling)

Dan Belding

As mid-winter, bluebird powder days fade into spring conditions full of heavy snow and warm weather, many skiers and snowboarders are stuck reminiscing the months past. However, the transition from winter to spring skiing does come with some solace: closing day traditions. While some resorts keep it simple with riders wearing funny costumes and tailgating in the parking lot, others go above and beyond. With no shortage of visitors, Brighton and Alta remain local crowd favorites for their legendary late season traditions.

Brighton typically follows a pattern of closing mid-April, yet this year’s massive snowpack could push that back. Attendees of Brighton’s final day of the season can expect the typical costumes, Hawaiian shirts, grilling, and loud 80s music from all corners of the resort. However, what separates Brighton’s last day from others is the famous last run of the season down Snake Creek. If the all-day sun, riding, and barbecue haven’t tired you out, head up the Snake Creek lift just before the last chair of the season. As riders gather at the top, you can join in on picnics, snowball fights, karaoke, and finally, the bittersweet final run of the season. Once the mob of skiers and boarders reach the parking lot, everyone reconvenes to continue the antics and exchange past winter’s stories.  

One of the most renowned closing days in Utah and perhaps, even in the ski community is Frank Day at Alta. Each closing day the “Franks” of Utah gather at Alta for a slushy blowout. A Frank is a skier who loves all things American flag print, skiing in jeans, mogul runs, and big air. These elements embody the day. The event draws hundreds from far and wide who gather under the Wildcat Lift and launch off the famous Punk Rock kicker. Skiers are cheered on from megaphones that have been loosely coined “official” judges as they throw their best tricks into the forgiving snow while being showered by snowballs and hotdogs. Even though Alta is a skiers-only resort, many snowboarders are roped into stopping by the resort for a day of fun each spring.

While it pains skiers and snowboarders to come to terms with their favorite resorts closing, the outlandish and wildly fun closing day traditions can make the hurt just a little more bearable.

Enjoying last day of skiing at Alta Ski Resort in Salt Lake City, Utah on Sunday, April 15, 2018. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling)