Saturday, November 24, 2001

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) A series of storms dumped up to 3 feet of snow on Utah’s ski resorts this week, laying down a base at Olympic venues and brightening prospects for Thanksgiving weekend openings.

Park City Mountain Resort, where many events will be held during the games in February, got 2 feet of snow and will open today. A foot fell at Snowbasin, where preparations are under way for alpine events.

“We still don’t have an opening date,” said Snowbasin guest services manager Kevin Stauffer. “But the snow gods and colder temperatures mean our snowmaking is fired up.”

Snow also fell in the Colorado mountains Thursday as Vail opened for the season. Forecasters said more than a foot could fall by today in some places, good news in a state where warm weather had forced World Cup officials to cancel or reschedule ski races earlier this week.

More than 2 feet of snow fell in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, closing at least one pass yesterday. Aspen, which lost some World Cup events to Copper Mountain, received about 10 inches.

Outside Salt Lake City, the Alta ski area received 40 inches of snow in three days.

“This is a good, wet storm,” said Pete Wilensky, a National Weather Service forecaster in Salt Lake City. “Cold air is finally coming in. It looks like we’re going to get sort of wintry.”

Snow also fell at Idaho’s Sun Valley resort, where warm weather had forced officials to put off a Thanksgiving opening.

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