On Thanksgiving Day last year, Snowbird President Bob Bonar hiked on bare dirt to the top of the tram wearing shorts and a T-shirt, trying to decide whether to delay opening day. "It was like a ghost town here," he says. "But then it started snowing that night."
Two days later, Bonar was skiing waist-deep powder. It snowed 100 inches in 100 hours-making it the quickest rags-to-riches turnaround he's seen in 30 years at the resort. "We called it the Hail Mary storm," he says.
The blizzard brought the first of four "Interlodges" of the season-a policy during high snowfall that restricts vacationers to the confines of their hotels. No skiing, no driving-not even to catch a flight. (Though someone did hire Wasatch Powder Guides one year to fly him to the airport.) The upside: Sequestered skiers get first crack at powder that's been accumulating for days, while the masses from Salt Lake are stuck crawling up the canyon road.