Brighton Ski Resort is a ski area located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, 30 miles (48 km) from downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. Brighton Ski Resort was the first ski resort in Utah, and one of the first in the United States. Brighton was started in 1936 when members of the Alpine Ski Club built a rope tow from wire and an old elevator motor. The resort was named for Thomas W. Brighton, who is credited with constructing the first buildings in the area. Brighton claims to be a "no-frills" resort whose sole business is to provide skiers and snowboarders with top-notch trails. While it does provide lodging, dining, and shopping, the extent of the facilities does not make Brighton what is typically seen as a destination ski resort. Most Brighton skiers and riders are Utah locals. Most visitors do not stay at Brighton-run lodging; many visitors stay in the greater Salt Lake area, many of whom also plan trips to other area ski resorts.
Brighton is also known for its extensive backcountry access, visitors can purchase single ride lift tickets to reach the backcountry access gates at the top of the resort. Although the terrain inbounds at Brighton can rival that of the backcountry, Brighton is known for its cliffs, chutes, bowls and natural features. Brighton was voted to have the 2nd best snow in North America, losing the top spot to its neighbor Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort.
Brighton is on public lands; all of the resort's land is part of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, meaning the whole resort is open to the public year-round, though tickets must be purchased to use the lifts.
Brighton is a local favorite. The resort offers a variety of special deals throughout the year that allow locals to ski cheaply. Generally, during the first Wednesdays in December, the resort offers a promotion called "Quad Wednesdays" where, if one brings an item to contribute to a local charity, one gets his or her lift ticket for one fourth the cost of a regular-priced ticket.
Brighton has some of the most extensive night skiing in the Western U.S., with over 200 acres (0.81 km2), three lifts, and its main mountain terrain park. Night-skiing occurs from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, from early December through early April. Brighton is closed for night skiing on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.
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