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PARK CITY - While many of the winter's best snowstorms avoided visiting Utah, hordes of skiers and snowboarders still flocked to the state's slopes.

"It's no secret that Mother Nature didn't fully cooperate," Nathan Rafferty, president of Ski Utah, said during a Saturday news conference.

Most state ski areas had to rely heavily on the fake stuff, but the industry was on pace to come close to last season's record attendance figure of more than 4 million skier days, Rafferty said.

Park City Mountain Resort caught about 250 inches of natural snow this season compared with 486 inches the previous season.

Despite the higher amount of manufactured snow, attendance was good, said Krista Parry, a spokeswoman for the ski area.

"We had a very successful year," she said.

Rafferty suggested Utah's ski industry may be enjoying the benefits of three previous record-breaking seasons, all of which featured better snowfalls. While locals may have been leery about fake flakes, out-of-towners didn't seem to mind.

The one set of visitors that resorts had hoped for - snowstorms - only came sporadically, said Brian McInerney of the National Weather Service.

"We got some good early snow," he said.

But starting in November, a high pressure ridge parked itself over the West until about February. That weather pattern acted as a bubble, forcing snowstorms to other areas, he said.

Utah's loss was Canada's gain, as many storms shifted to the north, McInerney explained.

Meager snowpacks, which reached about 50 percent of average in northern Utah, are not only bad news for skiing, but they also spell trouble for the Salt Lake Valley's water resources in the summer.

Saturday's news conference also featured the launch of Ski Utah's new logo - a design which some may find reminiscent of the 2002 Winter Games logo. The design features a stylized snowflake, with the bottom half being a snow-covered peak.

Rafferty said Ski Utah wanted a new logo to showcase both mountains and snow.

The previous logo was capped by an outline of a mountain and included a U.S. flag, which was dropped in the new version.

Though the news conference served as a season wrap, there is still some skiing left to be done.

"It ain't over yet," Rafferty said.

Many Utah ski areas - including Alta, Brian Head, Brighton, Deer Valley, Park City, Snowbasin and Solitude - will stay open until at least April 15.

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