Costumed Utah skiers say goodbye to ski season

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Park City • The snow was sparse and a biting wind made the mid-30s temperatures even colder on Sunday, but the final day at six Utah ski resorts had two essential ingredients for an end of season party.

It was sunny and plenty of skiers and snow boarders were willing to dress in ridiculous costumes.

"My legs are a little purple, but it's getting warmer," said Jordan Jeppesen, who wore jean shorts at the Canyons Resort, his 61st day on the mountain this season.

Others were dressed in neon snowsuits from the 80s, tutus atop snow pants, Sunday best suits, Dracula capes and even a Gumby costume. A few women wore that staple of spring skiing ­— bikini tops.

At Snowbasin, where the parking lot looked more like a tailgate party for a football game, Art Hers of Mendon dropped his ski pants to show off his short, short basketball trunks, a la the 1980s, the theme at the Weber County resort.

"We'll see if I get bold enough to ski in them," Hers said.

"This was as 80s as I could get," said his daughter, Jen Britt of Mendon, who wore pink plaid snow pants and a purple and neon orange coat.

Jeppesen wishes the Canyons would stay open longer for season-pass holders like him, but acknowledges it's a matter of money when the crowds fade, like the snow, in the spring.

Five resorts had already closed, and six more closed Sunday — Canyons, Deer Valley, Park City, Snowbasin, Solitude and Brian Head.

Brighton, Alta and Snowbird remain open, although Alta is not open Mondays through Thursdays.

"At the end of the day, it doesn't make sense financially to stay open past a set closing date unless it's an extraordinary year," said Canyons spokesman Steve Pastorino.

Chris McGivney and Lisa McCreary wore lavender and blue tutus — his on his knee, hers on her waist — to the Canyons. McGivney also wore a bright pink one-piece snowsuit he picked up at a Park City thrift store. He stuck a blue flower in his baseball cap, matching McCreary's blue wig.

While he rode on 18 inches of fresh snow at the Canyons earlier in the week, McGivney said he understands why the resort closes even when it has 4 inches of fresh snow, as Canyons did Sunday, and more in the forecast.

"It's fleeting and the conditions change every day. It melts," he said.

Dani Sirkel hauled a bottle of champagne to the Canyons, where, sitting in a lawn chair in her gold sequined top, she shared drinks with friends before a final run or two of the season.

Her job and many others ended this weekend as Park City restaurants closed for the shoulder — or mud — season between winter and summer tourist influxes.

"Today is our big day to celebrate," said Will Jordan, wearing a North Carolina jersey with Michael Jordan's 23 across the chest.

At Snowbasin, Kelsey Bingham set up a grill and brought hotdogs and hamburgers for the traditional family picnic on the final day.

"It's not about skiing," said Bingham. "It's about closing out winter and welcoming the summer."

Twitter: @KristenMoulton