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Despite what many Utahns think, the 2014-15 ski season was not a complete loss.

Most skiers and snowboarders reported better-than-expected conditions throughout the season — at least until the recent spate of warm weather.

"There are brown spots everywhere. It is tragic," John Eckert said Wednesday while basking in the sun at Solitude Mountain Resort's parking lot in Big Cottonwood Canyon. "Instead of finishing with 350 to 400 inches [of annual snowfall], it's like 200."

Two resorts already are closed — one never opened and the other closed in mid-February due to warm temperatures and rain. Eagle Point near Beaver will turn off the lifts this weekend. The bulk of the other resorts will end the season April 12 or 19.

Most Utah resorts try to open by Thanksgiving and close on Easter Sunday. Those opening and closing dates are usually set to create certainty for temporary resort employees, who make plans for other jobs long before the season ends.

But everything can change with the weather. In 2011, Utahns were skiing Snowbird's slopes on the Fourth of July.

And again this year, Snowbird plans to hang on as long as the snow is safe.

"As we do every year, Snowbird plans to stay open as long as we can provide good skiing and riding," said Dave Fields, vice president of Snowbird's resort operations. "I hear the same thing every day from people who come up and ski: 'It's much better than I expected.'"

Ski Utah officials will review skier days for the 2014-15 season once the resorts are closed. But Ski Utah president Nathan Rafferty said recent numbers from Colorado, showing an increase in visitation in January and February, are probably a good indicator for Utah.

"They were tracking ahead of last year, and that was an all-time record," Rafferty said. "It will be interesting, but we typically follow their numbers pretty closely."

If Utah gets frequent powder dumps during the season, skiers often will book a flight. But a large portion of Utah's skiers come to the state every year from other places and planned their trips long before winter arrived. Those plans rarely change based on the weather.

"People in the valley look at the weather we have had and probably go, 'Wow. It must have been a rough year for the resorts,'" Rafferty said. "The good side of being a destination state is people come despite that perception."

March is typically the start of real spring skiing conditions in Utah — with balmy temperatures and slushy snow. But the spring season started a little earlier this year.

Warm weather is not necessarily a bad thing. Special events noting the end of the ski season — including the annual pond-skimming event at the Canyons this Saturday at noon — always draw a crowd.

Twitter: @BrettPrettyman —

Utah Ski Resort Closing Dates

Eagle Point • March 22

Beaver Mountain • March 22 (Reopen weekend of March 27-29)

Sundance • April 5

Brianhead • April 12 (Reopen weekend of April 24-26)

Canyons • April 12

Deer Valley • April 12

Powder Mountain • April 12

Snowbasin • April 12

Solitude • April 12

Alta • April 19 (Reopen weekend of April 24-26)

Brighton • April 19

Park City • April 19

Snowbird • To be determined

Nordic Valley • Closed

Cherry Peak • Closed

Source: Ski Utah. All dates weather dependent.