Looking a little like the Day 1 choreography section of So You Think You Can Dance, about 100 kids and adults showed up in Park City the day before Halloween to help celebrate MJ and the upcoming ski season.
A last minute call out from Park City Mountain Resort led to zombies and skiers meeting on the Town Lift Plaza Oct. 30, 2009, for "Thriller" dance lessons and a taped performance two hours later. The first-ever "Thriller" snow dance drew less than desired numbers but those who were there showed enthusiasm for the now annual Michael Jackson tribute.
The notice from PCMR claimed they were going for a new Guinness Book of World Records record but it may take until next year (or two) to beat the one set by the College of William and Mary who had 242 students, faculty and staff clumsily dancing to the single version of the song (not the music video version). PCMR may have, however, started a record for most people line dancing in snowboard boots.
The dance in Park City was not the true dance done by MJ in the video, rather an extremely modified version. But don't criticize. According to Guinness World Records, the dance has to be at least five minutes of that six-minute single. Secondly, since the dance itself is only two minutes long, naturally it has to be modified to last five minutes. Still, it would have been nice to recognize some of MJ's signature moves.
The PCMR dance itself failed to immediately bring on the snow. Sigh. This week's forecast for sunny skies and highs in the upper 50s and 60s won't do much to change PCMR's Nov. 21 opening day. Fortunately, the nighttime temps are low enough for snowmaking and the guns are blazing at all three Park City resorts: Alta, Snowbird, Solitude and Brighton.
Solitude had their own tribute to Halloween this year when they opened the Link Lift (and the one beginner run) for season passholders; Saturday only. About 100 skiers and boarders trickled in and out during the day -- some in costume, testing their legs, and whetting an appetite for turns. Solitude will officially open for 2009/10 this Friday, Nov. 6, with the Link and Moonbeam lifts.
Halloween 2009 is Solitude's earliest opening. Brighton had a Halloween ski day in 2004. Snowbird's earliest opening was Nov. 5, 2004.