Here's the beauty of planning a ski vacation in Utah: World-class resorts are only a 40-minute drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport. That means travelers from the East Coast can hop on an early morning flight and—thanks to the favorable time change—hit the Utah slopes after lunch to fit in a couple hours of skiing or boarding before lifts close in the late afternoon. Of course, I also recommend easing into a ski vacation—acclimating to mountain elevation, checking out local restaurants, and soaking in the hotel's hot tub (there's no harm in soothing travel-weary muscles before your outdoor workout). Plenty of mountain improvements welcome Utah's skiers and snowboarders this season. Here's a snapshot of what's new at some of state's most popular ski areas: