PARK CITY, Utah — In accordance with a newly passed Senate bill, Utahns may only have to set their clocks back one more time in 2023 as daylight savings would be made permanent.
On March 15, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bill that would eliminate the need to spring forward and fall back. It would also add more light to the later hour of the day but greatly impact when the sun rises in the morning.
If approved by the House and President Joe Biden, the sun wouldn’t rise above the Wasatch Mountains until 9 a.m. in the winter.
While many are clearly in favor of the permanent change, this could greatly impact the ski industry.
In an article with 5280, Tony Cammarata, operations director at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area in Colorado shared that the change could significantly impact safety protocols and potentially delay opening.
“A lot of what we do in the morning revolves around safety checks to make sure that not only our guests but our employees are safe,” Cammarata said.
However, while opening may be delayed, the extra hours of sunlight could potentially extend the hours of operation in the evenings and make up for whatever could be lost in the morning.
In addition to the impact on skiing, another perspective to consider is how the sun impacts our daily cycle. According to an article by the Salt Lake Tribune, Dr. Kelly Glazer Baron, a clinical psychologist at University of Utah Health who specializes in behavioral sleep medicine claims that this could impact “internal rhythms”.
“The problem with that is that we need morning sun to synchronize our internal rhythms,” Baron said. “Your internal clock runs on its own independent clock in your brain, but it’s linked in to this 24-hour day, synced up with a light-dark cycle. That’s one of the reasons why we say ‘don’t get too much evening light,’ or ‘wear blue blocker glasses’ or ‘don’t use electronics late at night’ because that nighttime light is keeping us up later.”
Overall, the bill will still need to pass through the House and be signed by President Joe Biden in order for it to take effect in 2023.