Wednesday, October 10, 2007

We?re #10!

Sun Valley ranks 10th in Ski magazine reader survey

Express Staff Writer

A skier heads down Bald Mountain at Sun Valley Resort, ranked by Ski magazine readers as a ?top 10? ski destination. Photo by Mountain Express

For the third year in a row, Sun Valley was ranked 10th among Western resorts in Ski magazine's annual reader survey.

Published in the magazine's October issue, the survey awarded its top three places to Deer Valley, Utah: Vail, Colo.; and Whistler, British Columbia.

Rankings were awarded in 18 categories. Sun Valley placed third in service and on-mountain food, fifth in dining and lodging, seventh in lifts and eighth in grooming.

The magazine calls Sun Valley "chic and expensive, yet surprisingly authentic." Though the resort failed to make the top 10 in either the terrain/variety or terrain/challenge categories, one reader called Baldy the "perfect mountain for near-endless ripping and cruising." Readers also praised the resort's efficient lift system, lack of crowds and great grooming.

The magazine mentions expense and difficult access as Sun Valley's deficiencies.

Among Sun Valley's major competitors, Aspen, Colo., placed fourth, Park City, Utah, placed sixth, Jackson Hole, Wyo., placed 15th and Snowbird, Utah, placed 19th.

Deer Valley, which touts the degree to which it pampers its skiers, also achieved its ranking through grooming (runs re-groomed at midday), service and on-mountain food.

A survey that gives as much weight to on-mountain food and apres-ski as it does to snow and terrain may raise eyebrows among serious skiers. Only two of the top 10 finishers—Vail and Whistler—got there through high marks in terrain.

Snowbasin, Utah, Sun Valley's sister resort, was ranked 29th, but scored No. 1 in lifts, No. 2 in on-mountain food and No. 4 in service. Clearly, owner Earl Holding has set a high standard to ensure his guests' comfort.

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