Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sun Valley named 5th best ski resort

Resort moves up from 9th place in Ski magazine survey


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

Bald Mountain, the centerpiece of Sun Valley’s winter activities, looms over Ketchum. Express file photo

Preserving access to Sun Valley, especially by way of a local airport, has become a hot political issue facing the Wood River Valley as it struggles through the recession. Access is already considered difficult by some visitors, but perhaps it's worth noting that the very isolation that merchants and politicians fear most could be an attraction for many skiers.

Sun Valley rose four spots this year to fifth place in the annual Ski magazine reader survey, which ranks the top ski resorts in North America. Deer Valley, Utah, was once again rated No. 1.

The survey, now in its 24th year, provides an opportunity to see Sun Valley as the rest of the world does.

The competition is based on 18 categories of evaluation covering on- and off-mountain amenities, including terrain, scenery, nightlife and guest services.

Sun Valley ranked in the top 10 in 12 of the categories, taking first in the lifts category, and second place in the grooming, service, on-mountain food and character categories.

Area restaurants ranked third in the dining category.

The resort did not place in the top 10 categories for weather, value or access, but those skiers who managed to find their way to Sun Valley liked what they found, on and off the hill.

Only Whistler-Blackcomb in British Columbia and Heavenly in California ranked higher with regard to off-mountain activities.

Telluride, Colo., a well-known party town, ranked lower than Sun Valley in the nightlife, character and overall satisfaction categories.

So why did Sun Valley move up in the ranks? It has as much to do with what Sun Valley doesn't have as what it does. Ketchum is described in the survey as the "original funky ski town."

"Readers bemoan the isolation, but that is how Sun Valley keeps its character," the magazine reported.

The magazine gave a nod to Sun Valley's illustrious history, but activities favored by locals gained the most attention. They include shopping at the Gold Mine ("the ski world's best thrift shop"), taking the kids sledding on Penny Hill and soaking at Frenchman's hot springs west of Ketchum. Perhaps the legendary "Moss Man" of Frenchman's hot spring will see a revival this winter.

Sun Valley also got points for new terrain parks for kids and a first-class lunch at Seattle Ridge.

"This is utopia," said one surveyed reader. "I measure every other resort against this one."

________________________________________________________

Ski's Top 10

1. Deer Valley, Utah

2. Vail, Colo.

3. Whistler-Blackcomb, B.C.

4. Snowmass, Colo.

5. Sun Valley, Idaho

6. Park City, Utah

7. Beaver Creek, Colo.

8. Steamboat, Colo.

9. Breckenridge, Colo.

10. Telluride, Colo.

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.