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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of September 24 - 30, 2003


Resort makes
Ski’s Top 10

Sun Valley ranked 7th
in magazine survey

SKI magazine’s Top 10 resorts:

  • Vail, Colo.
  • Whistler, British Columbia
  • Deer Valley, Utah
  • Snowmass, Colo.
  • Steamboat Springs, Colo.
  • Breckenridge, Colo.
  • Sun Valley, Idaho
  • Beaver Creek, Colo.
  • Park City, Utah
  • Telluride, Colo.

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley ski area and resort this month was ranked seventh best in North America by the readers of Ski magazine, after earning rave reviews for its service, on-mountain food and lifts.

In the October issue of the Colorado-based publication, which was released earlier this month, Sun Valley was given an overall ranking above such revered ski-industry competitors as Park City, Utah, Telluride, Colo., and Aspen, Colo.

Carol Waller, executive director of the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber and Visitors Bureau, said the recognition is significant in maintaining Sun Valley’s reputation as a world class ski destination. "Sun Valley has been in the Top 10 ever since I’ve been here, and anytime you make the Top 10, it’s something to be proud of," she said. "This is certainly a feather in Sun Valley’s cap."

Vail, Colo., with its vast 5,289 acres of terrain, was ranked first in North America by readers of Ski, despite not earning a No. 1 ranking in any particularly category.

Other ski resorts that earned higher ranks than Sun Valley include: Whistler/Blackcomb, British Columbia (2); Deer Valley, Utah (3); Snowmass, Colo. (4); Steamboat, Colo. (5); and Breckenridge, Colo. (6).

Sun Valley scored very highly with Ski readers in categories related to services. The resort ranked second in overall service and on-mountain food, third in lift systems, fourth in grooming, and fifth in lodging—a ranking which was certainly influenced by Sun Valley’s grand lodge and vast assortment of vacation-rental apartments.

Sun Valley and Ketchum also earned a 10th place ranking in "apres-ski" activities.

Sun Valley fared less well in categories such as access and value (66th overall). It also suffered in a ranking of mountain terrain parks (69th), a category that the resort will likely improve in next year after a new half-pipe feature is opened this winter on Bald Mountain.

Jack Sibbach, marketing and public relations director for Sun Valley Resort, said he will continue to work to improve visitor access to Sun Valley. "Every year we consistently get poor marks for accessibility, and we as a community need to keep working to improve that," he said.

The ski area also earned a below-average ranking for its snow conditions (47th), with one reader reportedly complaining to magazine editors that Sun Valley is "too sunny" and consequently lacks natural snow.

However, Bald Mountain was highly touted by Ski’s surveyed readers for its skier-friendly terrain and veritable lack of lift lines. "Six people constitute a lift line here. On Christmas," the article notes.

One of Sun Valley’s key regional competitors, Jackson Hole, Wyo., was ranked 17th overall in the reader survey. The ski resort—known for its steep chutes and double-diamond expert slopes—was ranked first overall in North America for its terrain and degree of challenge. At the same time, Jackson Hole earned poor or average rankings in two areas in which Sun Valley was deemed excellent: grooming (72nd) and on-mountain food (47th).

Ketchum listed in
‘18 Best Ski Towns’

Express Staff Writer

While the readers of Ski magazine have placed Sun Valley in their "Top 10" list of ski resorts, the editors this month listed Ketchum as one of North America’s best ski towns, particularly for retirees.

In its September issue, the Colorado-based magazine named Ketchum as one of the continent’s best ski towns for "a relaxed retirement."

The feature article praises Ketchum and Sun Valley’s quaint, historic atmosphere, saying the area is "still the same classic, family ski and summer destination it has always been."

All told, the magazine named 18 ski towns that it preferred for "family-style success," "a relaxed retirement," and "ski bumming in style." Six towns were selected in each category.

Listed with Ketchum as best retirement ski towns were: Aspen, Colo. (despite an average home price of $3.8 million); Harbor Springs, Mich.; Stowe, Vt.; Taos, N.M.; and Woodstock, Vt., which is located in proximity of five ski areas.

Jackson, Wyo., Ketchum’s regional competitor to the east, was selected by Ski as one of the best towns for "ski bumming in style."



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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.