Back to the top, Deer Valley ranks No. 1 |

Back to the top, Deer Valley ranks No. 1

SKI Magazine names the resort the best in North America

Deer Valley Resort topped the rankings this year in the annual SKI Magazine list of mountain resorts. It jumped two spots to reclaim No. 1 in teh influential rankings.
(Courtesy of Eric Schramm)

Every year, SKI Magazine names the top 30 resorts in North America based on reader resort surveys. After six years, Deer Valley Ski Resort again took the No. 1 spot.

Deer Valley jumped to first from their third-place ranking last year, and has consistently stayed in the top three for the past 20 years, according to Bob Wheaton, president and general manager of the resort. It is the only ski resort in North America who has been able to hold this position, he said.

“Having the No. 1 spot, it doesn’t get much cooler than that,” he said. “But also recognizing where we’ve been and how consistent we’ve been received with the skiing public, that’s pretty reassuring as well.”

Park City Mountain Resort was also on the list at No. 16, a three-spot fall from last year’s rank. Jess Miller, spokesperson for the resort, said in an email that the results place PCMR as a strong ski location, but it is just one metric of success.

“While we are happy to participate and proud to be regularly recognized amongst the top resorts, our focus at Park City Mountain remains explicitly on our guests and the ongoing dialogue we are able to maintain with them through very specific guest feedback tools and surveys,” she said.

The resort stresses in-house surveys to measure success and make changes based on responses, she added.

The annual ranking from SKI Magazine uses 10 basic metrics that their readers grade resorts on. This year, Deer Valley placed first in four of those categories: grooming, service, lodging and kid-friendly environment. Deer Valley was touted specifically for its “perfectly spaced aspens,” The Brass Tag’s hot pretzels with fig mustard and the resort’s award-winning ski school. But, Wheaton said, no matter the scenery or fancy buildings, their success is built off of the 2,800 employees.

“It’s really the people that deliver Deer Valley to our guests every day,” he said. “That’s what makes the difference.”

Deer Valley was recently acquired by a multi-resort entity comprising KSL Capital Partners, LLC, and Henry Crown and Company, but Wheaton is not planning any major changes at the resort. He hopes to remain consistent in service and growth, delivering another great ski season to those who come, regardless of SKI Magazine’s ranking.

“The phone rings a little bit more and electronic booking happens a little faster,” Wheaton said. “But as much as anything, it’s a refocus and a reminder to our staff that we need to still be at the top of our game.”

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