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Deer Valley: still king of the mountains

Park City residents can practically roll out of bed onto the slopes of two of the nation’s top ten ski areas three, if you count the top 25.

SKI Magazine has released its annual readers’ survey and the results are being cheered with high fives and fist bumps all along the Wasatch Back.

Deer Valley held onto its No. 1 spot, Park City Mountain Resort moved up from sixth to fifth place and The Canyons hopped from 18th to 13th place.

According to SKI Magazine editor Greg Ditrinco, "people are looking for more than just putting skis on snow. They are looking for the full resort experience." And that, he says, is where Park City’s resorts shine.

It’s as much about going downtown as skiing, "and that is where your region does well," he said. According to Ditrinco, the resorts’ efforts to provide a wide variety of activities along with the city’s vibrant Main Street are "as good as it gets."

Deer Valley Resort President Bob Wheaton delivered the news to his staff on Wednesday during h his annual "State of the Valley" message. It is the fourth time in the last eight years the magazine’s readers have put Deer Valley on top. The resort edged out one of its fiercest competitors, Vail Resort for the second year in a row.

According to Deer Valley’s director of marketing Coleen, Reardon, the resort’s secret weapon is its guest services. "I think it’s our services, the way we provide the whole vacation experience." Reardon said she also believes that the price gap among the country’s top ski areas has narrowed, "so people are realizing Deer Valley’s value."

The ranking’s sneak preview was greeted with equal enthusiasm at Park City Mountain Resort. According to Krista Parry, PCMR’s marketing director, "we saw a huge increase in rankings in service, family programs and terrain variety, which coincides with the things we have been focusing on as a company."

Ditrinco attributed the uptick for The Canyons to its relative newness and to its ability to earn return visits. "The Canyons is still being discovered by our readers. They seem to like what they see and they are going back."

SKI Magazine mails out about 25,000 copies of the annual survey that asks readers to rank ski areas in 18 categories. They also sent about 30,000 emails linking subscribers to a secure Web site survey. According to Ditrinco, they get 10-15 percent, or 5,000 to 8,000 completed questionnaires back each year. The results, along with snapshot descriptions of each ski area appear in the October edition which arrives on newsstands this week.

"It is our best-read issue. It’s the absolute bible for travel planning," he said.

The top ten ski areas in North America according to the readers of SKI Magazine are:

  • 1. Deer Valley
  • 2. Vail, Colo.
  • 3. Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C.
  • 4. Snowmass, Colo.
  • 5. Park City Mountain Resort
  • 6. Beaver Creek, Colo.
  • 7. Aspen, Colo.
  • 8. Steamboat, Colo.
  • 9. Breckenridge, Colo.
  • 10. Telluride, Colo.


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