Deer Valley retains tops honors among world ski industry |

Deer Valley retains tops honors among world ski industry

Resort is named best in the U.S. at ceremony in Austria

Kristen Gould Case
Special to The Park Record
Deer Valley Resort Director of Sales Dirk Beal accepting the “United States’ Best Ski Resort” award for Deer Valley at the World Ski Awards Gala Ceremony in Kitzbühel, Austria. Photo courtesy World Ski Awards

Deer Valley Resort was named “Best United States’ Ski Resort” for the fourth year in a row by the World Ski Awards. The awards celebrate “excellence in ski tourism” and were decided by more than two million votes garnered worldwide from ski tourism professionals including luxury travel consumers as well as industry executives, tour operators, agents, media and travel buyers.

The winners were celebrated at a red carpet gala in Kitzbühel, Austria, one of the world’s most lauded ski destinations, famous for its thrilling and dangerous Hahnenkamm downhill course.

Deer Valley Resort Director of Sales Dirk Beal attended the event to accept the award on behalf of the Deer Valley team.

Three other Park City establishments were honored with World Ski Awards honors, as well. Washington School House won “Best U.S. Ski Boutique Hotel, Deer Field Estate in Deer Crest won “Best U.S. Ski Chalet” and Stein Eriksen Lodge won “Best U.S. Ski Hotel.”

Stein Eriksen Lodge Hotel Manager Dan Flick also traveled to Kitzbühel to accept the award. Both Flick and Beal dedicated the awards to the late Stein Eriksen, namesake of the lodge, and Deer Valley’s director of skiing for 34 years, who passed away last December at the age of 88. Eriksen was awarded the World Ski Awards’ “Outstanding Contribution to Ski Tourism” honor at last year’s event, but was unable to travel to Austria to accept it in person.

“It was such a shame that Stein passed away just a month after the awards last year,” said Beal. “The World Ski Awards staff presented a nice tribute to Stein at the beginning of the ceremony this year. Then Dan and I both dedicated the awards in remembrance of Stein and talked about what an inspiration Stein was to the sport of skiing and how his spirit lives on at Deer Valley. The international crowd really appreciated it. You have to remember that Kitzbühel is just steeped in history, being one of the birthplaces of skiing … that’s clearly why the World Ski Awards ceremony is held there.

“Thirty countries were represented at the event, an all-time high. The history and the scope of who’s there from the international ski industry and how ingrained skiing is in their cultures runs much deeper than it does in the U.S. It’s a really big deal.”

Beal said that one of the highlights of the trip was getting to enjoy a luncheon for participants in the starting hut at the top of the Hahnenkamm course.

According to Deer Valley Resort Senior Communications Manager Emily Summers, “This award is extra special because it’s voted on by peers in our industry from literally all over the world. It has a lot of weight to it. Industry experts from over 100 countries participate in voting, so it’s on a global scale. To see the respect for our resort from so many people in the industry worldwide is truly exciting. Although the World Ski Awards are newer than some, they get a lot of attention in Europe. I’m impressed by the sheer number of people who participate.”

Other U.S. resorts nominated for the “United States’ Best Ski Resort” were Park City as well as Alta, Aspen/Snowmass, Beaver Creek, Big Sky, Crested Butte, Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Methow Valley, Snowbird, Squaw Valley, Steamboat, Stowe, Sun Valley, Telluride and Vail. France’s Val Thorens resort won “World’s Best Ski Resort.”

Deer Valley Resort is scheduled to open for the 2016/2017 ski season on Saturday, Dec. 3.

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