Sept. 13 editorial |

Sept. 13 editorial

SKI rankings: It's not just the ski areas, it's the whole package

It’s clear from the results of the latest SKI Magazine readers’ survey that skiers are looking for more than a mountain with some snow on it.

And that’s where Park City shines in spite of its convoluted liquor laws.

In the latest SKI readers’ survey, Park City has two of the top five resorts in North America and three of the top 13. That’s not bad considering that Park City only has three resorts.

When Edgar Stern opened Deer Valley in 1981, he sent a message to the competition: "We’re going to treat these people as if they were royalty."

And so they have. Deer Valley’s on-mountain food, its grooming and its customer service have been getting rave reviews from skiers ever since Day One.

Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) and The Canyons cater to a different crowd, but do it equally well. In recent years PCMR has also embraced snowboarding today, its terrain park is second to none. And The Canyons, in spite of recent ownership battles, has expanded into some of the most spectacular slopes on this side of the Wasatch.

So we tip our hats to the management of these resorts, and the people who serve the meals, make the snow, groom the slopes and clean the condos. Resorts who stake their reputations on service would be nowhere without these people.

If you look at SKI’S top ten, you’ll notice something else. First, all 10 are in the West. And second, seven of the nine U.S resorts on the list are within a stone’s throw of established communities with bonafide histories in mining or ranching or both.

Park City has worked to make its rich mining history a part of the "full resort experience" that SKI Magazine editor Greg Ditrinco talks about. PCMR offers tours to historic mine sites. Many old buildings have been tastefully modified to accommodate new tenants restaurants, art galleries, etc. The Park City Museum, which will reopen next year, engages and informs the visitor with an array of interactive exhibits.

In addition, the town’s reputation for fine art and fine food has made it a tourist destination 12 months a year.

So let’s give the resorts kudos for earning high marks from SKI Magazine readers. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that this is a triumph for the community as well.

Now, if we could just do something about those liquor laws.

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