For a fourth straight year SKI Magazine annual "Top Resort Guide", the definitive ranking of North American ski resorts, names Deer Valley, Utah as the No. 1 ski resort in its September issue. Deer Valley's ratings has never dropped lower than third overall in the past ten years. It also ranked No. 1 in 2006.
More than 20,000 SKI Magazine readers responded to the "Top Resort Guide" survey, which was conducted by an independent research firm. It is the most comprehensive and longest-running ski resort survey in the winter sports industry. Resorts are ranked in 18 categories: Overall Satisfaction, Access, Après Ski, Dining, Family Programs, Grooming, Lifts, Lodging, Off-Hill Activities, On-Mountain Food, Scenery, Service, Snow, Terrain/Challenge, Terrain/Variety, Terrain Parks, Value, Weather and Livestyle by SKI subscribers who have skied the resorts for the past two seasons, skiing an average of 23 days a year.
Despite losing out on the number one spot, Colorado was strongly represented in the Top 20. Vail, which has claimed SKI Magazine's top spot more than any other resort in the 23-year history of the survey, was rated the second-best for 2011 after slipping to number three in 2010. 4 Beaver Creek, 6 Snowmass, 7 Aspen Mountain, 8 Breckenridge, 10 Aspen Highlands, 11 Telluride and 13 Steamboat rounded out the Colorado representation in the Top 20.
Along with incredible representation in the overall rankings, Utah resorts dominated the "Snow" category. As Utah is famous for having The Greatest Snow on Earth, it was no surprise that eight of the top ten listings for were Utah resorts (1 Alta, 2 Snowbird, 3 Powder Mountain, 4 Brighton, 5 Solitude, 7 Deer Valley, 8 Snowbasin).
New this season, SKI magazine added a section of Lifestyle awards where Alta was awarded best "Skier’s Mountain" followed by Snowbird in second place. Snowbird also received the title of best "Weekend Escape" followed by Deer Valley in second place. Brighton Resort was awarded as the number one "Value Trip" with Alta and Snowbird listed as second and third.
SKI Magazine is published by Mountain Sports Media, a Boulder-based division the Bonnier Corporation. The Bonnier Corporation is one of the largest consumer-publishing groups in America and the leading media company serving passionate, highly engaged audiences through more than 40 special-interest magazines and related multimedia projects and events.
The top 10 resorts according to SKI Magazine's readers:
1. Deer Valley, Utah
2. Vail, Colorado
3. Whistler/Blackcomb, British Columbia
4. Beaver Creek, Colorado
5. Park City, Utah
6. Snowmass, Colorado
7. Aspen, Colorado
8. Breckenridge, Colorado
9. Sun Valley, Idaho
10. Aspen Highlands, Colorado