See how Vail and Beaver Creek stack up in SKI Magazine’s annual resort rankings
September 26, 2017
Every year, SKI Magazine releases its reader survey-weighted rankings of the country’s best resorts. How much stock to put into the rankings is up to you, but there’s no question they fuel entertaining pre-season debate among friends, family and coworkers.
The publication’s 2018 Resort Guide rates the West’s top 15 resorts like so:
- Deer Valley, Utah
- Sun Valley, Idaho
- Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C.
- Jackson Hole, Wyo.
- Aspen Highlands
- Beaver Creek
- Whitefish Mountain Resort, Mont.
- Steamboat Ski Area
- Aspen Mountain
- Big Sky, Mont.
- Crested Buttte
SKI Magazine readers gave Vail kudos for its Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin, but the resort ranked only 14th for variety. It was No. 5 for dining, No. 6 for lifts, No. 7 for lodging and No. 11 for service. Survey respondents dinged Vail for its affordability, with one reader suggesting, “You really have to figure out which kid isn't going to college to ski there.”
Beaver Creek scored predictably high for grooming (No. 4), and respondents gave shout-outs to Birds of Prey, Stone Creek Chutes, and, of course, the free chocolate chip cookies. The elimination of free parking in the Bear and Elk lots was an unsurprising complaint.