Skiing ranks Vail No. 3 |

Skiing ranks Vail No. 3

Daniel Elton

VAIL ” Skiing Magazine has ranked Vail No. 3 among the nation’s ski towns in its latest issue, on the street today ” behind Steamboat Springs and Jackson, Wyo.

The rankings take into account both the quality of skiing and the quality of life of ski areas across the country. Vail scores high when it comes to the skiing, but slips when affordability comes into play.

Vail has more snowfall than Steamboat Springs and more skiable terrain than Jackson. But because of the cost of living here compared to other ski resort communities, Vail takes the bronze with Skiing Magazine.

The mean rental price in Vail at $934 a month is about $200 higher than in Jackson or Steamboat Springs. The median home price at $575,000 is hundreds of thousands of dollars more than in the other podium finishers.

At least some Vail locals couldn’t see how Steamboat Springs could come ahead of their ski area.

“Vail is a lot more popular than Steamboat Springs,” said Marie Poland, 25. “Vail is bigger and it’s got more atmosphere.”

Michelle Boselli, 20, said she knows from college which is the more popular. As she put it, “Vail is the place to be. Everyone at school talks about Vail. No one talks about Steamboat Springs.”

Vail also has a higher international profile.

Antonio Ascencio, 27, said, “I’m from Mexico and everybody knows Vail. Vail is much more famous. We’ve got all the cool people in Vail.”

A Vail Resorts officials sounded happy enough. Bill Jensen, Vail Mountain’s chief operating officer, said, “We are pleased and excited that Vail and Vail Valley were recognized as one of the top 10 ski towns in North America. The community’s No. 3 ranking speaks volumes about both the traditions and the ongoing commitment the community has to winter sports.”

Asked whether Vail had things to learn from Steamboat Springs or Jackson, Jensen replied, “Each resort community offers its own unique lifestyle. For those who choose to live or work in the valley, Vail is an incredible community.”

Daniel Elton is a contributing writer for the Vail Daily, based in Vail, Colorado.

Support Local Journalism