US Ski Resort Informal Rankings

billski

New member
Out of curiosity, I put together a list of 82 of the most interesting (to me, a northeast skier) US areas. It all started when I originally wanted to find out the most expensive single-day full price ticket in the US. Of course Vail and Aspen take top billing in the west ($81 and $78 respectively). I suspected however that $teaux must be close to the top and indeed, they are Nr. 3 at $76.

I then got carried away, becoming interested in things like vertical, acreage, trails, average snowfall, etc. So I punched all the data in and ran some reports. I posted the rankings on some web pages here http://www.iabsi.com/public/ski/

I'm doing this for fun, so I have no interest in being exhaustive, though the data is pretty accurate. The areas I chose were predominantly New England (plus a scattering in NY) and places New Englanders would be motivated to travel to - CO, ID, CA, UT, etc. If you don't find the data enlightening, at least it is entertaining and provokes some interesting comments.

It's interesting to see the correlation of price to uphill capacity, and some of the scary implication of huge amounts of capacity contrasted agains acreage.

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I make no judgements as to what is "best." Ticket pricing becomes a wildcard when you go multi-day, so I've stuck with just looking at the full weekend single day and the unrestricted season pass.

Have fun!
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
At the top of your "sort by snowfall" page you mention my website as the source, but in fact you aren't using my numbers for almost any areas that I can see.

I would recommend that you go through my regional pages (http://bestsnow.net/eastnet.htm for Northeast for example) and get the info from there. Then show snow data quotes from my website in bold or italics and for other areas where I don't have it in plain type (or vice-versa).

If you don't want to use my data and prefer to go with "brochure quotes" for everybody, then don't say that I am the source. Or explain that your numbers are provided by ski area marketing and that they may differ from those on my website.

Your skier density measure is imperfect but clearly indicative. The constrast between East and West is clear, and is a contributing factor to the difference in surface conditions.

10 years ago I constructed "terrain variety indexes" (1 = 1 run of 1,000 vertical feet) for about 35 areas, and compared that to vertical transport feet of the lift system to get a good measure of skier density. This is a rather labor-intensive process. Since the numbers change whenever an area adds/upgrades terrain or lifts, I have not tried to keep it up.
 

billski

New member
Hello Mr. Crocker,

Sorry to have offended you. I have removed the reference but retained the original source credit. Your data was not quoted as the source. I felt that putting the reference in would provide viewers with an alternate perspective.

For the casual observer, I did not see that the actual variance would provide much of a significantly different skier experience. As such, an informal analysis such as this still holds relevance, without exacting numerical precision.

Given the your chilly reception, you are welcome to ignore and discount these pages.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
The best way to avoid confusion is to state explicitly that "the snowfall numbers on this page are provided by ski area marketing and that they may differ from those on the reference website http://bestsnow.net."

That way neither one of us will get questions about why the numbers are different.

My first preference, of course, would be for you to use my numbers as most skiers believe them to be more accurate. But then you would have to distinguish those areas for which I have no data, which would include most of your Northeast areas.

The selection of areas on my website was modified/expanded by Powder Magazine in 1995, so that it would cover representative areas in all regions of interest to their readers. So my list in New England is representative but not as complete as yours.
 
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