Aspen, Snowmass drop in Ski rankings |

Aspen, Snowmass drop in Ski rankings

Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are falling slightly out of favor with readers of Ski in the magazine’s annual ski area rankings.

Aspen Mountain came in fifth among top resorts in North America while Snowmass finished one spot behind.

If there’s any consolation for Aspenites, it might be that Vail was knocked off the top rung for the first time in three years.

Whistler/Blackcomb was ranked the top resort in North America for the first time by Ski readers. Vail had been No. 1 for nine of the last 12 seasons.

Vail tumbled all the way to the fourth spot in the latest rankings. Also beating it in the minds of Ski’s readers were Sun Valley, Idaho; and Deer Valley, Utah.

Aspen Mountain has fallen from second to third and finally fifth over the last three years. Snowmass has slid from third to fourth and now sixth.

Both resorts got blasted for inaccessibility and lack of value.

Aspen scored highest in aprs skiing, dining and off-hill activities. It also received “gold medals” for terrain, challenge, service, weather, on-mountain food and lodging.

Snowmass got its best grades for grooming, service and lodging. Other gold medals came for snow, grooming, terrain, lifts, service, weather, on-mountain food and lodging.

The rankings are in Ski’s October edition which is hitting news stands this week. Skico chief operating officer John Norton said he hadn’t seen the rankings yet, so he couldn’t comment on the good marks or the drop in overall rank positions.

Former Aspen Daily News editor Greg Trinker, now an editor with Ski, summarized rankings of Aspen Mountain by noting, “Aspen is expensive. The mountain is cramped. The inhabitants are snobbish. And there may be no better place on the planet to take a ski vacation.”

Trinker said Aspen is the perennial favorite for aprs skiing and continues to get glowing reviews for dining and off-mountain activities.

While addressing Snowmass, Trinker wrote that resort has come into its own.

“Now the valley’s flagship resort, Snowmass finally seems at peace living next to Aspen’s nuclear fission,” he wrote.

While Aspen Mountain and Snowmass dropped only one notch in the rankings, Aspen Highlands took a hard fall. Creation of a construction zone at the base probably contributed to Highlands’ fall from a respectable 10th last year to 22nd.

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