Snowmass voted the #1 ski resort by Condé Nast ‘Traveler’ readers
The people have spoken voting Snowmass the No. 1 ski resort in the U.S. and Canada, in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2023 Reader’s Choice Awards, with Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands nabbing the No. 5 and No. 14 spots, respectively.
“For our 36th annual Readers’ Choice Awards, voters weighed in on their favorite ski resorts in North America. Colorado resorts once again dominated the list of US ski resorts this year, with three of the four mountains at Aspen Snowmass making the top 10 (sic),” Jen Murphy reported on Nov. 7.
It’s a major acknowledgment for Snowmass, which in the past has struggled to be recognized next to its glitzy sister, but not a surprise for those who know the ski area and village best.
“Snowmass has seen so much change in the last five, six years,” said Sara Stookey Sanchez, public relations manager at Snowmass Tourism. “People are realizing that we are a place where you want to ski all day and then also stay for the evening, which wasn’t always the case.”
Stookey Sanchez credits several factors that add to Snowmass’ appeal. From a growing and diverse restaurant scene that includes everything from long-time local favorites like Il Poggio and The Artisan at Stonebridge Inn and relative newcomers like The Tavern Kitchen and Bar, Kenichi, and Mawita to other activities and entertainment, like the family-friendly ice rink and events The Collective at Snowmass Base Village, there really is something for everyone.
She also noted the ease of being in the Village as something that ranks high with guests.
“You don’t really have to have a car you can walk around you can go into Aspen if you want, it’s so easy on the bus, especially in the winter,” she said. “We’re so much more than we used to be. Guests want to stay here and play here, and I think that’s reflected in the survey which is which is awesome.”
But beyond all that, the biggest draw to so many avid skiers and snowboarders is the mountain itself.
At 4,406 vertical feet boasting 3,332 acres of terrain, 150 miles of runs, 94 trails, 21 chairlifts, and access to a variety of cruisers, glades, steeps, terrain parks, and halfpipes, there are a lot of options for winter enthusiasts of every level to explore.
The size of the mountain and the diversity of runs keep it from ever feeling overwhelmingly crowded or claustrophobic, with usually very short wait times to get on the gondola or popular lifts. For those skiing with family and friends at different levels the mountain offers runs ranging from easiest: 6%, to more difficult: 47%, most difficult: 17%, and expert: 30%.
“We have Cirque Headwall and all of that nice hard-charging terrain if that’s what you want,” she said. “You can get that experience here and come with somebody who maybe doesn’t ski as well, and all can still have a great day. It accommodates both expert and the more casual skier.”
Stookey Sanchez said that for those planning to ski Snowmass this winter, there are some fun things on the horizon including the revival of the Snowmass Ice Age Discovery.
For the 2023/24 winter season, Gorsuch will expand their Snowmass presence adding a Gorsuch Ski Café in the old North Face and First Chair Café space and will provide rentals, boot fitting, and retail. The former Patagonia space transforms into Gorsuch Ski Lockers with an upstairs tuning shop.
The Collective Snowmass will continue to be the culture and activities hub in Base Village and will feature a weekly lineup of events including bingo nights, standup comedy, ice skating shows, and live music.
And, on mountain restaurant Alpin Room will welcome Chef Emily Oyer, former Executive Sous Chef at Cloud Nine, to take the helm and reimagine the restaurant’s menu and personality. Chef Oyer is a Food Network-featured chef who won “Chopped” in 2021 and competed on “Beat Bobby Flay” in 2022.
“I’m excited for the season,” she said. “I think we’re all excited for the season.”