Friday, October 19, 2012

Sun Valley ranks 7th in Ski survey

Resort drops 2 places from 2011 ranking


By BRENNAN REGO
Express Staff Writer

A springtime skier heads down Bald Mountain. In a national survey, Sun Valley’s premier ski mountain ranked highly in on-mountain dining and grooming.

A Ski magazine reader survey published Tuesday ranks Sun Valley as the seventh best ski resort in western North America.

Sun Valley scored higher than that in many of the 20 categories used to compile the annual survey’s overall rankings, but low scores in categories such as Access (44th) and Value (40th) lowered its overall score.

The resort dropped two places from its fifth-place finish last year. In 2009 Sun Valley got seventh and in 2010 it got ninth.

“First chair is about the only wait you’ll face [in Sun Valley],” states the article about he survey in Ski’s October issue. “The early bird doesn’t just get the worm, he logs an entire day’s worth of skiing before lunch.”

Jack Sibbach, Sun Valley Co.’s director of marketing and public relations, said Sun Valley is famous for the amount of vertical feet a skier can “rack up” in a day.

“It’s one of the things that sets us apart,” he said.

Sibbach also said that Sun Valley’s consistent ranking in the top 10 is the result of a “community” effort.

“This ranking is a reflection of everybody who lives here—businesses, residents—not just the resort,” Sibbach said. “It’s based on how visitors are treated by everyone. A local being friendly on the mountain is as important as our employees’ opening the doors for people when they enter the Sun Valley Lodge in terms of visitor satisfaction.”

Sun Valley’s top two scores were both in dining-related categories. The resort scored second in On-Mountain Food and the Sun Valley area scored second in Dining. Sibbach seemed pleased with Sun Valley Co.’s score in On-Mountain Food.

“We’re proud of the product we put out on the mountain,” Sibbach said. “I think [new Director of Culinary Operations] John Murcko will keep those high standards and maybe even raise them a bit.”

Murcko was appointed Aug. 6.

Sun Valley received high scores in several other categories, getting third in Grooming, third in Service, fourth in Lifts, fourth in Off-hill Activities and sixth in Overall Satisfaction.

However, it scored only 34th in Terrain/Variety, 36th in Snow and 37th in Terrain/Challenge.

In this year’s survey, Deer Valley was dethroned as king of the Western hills, a spot it had held consecutively since 2007. Instead, Ski’s readers awarded this year’s scepter to Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia.

 

 

Top 10 resorts in western North America

As ranked by Ski Magazine readers:

1. Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.

2. Deer Valley, Utah

3. Vail, Colo.

4. Park City Resort, Utah

5. Telluride, Colo.

6. Jackson Hole, Wyo.

7. Sun Valley, Idaho

8. Snowmass, Colo.

9. Beaver Creek, Colo.

10. The Canyons, Utah


Brennan Rego: brego@mtexpress.com

 




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