19-03-01 Baldy Clearing 1 Roland.jpg

Sun Valley Resort took second in SKI Magazine’s 2020 Reader Resort Survey, trailing only Aspen in the publication’s annual ranking of Western resorts released Wednesday.

Along the way, it scored top honors in a poll-leading seven categories, earning the number-one slot for lifts, service, lodging, off-hill down-day activities, family-friendliness, charm and overall satisfaction.

 Readers docked points for Baldy’s lack of serious steeps—it ranked 22nd in challenge—and central Idaho’s isolation, which stood 29th for access. That doesn’t bother locals or loyalists, though SKI Senior Editor Samantha Berman noted there’s some concern about whether Sun Valley’s place in Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass will adulterate its allure.    

     “While there is a regional airport in Hailey, 13 miles south and served by several major U.S. cities, know that flights can be diverted to Twin Falls or Boise in inclement weather,” Berman wrote. “On the flip side, it’s what keeps this gem relatively hidden. While it remains to be seen how the Epic Pass will impact Sun Valley, it’s safe to say that if any resort has the history, community, and spirit to handle it, it’s this one.”

     For more on the annual ranking, check next Wednesday’s edition of the Idaho Mountain Express. Until then, here’s a look at the rest of the list.

  1. Aspen, Colo.
  2. Sun Valley
  3. Whitefish, Mont.
  4. Steamboat, Colo.
  5. Deer Valley, Utah
  6. Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.
  7. Telluride, Colo.
  8. Beaver Creek, Colo.
  9. Breckenridge, Colo.
  10. Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
  11. Vail, Colo.
  12. Taos Ski Valley, N.M.
  13. Lake Louise, Alberta
  14. Winter Park, Colo.
  15. Copper Mountain, Colo.

Email the writer: mdee@mtexpress.com

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