2003 Number 7 Resort in North America: Park City, Utah

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Park City is still glowing, having proved during the Olympic Games that it can challenge the world's best skiers and boarders while throwing the world's biggest party. For a good time in Utah, this is the place. The key seems to be "location, location, location," one reader observes. The resort is an easy 35-minute drive from the Salt Lake City airport. It's blessed with dry Utah powder, warm Western sun and long Wasatch flanks to catch plenty of both. The ski-in/ski-out "village" is really an authentic mining town, with a full-service Main Street. Add the free bus system, and vacationing doesn't get any easier. Though better known for its frontside boulevards, veer off the resort's spine for quick-fix steeps. Venture farther for "room to move in Jupiter Bowl." Building on the American medal sweep in the halfpipe, Park City is committed to freeriding, with new and expanded terrain parks. If you haven't visited in a while, prepare to be impressed by new lifts and the area's refurbishing. Off-mountain, Main Street, with its dining, shopping and entertainment, never disappoints. Despite being fancier, the mountain and town still exude Utah charm. To those who lament "price, price, price," remember that convenience and variety are gold. At the end of the day, when everyone is happy, safe and exhausted, you've won. -E.T.

WHAT'S NEW A $3 million plan that includes rebuilding the Olympic Eagle Superpipe, a second halfpipe, three new terrain parks and a reconfiguration of the Homerun trail to aid novice skiers and riders.

A GOOD DEAL Three days of skiing and three nights' lodging start at $85 per night. Also, kids ski and stay free when accompanied by two adults. Available all season.

MEDALS GOLD Challenge, Lifts, Service, Weather, Access, Lodging, Dining, Après, Off-Hill Activities, Family Programs; SILVER Snow, Grooming, Terrain, On-Mountain Food, Scenery, Terrain Parks.

HIGH/LOW RANK Off-Hill Activities (7), Dining (8), Après (8); Challenge (35), Value (42), Scenery (42).

DON'T MISS "America's Opening" World Cup races, Nov. 21-24. If you missed the Olympics, come see the encore.

READER REMARKS (+) "I love the town. There's a ski lift on Main Street." "Easy access and Utah powder." (-) "Ho-hum trails." "Crowds."

Great Lodging Deals here.