Stratton, Vermont: Rank 12 East, 1997

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After nearly a decade of missteps by Japanese owners, Stratton has made serious progress toward regaining its luster over the past three years under Intrawest management (owner of top-ranked resorts such as Whistler and Tremblant). Its grooming and snowmaking have improved significantly, and it remains the only Vermont resort with a true village complex at its base. Plans for aggressive on-hill and real-estate development will keep Stratton moving up. Somehow it manages to attract a moneyed, genteel crowd while also being a magnet for snowboarders, who come to ride the competition-level halfpipe. There's plenty of terrain with several distinct "ski pods," but much of the mountain is really dark blue despite the diamonds stuck on the map.

What's New Even more snowmaking, nearly doubling the mountain's capacity from two years ago. New snowboard park (see East News).
Medals Gold Grooming; Silver Snow Quality, Terrain, Lifts, Resort Service
High/Low Rank Grooming (19); Value (58)
Don't Miss The Roost (in the base lodge) for lunch; it's much better than the regular cafeteria at about the same price.
Reader Remarks "Exudes class. Excellent for families; the village is straight out of Disney." "Wind shuts down the gondola too frequently. A bit overpriced."