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Gus Kenworthy Dishes Out Local’s Tips

The U.S. freeskier knows a thing or two about travel, and is sharing intel on his favorite spots.

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U.S. slopestyle and halfpipe champ Gus Kenworthy has been around the world, ski bag in tow. Since turning pro in 2010, the Telluride, Colorado native has amassed medals and titles on the Freestyle Skiing World Cup circuit, including a silver medal in slopestyle at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and two silver medals at the Aspen X Games in 2016. And in the process, he’s also been racking up the miles.

Over the course of the 2017-18 competition season alone, Kenworthy traveled from France to California, Switzerland to Spain, then back to Colorado and California before ultimately finishing his season at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea—and that’s just counting his stops on the FIS World Cup circuit. Safe to say, Kenworthy gets around and probably knows a decent place to grab a beer in, say, Zermatt. 

“We actually get a lot of time to check out the places we travel to for competitions. In the winter, when I have a couple of events back to back, I try to make a tip out of it and enjoy the time between stops. I’ll finish competing in Tignes, France and then head to Geneva or Zurich to spend a few days in those cities,” Kenworthy says.

He’s now sharing his favorite spots and location insights with fellow travelers and adventure seekers via Marriot Moments, a new online database hosted by Marriott International to help travelers discover and book unique sightseeing tours, attractions and experiences in more than 1,000 cities around the world. 

Kenworthy is one of several celebrities and world travelers to partner with Marriott and share travel tips; others include actress and singer Lea Michelle, award-winning chef Eric Ripert, and funk band Tank and the Bangas, to name a few. Each offers a curated list of sights and experiences unique to their own travel tastes and must-dos. Not surprisingly, Kenworthy’s recommendations include outdoor experiences in Zermatt, Hawaii and British Columbia. With ski season right around the corner (and the winter trip booking season is best right now), we caught up with Kenworthy to ask for insider tips specific to skiing. What should be on every skier’s trip list this season?
Gus Kenworthy: Well, I grew up in Telluride, so I’m partial. But I really do think it’s one of the best ski areas in the entire world. It’s got the best views—incredible panoramic mountain views; the terrain’s incredible; the mountain town is really cute and quaint. It’s a place that should definitely be on every skier’s destination list at some point.

Telluride, Colorado
The Telluride gondola offers iconic views of the quaint mining town and surrounding peaks. Photo courtesy of Telluride

Give us the inside track on Telluride. Best run and après spot? 
See Forever is a must-ski run. It’s a wide, groomed blue run, so not very challenging, but the views are just insane. The run got its name because it goes from the very top of one of Telluride’s peaks down to the very bottom of the main village, so it feels like the run—and the views—just go on forever. It’s a great slope for families or for those trying to get Instagram photos. Every time I ski See Forever, and I feel the cold air in my lungs and take in the views, it just hits me how special Telluride is.

As far as après spots, definitely check out the Sheridan Bar. It’s the oldest watering hole in town—it’s been there since the mining days—and has this authentic western feel. You’ll also run into a lot of locals there, which is always a great experience when you’re visiting a new place.

Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.
Whistler Blackcomb offers seemingly endless terrain. Photo courtesy of Whistler Blackcomb/Mitchell Winton

How about outside Colorado, which is your other-go-to resort?
Probably Whistler. It’s not exactly underrated—everyone knows it’s great. It’s so convenient—just a short, two-hour drive from Vancouver, which is so easy to fly into. And I’m pretty sure it’s the largest ski resort in North America, so it’s got great terrain, everything from mellow groomers to great steeps to fun terrain parks. There’s also a really fun après scene there. It’s an all-around great place to party, ski, and hang out.

Your must-dos in Whister?
If you’ve never been up there, you need to get a Beaver Tail at Zog’s. It’s basically just a huge piece of fried dough, and then they put a lot of good stuff on it. My favorite is the one with lemon juice and cinnamon sugar. Then, this might sound crazy, considering I’ve been to Asia, but Sushi Village has the best sushi I’ve ever had. It’s incredible.