2001 Number 14 Resort in North America: Telluride, Colo.

Resort Survey Telluride

Benefiting from a split personality, Telluride, Colo., really does have something for everyone. One reader aptly describes Telluride as "a weird mix of rustic mining town surrounded by grossly conspicuous consumption." At Mountain Village you can step out of your condo and ski to a bistro for a tall mocha. Or ski down to town (or ride the gondola) for a cup of coffee and a middle-of-the-street conversation with a local who lives in a van and skis 120 days a year. Despite its gloss, Telluride is still rightfully known as a skiers' town located at the foot of a skiers' mountain. "Very steep terrain," one reader says in admiration, while another criticizes that "there are not enough intermediate runs." With a stunning view of the Coors commercial's San Juan Mountains, Telluride offers activities for the non ski-addicted as well, with dog sled tours, snowshoe hikes and some of the finest dining and shopping found at 8,750 feet. The flight on a commuter plane over the spectacular Rocky Mountains can be a little hair-raising. (Many skiers opt for Montrose airport and drive 65 miles into Telluride.) But depending on your view, the resort's remoteness can be poison or pudding. "Accessibility is Telluride's only drawback, but it does keep liftlines short," one reader observes. The typically quiet slopes provide more time for ripping down the moguls on The Plunge or floating down the powder on Gold Hill. "It really is the most beautiful place you'll ever ski," one reader says.

WHAT'S NEW American Airlines daily nonstop jet service from Dallas/Fort Worth; a $3.1 million snowmaking upgrade will guarantee early season skiing.

MEDALS GOLD Terrain, Challenge, Dining, Scenery; SILVER Service, Weather, Lodging, Après-Ski, Off-Hill Activities.

HIGH/LOW RANK Scenery (5), Challenge (13), Dining (14); Lifts (56), Family Programs (67), Accessibility (78).

DON'T MISS If the weather is clear, enjoy a 30-minute drive from town to Trout Lake. Snowshoe around one of Colorado's most scenic lakes.

READER REMARKS (+) "Complete package: skiing, town, scenery, the works." "Challenging skiing. Worth the trip." (-) "Very remote. Outdated lifts." "Becoming a celebrity mecca, so prices are going up."