Ski Resort Life

Numbers Game

An explanation about why we changed up the Resort Guide, and where you can still find resort rankings.

It never fails. Whenever I tell someone that I work at SKI, they invariably ask me where they should ski next season. To which I alway counter with a few questions of my own: “Who are you skiing with?” “What level skier are you?” and “What type of terrain do you like to ski?” Interestingly, never once have I replied: “Well, the No. 1 resort in North America is (fill in the blank), so you should totally go there!”

Of course not, because while the No. 1 resort in SKI’s annual Reader Resort Survey is always a great and deserving destination, it’s not necessarily the best vacation for everyone. We’ve been wrestling with this conundrum for years here at SKI. The ski resorts around the U.S. and Canada are incredibly vast and unique—each brings something different to the vacation equation. Does the No. 11 resort offer a lesser experience than the No. 3 resort? No. That why, this year, we finally decided to evolve the coverage around our Reader Resort Survey to better serve you, the skier.

I’ll get right to the point. There’s no longer a No. 1 resort in the West or East, or any other ranked resorts, in our new “Resorts of the Year” feature. We took the information gleaned from the survey data, combined it with the collective expertise of our editors and contributing writers, and focused our resort coverage on answering that singular question: “Where should you ski this winter?” You’ll find intel and insights on more North American resorts than ever before—67 to be specific—with reviews designed to highlight the very best aspects of a vacation at each one. If a resort performed well in a survey category, such as Terrain Variety, Challenge, or Après, we’ll let you know via the sidebar, and if it scored exceedingly well, look for our new Resorts of the Year badge. We also doled out “Editor’s Choice” awards at staff discretion, so you’ll find those sprinkled throughout, as well.

We’re excited to evolve this content into a package that better serves everyone—including the resorts—and we hope you find it helpful in planning your next ski vacation. For those curious about the survey data, we have the results in all ranked categories from the Reader Resort Survey here, so be sure to check it out as you plan your winter travels.

Originally published in the October 2018 issue of SKI Magazine.