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Resort Guide 2023

Top 10 Resorts in the West with the Best Guest Service

Book a trip to one of these ski areas and rest assured that they've got your back.

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Ski area guest service is something that’s gotten far more attention than in past surveys, given the staffing shortage at many resorts last season. When ski patrol is also emptying trash cans and lift scanners are restocking restrooms, keeping guests smiling is not top of mind.

Resort Guide 2023: Top 50 Resorts in North America

Signs are pointing to this winter faring better on the staffing front, however. These ski areas, called out for their continued attention to guest service in the 2023 Reader Resort Survey, deserve a little extra kudos for maintaining a higher standard when it comes to making skiers feel welcome and taken care of.

Top 10 Resorts in the West for Guest Service

No. 10: Steamboat Resort, Colo.

Score: 8.31
Other Strengths:
Local Flavor, Family Friendly
Value, Access

(Photo: Courtesy of Steamboat Resort)

What Readers Say

“I live for the trees there. I love Winter Wondergrass, the champagne powder, the cowboy/Western vibe, the hot springs nearby, and the town and local bars. It’s good for families and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to ski Colorado somewhat near Denver but not wanting to deal with the bulk of I-70 madness and a somewhat less developed feel in town. For anyone who loves skiing trees, I’d recommend checking it out too.”

Steamboat is great, though under construction for improvements makes the trek through the village to the lift a slight challenge. Once you’re on the mountain it’s great.”

“We loved Steamboat. Good crowd management and great services and staff. The food was excellent everywhere! It was an excellent first-time experience there!”

No. 9: Aspen Snowmass, Colo.

Score: 8.37
Other Strengths: 
Nightlife, Lodging
Access, Value

Aspen Service RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Aspen Snowmass)

What Readers Say

“Aspen Snowmass is the friendliest and most accessible high-end resort from my experience. While it’s as fancy as any place in the country, it feels much more local and welcoming than other places. The snow is always great and even though it’s more expensive than most anywhere else I ski, I never feel like I’m being ripped off. The staff is always friendly.”

“I visited Snowmass for the first time this year. I thought Aspen was going to be a snooty town but I was so wrong. People were nothing but friendly and welcoming. Snowmass is a wonderful mountain with terrain for all levels. Yes, it’s expensive but I can’t wait to come back!”

Just keeps getting better (lift system, travel, snow management, resort upgrades, etc.).”

No. 8: Whitefish Mountain Resort, Mont.

Score: 8.45
Other Strengths:
Local Flavor, Overall Satisfaction
Access, Nightlife

Whitefish Service RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Whitefish Mountain Resort)

What Readers Say

“I make a trip up north to the ‘Fish every year in January. With a deep snowpack in the early season the mountain is always 100 percent open. Hands down the best tree skiing I’ve done. Steep, consistently tight tree runs with untouched snow to be found days after a storm. A true advanced skiers paradise who is looking to mellow out the send factor but still be just as engaged. The mountain is a true experience to explore as there are so many different bowls and ridges cut off from each other giving every lift it’s own unique terrain. Perfect views of glacier National Park make this a must ski destination. Montana skiing is what skiing should be!”

“Still intimate, easy to move around the resort, variety of terrain, lack of altitude impact on physical comfort, friendly staff, beautiful area.”

“Whitefish is a welcoming resort with a huge variety of terrain with something for everyone. The town of Whitefish is an outstanding location with a welcoming feeling especially for Montanans.”

No. 7: Powder Mountain, Utah

Score: 8.46
Other Strengths:
Value, Access
Lodging, Dining

Powder Mountain Service RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Powder Mountain)

What Readers Say

Powder is the best-kept secret in North America.”

Great place to ski…the longest we had to wait in line was maybe two minutes.”

Powder Mountain is ascending as one of our favorites! So much incredible terrain, for all skill levels. Amazing powder. Very close to where we stay in Eden. The only knock for us is lodges seem a bit ‘old school’ and not as nice as some of the beautiful dining and après-ski at other resorts.”

No. 6: Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Idaho

Score: 8.48
Other Strengths:
Challenge, Overall Satisfaction
Access, Nightlife

Schweitzer Service RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Schweitzer Mountain Resort)

What Readers Say

We were there for fresh snow, so the expert areas took it easy on us. But this was by a wide margin the best tree skiing I’ve ever encountered! Schweitzer is also a 30-minute drive outside Sandpoint, Idaho. All the restaurants and nightlife are there, so there’s basically no après scene at the resort itself. But if you prefer to ski, eat, sleep, repeat, I can’t recommend Schweitzer highly enough!

“Great terrain for expert skiers, great snow quality, ample snowfall, gorgeous unspoiled non-glitzy setting at the resort and nearby town, awesome Southwestern ambiance, super-friendly locals, wonderful Southwestern food, great local tourist activities.”

No. 5: Telluride Ski Resort, Colo.

Score: 8.51
Other Strengths: Challenge, Local Flavor
Weaknesses: Access, Value

Telluride Service RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Telluride Ski Resort)

What Readers Say

The view from the Guiseppe’s is worth the cost of the entire trip, and the glade skiing in the bowl when the snow is good always brings a smile to my face. The town is spectacular, but the faces of the runs down to the town are almost always rutted, rocky, and dangerous. Take the gondola.”

“Great skiing and great people. Most who come here come to ski and enjoy the outdoors. I wish fewer people would come here expecting the experience to be like the big corporate resorts.”

Our first trip to Telluride was amazing. The scenery is incredible and the terrain is great. It was just an overall incredible experience. My kids, spouse, and I all had a blast there. We lucked out with a 30-inch storm that really opened up the resort for us. This was my first ski trip out West and I’m hooked.”

No. 4: Banff Sunshine, Alb.

Score: 8.57
Other Strengths:
Lifts, Grooming
Nightlife, Dining

Banff Sunshine Service RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Banff Sunshine)

What Readers Say

“Is a very unique vibe with a lot of variety. I describe it to people as skiing on the moon on a big mountain terrain park because of how high the base is and all the cool natural features all over the place. Awesome parks, too. Big wide-open bowls above treeline. The snow is always great and the season goes until late May which is really cool.”

“Great resort with something for everyone. Extreme challenge and pleasant groomers. Views are amazing.”

No. 3: Snowbasin Resort, Utah

Score: 8.68
Other Strengths:
Family Friendly, Grooming
Lodging, Après

Snowbasin Service RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Snowbasin)

What Readers Say

“Snowbasin has some of the best snow and lodges we have ever been to. The staff is very friendly and helpful with your needs. The food is a little pricey, but you will never be disappointed with the quality. Very kid-friendly runs for beginners and some of the best black diamond runs in Utah.”

Excellent job maintaining this season’s limited snowpack. Genuinely friendly staff. Fine terrain with long continuous skiing. Fine views. Lovely day lodges.”

Best snowmaking in the world. Best grooming in the world. Below average snow year, but the staff made it work all year.”

No. 2: Sun Valley, Idaho

Score: 9.27
Other Strengths:
Grooming, Lifts
Snow, Access

Sun Valley Service RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Sun Valley/Cody Haskell)

What Readers Say

Consistent every season with great staff, great service, great grooming, great food on the mountain, and a small-town feel. No lift lines! Free parking!

“This resort is by far the best. The terrain is wonderful for all levels of skiers, there are great dining and lodging options, and the people are terrific. Sun Valley also has short lines which means that you can get lots of skiing in!”

Best ski slopes, grooming, and great guest services.”

No. 1: Deer Valley Resort, Utah

Score: 9.32
Other Strengths:
Grooming, Lifts 
Terrain Variety, Value

Deer Valley RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Deer Valley)

What Readers Say

“From the time you arrive, and until you leave service is unmatched anywhere. Amazing food. Grooming is unbelievable.”

Deer Valley has the best customer service. They limit the number of lift tickets sold but are still very crowded on Saturdays. We were there during a snow drought so snow conditions were not as good as usual.”

“Deer Valley seems to be intently focused on providing the best service and amenities to its guests. The staff goes out of its way to take care of its guests, particularly the ski school. The ski school there is excellent.”