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Ski Magazine Resort Poll (Utah Spin)

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
While I am not a reader of SKI, this article in the Salt Lake Trib is a good read:

Deer Valley Slips to No. 2 in Ski Poll

BY MIKE GORRELL
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

Deer Valley's reign as Ski magazine's top-rated resort in North America was limited to one season.

Vail reclaimed the No. 1 spot, a position it has held for 11 of the 15 years that Ski has conducted its reader poll of 60 North American resorts. Deer Valley slipped to No. 2. Park City Mountain Resort also cracked the Top 10 in seventh place, while The Canyons was 18th, Snowbird 20th, Alta 27th and Solitude 29th.

"I wouldn't use the word slip," Ski executive editor Greg Ditrinco said of Deer Valley's rating. "Emotionally there's a big difference between one and two, but statistically there's not that much. With Vail above it and Whistler/Blackcomb [British Columbia] behind, that's a world-class sandwich right there."

The newest ranking, which will be published in the magazine's October issue, was taken in stride by Deer Valley spokeswoman Christa Graff.

"No. 1 was the biggest honor and something we always want to strive for, but we're honored to be rated No. 2," she said. "It hasn't changed the feel at our resort, the marketing effort. It just makes us work harder to get that No. 1 rating again."

She suggested that Deer Valley's status as an Olympic venue last winter may have kept a number of Ski's poll respondents away from the resort, contributing to the fluctuation. Ditrenco agreed.

"I suspect Deer Valley got a bounce [up] last year with all the Olympic attention," he said, "and there might be some Olympic hangover that they're experiencing here."

Ski's tabulation was based on surveys sent to more than 20,000 readers, seeking their observations on resorts visited in the past three years. Resorts were judged in 17 categories, including snow, grooming, terrain, lifts, on-mountain food, after-ski nightlife, family programs, scenery and terrain parks.

Alta finished first for snow, but its overall ranking suffered from the resort's ban on snowboarding and lack of a terrain park. It also placed near the bottom for family programs.

Deer Valley's prohibition on snowboards also hurt its point total, but it received gold-medal ratings for snow, grooming, lifts, service, weather, access, on-mountain food, lodgings, dining and family programs.

Poll respondents offered some illuminating comments on Utah resorts:

* Park City Mountain Resort: "Easy to get to . . . Great for skiing with family and grandchildren . . . Lots of terrain . . . Pricey and lift lines . . . Could use better bar service at end of . . . Did a nice job with the snow they had."

* The Canyons: "Moving in the right direction . . . Very similar but not quite as nice as Park City . . . Customer service second to none . . . Deer Valley prices without the quality . . . Not much there besides the slopes."

* Snowbird: "The powder and the steeps are amazing . . . Snow, mountain and lift system are first class . . . Limited and expensive dining options . . . Ski your brains out all day, then go to sleep because there's nothing else to do."

* Alta: "This is the place I want to live and die in . . . Slow lifts, long walk to parking . . . Must leave the resort for nightlife . . . No boarders to laugh at . . . Mecca for the skiing purist . . . My first choice . . . Reigning king of the mountain."

* Deer Valley: "Hands down, the best service anywhere . . . Food, service, lodging made a winning combination . . . They make skiing easy . . . Pricey. I would go more often if it didn't drain my wallet so fast . . . Great area to bring the wives to. I love being treated like Bill Gates by the friendly, knowledgeable staff."

Colorado resorts dominated the poll, with Snowmass, Beaver Creek, Steamboat, Aspen Mountain and Breckenridge joining Vail in the Top 10. Jackson Hole, Wyo., was No. 9.

http://www.sltrib.com/09062002/business/business.htm

[ September 06, 2002, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: AltaSkier ]
post #2 of 22
Well, mostly says a lot about who subscribes to SKI.

EDIT: And points to the difference between skiing and "the ski EXPERIENCE." For many, a great bowl of turkey chili makes the trip worthwhile.

[ September 06, 2002, 11:56 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #3 of 22
Nice spin. However,most likely SOMEONE got the axe. And they are busy making plans on how to be #1 again.
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by milesb:
Nice spin. However,most likely SOMEONE got the axe. And they are busy making plans on how to be #1 again.
Maybe they should talk with the marketing geniuses at Breck.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Kima:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by milesb:
Nice spin. However,most likely SOMEONE got the axe. And they are busy making plans on how to be #1 again.
Maybe they should talk with the marketing geniuses at Breck. </font>[/quote]I actually think that the Break think was a good idea. I've been to break, and I partied like it was 1999. Actually it was 1995, but who cares. Negitive attention is still attention, and they are gunin' for college kids.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by ryan:
And points to the difference between skiing and "the ski EXPERIENCE." For many, a great bowl of turkey chili makes the trip worthwhile.
Very true. As I mentioned before, during my research for our upcoming trip to Austria, I was always amazed by how much emphasis Brits put on the "total ski experience." I originally wrote it off as colonial posturing, but if your only trip for the entire season is one week in a destination resort, I guess you want everything to be close to perfect (pleasing architecture, excellent lifts, compliant customer-service, nice hotels, etc.).

When I go to my "home" mountain in the Catskills, a state-run place with no high-speed lifts, I don't expect or desire a great bowl of turkey chili, incredible on-mountain restaurants, or scintillating apres-ski.

And when I'm done skiing, I drive home.

[ September 06, 2002, 01:49 PM: Message edited by: jamesdeluxe ]
post #7 of 22
As I said in Kima's thread, you can pay close to Deer Valley prices at Killington, and be treated like dirt. Even at its cheapest, skiing is an expensive sport. When people are paying this kind of money, they should be treated well. I definitely DO NOT mean that the staff needs to be obsequious. But isn't giving good customer service just another aspect of basic human decency?
post #8 of 22
I originally wrote it off as colonial posturing
I don't know why, but I find that completely hilarious!
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
But isn't giving good customer service just another aspect of basic human decency?
One would think that at the very least it would be a good business practice. I do think that is why Vail and Deer Valley are at the top. Never been to Whistler/Blackcomb but would guess that they too have excellent cus service. Folks that are going to a destination resort do and should expect the whole package.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by AltaSkier:
Maybe they should talk with the marketing geniuses at Breck. [/qb][/quote] I actually think that the Break think was a good idea. I've been to break, and I partied like it was 1999. Actually it was 1995, but who cares. Negitive attention is still attention, and they are gunin' for college kids.[/ QB][/quote]

Not to hijack your thread, AltaSkier, yep I have too partied years and years ago at Breck and had a blast. The mistake I think they are making is that Breck already is popular with college kids and they may run the risk of losing mom and dad, thier other fans. Just my .2 now back to Utah.

[ September 06, 2002, 02:21 PM: Message edited by: Kima ]
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by milesb:
I originally wrote it off as colonial posturing I don't know why, but I find that completely hilarious!
Miles:

Spend time on some of their websites and you'll find lots of unintended howlers. To wit (from the UK Ski Club):

With an extensive array of steeper-than-average terrain, impressive off-piste opportunities in five bowls and challenging snowcat-skiing, Fernie is "reminiscent of Argentière before it got too busy – some of the best terrain I have ever skied anywhere." However, another reporter thought the lift system "pitiful for the cost of the lift ticket, and none of the chair-lifts had covers – in spite of the cold climate."

Chairlift covers?
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
My thoughts on hijacking of threads like this:

It cannot happen. A thread like this was designed to spark conversation, which it is doing. When we are talking with friends, does the conversation not evolve into a different one over time? So, hijack away. I tend to do it.
post #13 of 22
There are chairlift covers - if that's what they're called - at W/B. Instead of dropping down the safety bar, you drop down a bubble-like "window." Actually, given the occassional rain down low, maybe not the worst idea.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
You mean the "Rasta Cover?" (or something like that)
post #15 of 22
Those covers are seen in a few places around Europe. Great in the wind when the chair breaks down!

S
post #16 of 22
Rasta Cover. Oh man, you're right. And I had some. DOH!
post #17 of 22
Oh yeah, the Big Show has one. We call it the "Rasta Bahn".
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by milesb:
Nice spin. However,most likely SOMEONE got the axe. And they are busy making plans on how to be #1 again.
I was just up at DV today, and every one is still there. No one was let go because of the slip in rankings.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by TR@DV:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by milesb:
Nice spin. However,most likely SOMEONE got the axe. And they are busy making plans on how to be #1 again.
I was just up at DV today, and every one is still there. No one was let go because of the slip in rankings. </font>[/quote]And they even hired new people...like me!! Although I do have a marketing degree. Potential opportunity perhaps? Hmm...
post #20 of 22
Looks like it will be up to me to get DV back to #1.
post #21 of 22
Theres no suprise That Deer Valley did so well in the Poll. I suspect that that Deer Valley comeing in at #2 ranking has more to do with visitor numbers then enything else. Last season there were days at Deer Valley when then had more people working there then guest.I know one Sunday about two weeks before the Olympics Deer Vally sold around 650 lift tickets all day. The lowest count for last season was 200 and some odd passes sold on a week day.
Now what really suprises me is how high The Food at Park City ranked! I'm sorry folks But if you like the food at Park City Mountain Resort then Burger King must be fine Dinning. One of the biggest hold ups for a join pass for PCMR and DV is the food. Deer Valley is worried That thier restaurants will be over run by people coming from PCMR.
post #22 of 22
Alta has a terrain park. It's called Supreme; anything off the Supreme chair.. and then there's Wildcat..
As an aging (growing up?-nah) purist, I'm beginning to like Deer Valley more and more..the service is great and never brown-nosing.. just professional; Alta too, really, but a lot of that is that people are so stoked to just be there. Deer Valley has the best child care services hands down; great staff and it's super easy to drop off and pick up..unlike the Canyons- who seem to have totally sacrificed skier convienience in favor of preserving access to ski in ski out real estate.... The DV costs are essentially the same as the other resorts, give or take a pack of cigarettes.(five bucks now?) Alta, beleive it or not, has the best bunny hill, the entire Albion area, and further up,the Cecret chair area. Great ski school,lousy day care... PCMR has no day care at all and the kids ski school is so costly I thought they were joking.. Deer Vally and Alta are my Utah poll winners for families.

[ September 08, 2002, 01:31 PM: Message edited by: Rubob ]
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