I know I posted earlier on 'your fav 8 resorts'...but an article (next paragraph) I read today had me thinking to flesh things out a bit as maybe I wasn't specific enough.
we all know that having great ski terrain and weather is one thing (we all want that) but what about the other equally important aspects such as real authentic mtn town charm and ambience, not where you can get an overload of cookie cutter big corporate presence (mcdonald's, starbucks etc) but instead smaller shop owners who have a history at the resort from it's beginning?
I ask this as today I just came back from Whistler and was reading one of their local papers The Pique.. one article ("Growing up Whistler" ...see below) asked some younger 20 somethings who've been raised in Whistler both the things that they love about it and yet what also needs to change for the better. and I think alot of resorts and small towns have to grapple with this dilemma: trying to be both profitable and also unique all the while not being a 'sellout' ....or at least not entirely.
One excerpt form the article which got me thinking and wanted to share:
"What shifts need to occur within the community for Whistler to realize its vision: Whistler will be the premier mountain resort community - as we move toward sustainability?
"This summer I walked through Whistler village with a friend from England used to skiing in the Alps. I asked him what he thought of my town and his reply took me by surprise. 'Honestly there's no charm here, there's nothing but chain stores and brand names,' he said. And he's partly right. How many businesses do we all know in town forced out of their space because of insane rent? It's sad. Our real community, the people who built the town, the people who raised their kids here, those of us that want to raise our kids here have been, and are being edged out by the corporations... and that is not sustainable. How can we be the premier mountain resort community when our community is being sold out?" - Jessica Meadows
And of course I'm not naive as sometimes it's the $$$ corporate resources that come in to refurbish and lift up to a new level a resort too...for example one chap in my ski club yesterday who has skied alot in the US thought that Vail really stood out for him: very $$$ costly but the things they've done at that resort (and the things you could experience) had him shaking his head in amazement....so I guess such is the gamble with every resort: how do you balance the need to stay afloat, be profitable and have the 'recognized name brands' but also have room for creativity and uniqueness, too?(hence why I love Jasper over Banff in some ways...or the qaint feel of Mont St Anne and Quebec resorts...or long to visit those resorts in the East too with their small town charm)....yet I don't want to have real town charm at the expense of slow lifts either.
This all said, I"m not against the Banffs and Whistlers: I can shop with the best of 'em...and sometimes it IS nice to have the latest and greatest conveniences and such all around us too. I guess it's always about balance.
PS do post a few of your fave resorts that offer both great resort ambiance and skiing terrrain.
Edited by canali - 10/11/10 at 9:32am