Why Aspen Ranks Lower in Ski Magazine's Latest Survey

September 23 2009, 1:20 PM

Coloradans love to brag about the state's skiing chops, and for good reason. We have some killer resorts. Ski Magazine's annual list of Top 30 Resorts once again backs up our cockiness. Colorado claims 12 of North America's top 30 resorts in the recently released survey of the magazine's readers. The state's top resort is Vail, ranked third on the continent, followed by Beaver Creek at number five, then Snowmass at number 6, and Steamboat at number 10. But a few Colorado resorts actually slipped from last year's list. The Aspen Times explains the three main reasons for that happening to Aspen-area mountains: costs, travel hassles, and bear problems. Snowmass' respectable sixth-place ranking is down from its number four spot last year, and Aspen Highlands moved up the list to 17 from number 18. The Times counters that prices and the relatively remote location of Aspen-area resorts keep them ranked. In reviewing survey comments, the Times writes: "It was clear that many visitors haven't connected Aspen's dots. They harped about the high prices and inaccessibility without realizing both contribute to the lack of crowds." Makes sense. Nonetheless, season passes of up to $1,799 are a bit much for the average skier in this Great Recession.