ORINDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--British Columbia’s Whistler Blackcomb has once again claimed the title of “Favorite Overall Resort” in OnTheSnow.com’s Visitors Choice Awards, an annual list of favorite resorts as ranked by user ratings from the site’s 3.4 million monthly unique visitors. Winter Park, Jackson Hole, Park City Mountain Resort, and Breckenridge took overall honors in a range of categories. The awards also named users’ top regional picks in the Far West, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, Pacific Northwest and Rockies. OnTheSnow honored each of the winners on April 6 at the Mountain Travel Symposium in Beaver Creek, Colo.
"The Web was made for rankings like these,” said Chad Dyer, global managing director of Mountain News Corporation, which operates OnTheSnow. “OnTheSnow.com began as a place for skiers and snowboarders to share and learn about a sport they love, and today, we’re using all their contributions to tell a larger story. The Visitors Choice Awards are a reflection of the thousands of ratings our users submit. It’s true internet democracy.”
Each of the awards reflects users’ ratings of the resorts on a scale of one to five in five categories: overall experience, nightlife, family-friendliness, downhill terrain and terrain park. For the Visitors Choice Awards, the OnTheSnow team picked the resorts with a minimum number of reviews and the top average score in each category to receive honors. The top North American resort rankings are:
Overall: Whistler Blackcomb – Winner in this category for the second consecutive year, 2010 Olympic host resort Whistler Blackcomb received high praise from OnTheSnow users: “I've skied Whistler in multiple visits, from deep winter to true spring conditions and have had a blast every moment.” Another wrote, “Major vertical, so much space, immaculate facilities, great staff. If you love the slopes, this place is a must.”
Best Nightlife: Breckenridge – The fun picked up after the lifts stopped spinning at this historic Colorado mining town turned mountain resort. “The town has plenty of options for anyone. If you're hungry, just walk down Main Street and something will grab your attention. The best part of the time we were there was the town [itself],” said one reviewer.
Best Family Resort: Winter Park – A perennial favorite with families, Winter Park took the top spot for 2011. Reviewers lauded the resort’s attention to parents and kids alike. “Great for families, a great place to take the kids,” said one. “My children (ages 9, 5, and 4) all love skiing Mary Jane,” wrote another reviewer. “My youngest child started skiing when she was 3 and now, at age 4, she skis on blues thanks to the wonderful teachers.”
Best Downhill Terrain: Jackson Hole – Set in the shadow of the Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole’s award-winning downhill terrain awed users. “Amazing terrain, abundant snow and steeps,” wrote one. “Jackson Hole provides everything from backcountry tree runs to steeps, chutes for the super adventurous and then open groomers and cruisers for the laid back.”
Best Terrain Park: Park City Mountain Resort – Often recognized as a powder paradise, Utah’s Park City Mountain Resort also won recognition for its top-notch terrain parks: “All I have to say [is] if you are a boarder or skier who loves terrain parks a lot, go here—best terrain park I’ve been to.”
OnTheSnow partnered with the video departments at the top North American resorts to create short videos showcasing each destination’s award-winning features. The videos are available on the site's YouTube channel.
The OnTheSnow team notes that the rankings should not be used as comparisons across regions, however, since all visitors to the site have not visited every resort, and expectations of the ski experience vary greatly throughout North America.
"We draw reviews from skiers and snowboarders around the continent—the globe, even—so we know that five-star downhill terrain in the Midwest won’t look like the chutes and bowls of the Rockies. But that’s why we break out the awards by region,” said Dyer. “This way, we can still provide an accurate representation of our visitors' experiences and a guide to the resorts they enjoy most.”
The following resorts ranked as the visitors’ “Best Overall” from each of the regions:
Far West: Kirkwood
Mid-Atlantic: Canaan Valley Resort
Midwest: Ski Brule
Northeast: Jay Peak
Pacific Northwest: Whistler Blackcomb
For the full listings, including regional category award winners, and more information about the top resorts, please visit http://www.OnTheSnow.com.
About OnTheSnow.com and Mountain News Corporation
OnTheSnow is operated by Mountain News Corporation (MNC). MNC, a subsidiary of Vail Resorts, is the top provider of snow reports to more than 1,500 websites throughout the world, including approximately 400 news media websites. The Company’s pre-produced radio snow reports are delivered to affiliate stations in 17 radio networks and 800 stations across the country. In addition to their snow reports and website, OnTheSnow.com publishes and delivers a weekly e-mail newsletter to its database of more than 250,000 subscribers worldwide. MNC also operates MountainGetaway.com, the year-round headquarters for information regarding popular mountain resort communities and regions in the summer months.