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Sun Valley Resort Ranks No. 1 in …. Just About Everything
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Saturday, October 23, 2021
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Sun Valley Resort has been named the top ski resort in North America for the second year in a row.

Sun Valley was recognized as North America’s top resort in SKI Magazine’s 2021/22 Annual Ski Resort Awards and Reader’s Poll, which came out online on Friday and will also be included in an upcoming print edition.

“Sun Valley truly does cater to all levels of skiers,” writes SKI Magazine’s senior editor Samantha Berman. “But if you have a soft spot in your heart for corduroy, you’ve come to the right place.”

“Best grooming I’ve ever skied,” added one reader. “Sun Valley is just magical,” added another. “The village and the lodge can’t be topped. The mountain is perfectly maintained and has perfect pitch on every run. The history makes it fun to be a part of. The Holding family are supreme stewards of this jewel.”

At the end of the day, Berman added, “If you know where to look, or can hook up with a friendly local to point you in the right direction, you will have a blast at Sun Valley on or off the slopes.”

Sun Valley’s sister resort Snowbasin in Utah was ranked No. 8.

“The secret, it seems, is out. This just might be the year to get off the beaten path,” SKI Magazine said.

The annual Resort Guide is based on the magazine’s Reader Resort Survey, the most comprehensive, and longest-running ranking in the industry. Sun Valley rated No. 1 in Grooming, Lifts, Service, Dining, Lodging, Family, Local Flavor and Overall Satisfaction.

Others in the top five were Deer Valley Resort in Utah, Aspen Snowmass in Colorado, Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, and Banff Sunshine in Alberta.

Sun Valley Vice President and General Manager Pete Sonntag called the honor an acknowledgement of the partnership between Sun Valley Resort and the surrounding community “that makes every guest feel welcome and special.”

“We are beyond excited to be recognized as the #1 ski resort in North America for the second year in a row,” he said. “This is a true testament to the leadership of Tim Silva and the legacy he’s left for us at Sun Valley Resort, and I am honored to carry the torch into the near season ahead.  Huge thanks go out to our amazing Sun Valley team and our local community for creating the extraordinary atmosphere our guests love.”

Sun Valley Resort opened the 380-acre ungroomed expert-only Sunrise expansion during its 2020-21 season, in addition to adding a couple miles of easy cruising to Broadway run. The expansion came with the new Broadway high-speed quad chairlift, which offers to-die-for views of The Bowls and the Pioneer Mountains.

And it came with a couple more dozen snow guns added to Sun Valley’s already extensive snowmaking arsenal.

In addition, the resort declined to require that guests and passholders make reservations to ski when many other ski resorts were doing so in response to the COVID pandemic.

Sun Valley plans to launch its 86th season on Nov. 25--Thanksgiving Day—snow permitting. Hot cocoa, branded collector’s mugs, branded neckwear and other giveaways will be handed out at River Run throughout the morning, and there will be live music. Sunny the Bear will also make an appearance during opening day.

Skiers will find expanded glade skiing above and below I-80 and Roundhouse Lane, thanks to the diseased trees that were culled as part of the Healthy Forest Initiative project.

A new server at River Run will assist with guest flow and Konditorei coffee and pastries will be offered in the River Run Lodge, in addition to Warm Springs Lodge. An Apres Bar outside River Run lodge will enable guests to toast their day outside in the fresh air.

Masks will be required in indoor public spaces per city ordinances in Sun Valley and Ketchum. But the resort will not require masks outdoors in lift lines, on lifts or in the Gondola this year as was required last year. Lifts will be loaded at full capacity this year. But lift attendants will accommodate those who wish to ride alone or do not want to be paired with groups from other parties.

IN OTHER NEWS:

Snowbasin, ranked No. 8, plans to open for the season on Nov. 24. The resort has replaced Middle Bowl with a new express lift with expanded capacity and has expanded parking capacity by 350 spaces.

 Targhee, which is technically in Wyoming but accessible only through Driggs, Idaho made SKI Magazine’s list of favs at No. 28. Contributing writer Lily Krass says that “skiing Targhee for the first time feels like visiting an old friend.

“Targhee boasts a warm, friendly spirit that’s everything you love about skiing without any of the overpriced fluff,” she writes.

SKI Magazine isn’t the only media handing out kudos to Sun Valley Resort.

Outsideonline.com just published a story that noted that Sun Valley Resort is just far enough away to keep crowds light but accessible enough for the adventurous. And its terrain and amenities are “second enough to none.”

The Challenger lift has the most vertical of any chair in North America, climbing 3,140 vertical feet. And it unloads onto the best top-to-bottom hot lap on the continent since there are no flats breaking the fall line, the article said.

“Your legs often quit before the runs do,” said big mountain skiing pioneer Mike Hattrup.


 


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