Steamboat slips in Ski Magazine rankings

Readers put resort at No. 10, a two-slot drop from last year

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— Steamboat hung on to a top-10 ranking this year in Ski Magazine's poll of best North American ski resorts.

The Steamboat Ski Area slid in at No. 10, a two-spot slip from last year's No. 8. The rankings come from a poll of Ski Magazine readers. The resort ranked No. 1 in family programs.

"We're always ecstatic to be recognized by our guests, which are basically the people who voted in the Ski Magazine survey," said Loryn Kasten, a spokeswoman for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

The ski area also landed in the top 10 for snow, lodging, dining and terrain parks.

"We have a great terrain park crew that's really passionate about what they're doing," Kasten said.

The resort doesn't measure its success solely by magazine rankings, however. Andy Wirth, Ski Corp.'s head of marketing, recently said that reviews on travel Web sites are equally important.

"We have some research that suggests that tripadvisor.com has as much impact on destination decision, property choice and booking choice as ski magazine ratings do," Wirth said this month.

Ski Corp. also surveys visitors on the mountain. The company reported some of the highest levels of visitor satisfaction among Intrawest resorts, Ski Corp. President Chris Diamond said in January.

Steamboat ranked ninth in 2006 and 2007. This is the fourth year in a row Steamboat has garnered a top-10 ranking. It was ranked 11th by Ski readers in 2005.

Ski polls readers each year to get their perceptions of ski areas in 18 categories. They include overall satisfaction, access, aprÃs ski, dining, family programs, grooming, lifts, lodging, off-hill activities, on-mountain food, scenery, service, snow terrain/challenge, terrain variety, terrain parks, value and weather.

Kasten said the resort appreciates any positive feedback.

"I think any recognition by an industry leader such as Ski magazine is both beneficial and welcome," she said.

To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234 or e-mail bterrell@steamboatpilot.com

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