Are Colorado Ski Resorts Overrated?
Let me start by saying that this is not an article on whether or not there are quality ski resorts in Colorado. Because there are certainly some great ski resorts in Colorado. The question I am examining is whether Colorado ski resorts receive more press or publicity than they deserve. I will also analyze this question based on what these ski resorts offer compared to how nice the hotels and restaurants are.
Colorado receives more skier days than any other state in the country. Why does Colorado have so many skiers? Let’s analyze some factors.
Colorado has a much larger population than other large ski states like Wyoming, Montana, and Vermont. But if population was the reason for Colorado’s huge ski crowds, California would surely hold the title for most single-state skier days.
Most ski areas in Colorado receive between 300 “-350” of snow per season. This is a respectable amount, but certainly not enough to make it the gunpowder heaven that various marketing materials would have you believe. 300 “per year is what the best East Coast ski resorts get, and there’s a reason people don’t have chunky skis on the East Coast. When you start looking at some of the other top ski destinations, You start to see where Powder Snow Havens are in. Utah, which can actually back it up when they claim to have ‘The Largest Snow on Earth’, is home to Alta, which gets over 500 “of snow a year. The west coast also leads Colorado in annual snowfall. Washington, not generally considered a major ski state, claimed the most snowfall in a single season when Mt Baker received more than 1,000 “of snow in the 98-99 season.
Beginner terrain, hair salons, and terrain parks can be found anywhere there is enough snow. So let’s move on to an assessment of the cliffs and slopes that distinguish true elite ski resorts. Colorado has some resorts known for their premier terrain, such as Crested Butte and Aspen, but the most popular resorts in the Summit County area do not have the same caliber of terrain. And when Summit County ski resorts are compared to ski resorts like Squaw Valley, Jackson Hole, and Snowbird, which consistently rank as the best ski resorts by terrain, there’s not much to compare.
Clearly, this is a subjective analysis. So what do you think? Is Colorado overrated or do you think all the people who ski there can’t be wrong?