Telluride Ski Resort, Top 10 in Forbes All Over Again

Telluride Ski Resort, Top 10 in Forbes All Over Again

This just in as Telluride braces (or should we say embraces?) itself for more snow. Once again, the Telluride Ski Resort finds itself on Chris Steiner’s list in Forbes of the “Top 10 Ski Resorts in North America.”

Among the glowing testimonials in his article:

“There is a group of top tier ski resort towns in North America—and this pack has an alpha. That alpha is Telluride. First-time visitors marvel at the seemingly vertical canyon walls rising on three sides next to town and wonder, ‘Why didn’t I come here earlier?’

“Scenery-wise, there is no North American ski town that competes. Telluride is this continent’s Chamonix. Town itself is on a similar level, as it’s stacked with venerable restaurants, shops and bars, along with a steady cycle of new haunts that keep all of the old standbys on their toes…”

Town of Telluride, Thanksgiving weekend. Courtesy, Telluride Ski Resort.

Read on for further details.

We have again teamed with to put together the definitive list of best ski resorts in North America. As always, our decisions are driven by a multitude of things, including snowfall, terrain, crowds and town ambience. These factors are baked into a master algorithm that yields, for 220 ski resorts on the continent, a Pure Awesomeness Factor, or PAF. In this piece, we’ll dig into the top 10 ski resorts by PAF for the skiing winter of 2018-2019.

This article also functions as something of a catchall for what has happened in the world of skiing during the last year, from ski resorts in Colorado to those in California, Canada and the Northeast. Ski industry reshuffling is factored into the PAF algorithm, so they’re worth considering here as well.

There has never been a skiing offseason that has put so many changes and new considerations in front of skiers. The season pass game, which had been fairly static during the last several years, with Vail Resorts’ lineup squaring off against a group of smaller resorts and independents belonging to the Mountain Collective, has seen its largest shakeup since the 1990s. Skiers must be more strategic than ever when picking what season pass to buy, and what ski resorts to travel to and when to do it.

Skiers should also be strategic about the gear they buy, which is why they should see our top picks for Winter Gear for 2019.

Just a year ago, Vail’s Epic Pass remained the unrivaled choice for skiers seeking a diversity of geographies and ski resorts on an unlimited ski pass. The Ikon Pass has remade the landscape, however. This resultant competition of Ikon vs. Epic presents skiers with two passes with resort lineups that are uncannily comparable.

That a full-fledged rival to the Epic Pass could crop up so quickly—and with such a strong offering of resorts—is a testament to the focus of the team at Alterra. It is a fascinating private equity play whose exit will be determined by two things: it’s ability to sell Ikon Passes in numbers that eventually approach those of Vail’s Epic Pass, and the public market’s willingness to value another company built upon a diverse collection of resorts bound by one pass.

The spark for all of this change was the 2017 formation Alterra Mountain Company, backed by cash from Denver Private Equity Firm KSL Capital and the Crown Family of Chicago, which owns Aspen Ski Company. Alterra’s first big plays were to scoop up Colorado resorts Steamboat and Winter Park, along with California’s Mammoth Mountain. From there, Alterra has gone on to buy a bevy of others, including Utah’s Deer Valley and Solitude, and a sizeable portfolio of resorts in the East.

In addition, Alterra has built upon existing relationships in place from the Mountain Collective and brought major independent resorts to the Ikon Pass, including Snowbird, Alta, Jackson Hole, and Big Sky—all places where skiers receive five or seven days, depending on what version of the pass they purchased.

Vail countered quickly, buying Crested Butte and strengthening its eastern lineup with more acquisitions. Most interesting, Vail peeled independent Telluride away from its Mountain Collective brethren and brought it to the Epic Pass, the full $900 version of which will get skiers seven days at Telluride, a ski mountain we hold in high esteem and the best ski town in North America….

Continue reading here and smile broadly since you were already in on the secret.


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