British Columbia's Whistler Blackcomb has been selected for the second consecutive year as the "Favorite Overall Resort" in North America of OnTheSnow.com visitors. The data period for voting was January 2011 when a Nielsen audit showed 3.4 million unique browsers logged in to the world's most visited snow sports Web platform. OnTheSnow.com is published by Mountain News Corp.
Visitors also honored Jackson Hole, Wyo., as their "Favorite Downhill Terrain;" Winter Park, Colo., as "Favorite Family-Friendly Resort; Park City Mountain Resort, Utah, as having their "Favorite Terrain Parks;" and Breckenridge, Colo., for offering their "Favorite Nightlife."
The ski resort with the top average score (on a scale of 1 to 5) in each category, and a minimum number of entries, receives the award. Visitors then ranked them in five categories: Overall Favorite, Best Nightlife, Most Family-Friendly, Best Downhill Terrain, and Best Terrain Park.
"User-generated content is a very powerful and effective way Web visitors have to communicate with each other," said Mountain News Global Managing Director Chad Dyer. "Skiers and snowboarders are relying on the word of their peers when they make resort choices."
Dyer points out these rankings should not be used as comparisons of one resort to another, since all visitors to OnTheSnow.com have not visited every resort, and expectations of the ski experience vary greatly in regions throughout North America. "But, they do provide an accurate reflection of our visitors' experiences and their passion for particular resorts."
Whistler Blackcomb, the Canadian resort that played host to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, seemed to continue in the afterglow, receiving numerous reviews: "This is a big mountain, friendly staff and suited to wide ability ski range;" "I've skied Whistler in multiple visits, from deep winter to true spring conditions and have had a blast every moment."
Another visitor wrote, "Major vertical, so much space, immaculate facilities, great staff. If you love the slopes, this place is a must; two amazing resorts side by side that would be incredible on their own. Every aspect of Whistler was great. The views are spectacular. Every type of terrain you could want." This one seemed to sum it up: "Great, great, and did I say great? Fun, fun, fun."
Overall winner Whistler Blackcomb combines over 8,171 acres, serviced by 38 lifts. The resort averages about 402 inches of snow each year and is a two-hour drive from Vancouver.
Over all regional Visitors Choice Awards winners for 2011 included Whistler Blackcomb in the Pacific Northwest; Kirkwood in the Far West; Aspen/Snowmass in the Rocky Mountains; Ski Brule in the Midwest; Jay Peak in the Northeast; and Canaan Valley Resort in the Mid Atlantic.