Telluride Ski and Golf Company and local tourism officials are celebrating the news that Telluride was recently named the No. 1 ski resort in North America by Condé Nast Traveler.
The results were derived from the luxury travel magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Survey. Resorts were rated on a five-point scale on a variety of criteria, including terrain and conditions, lifts and lines, après ski activities, local dining and local ambiance. Telluride scored the highest in all categories except après ski, where it ranked second. The resort beat out other well-known ski destinations like Whistler Blackcomb, Jackson Hole, Park City, Vail and Aspen.
“What a fabulous thing that everybody here is involved in a resort that made No. 1,” said Telski owner Chuck Horning. “It’s not based on statistics or how easy we are to get to, it’s based on the people who came here and rated all the resorts. We should be celebrating up and down the streets. We’re all involved in the No. 1 resort in North America.”
Telluride received a 94.3 overall on a 100-point scale. The scores represent the percentage of respondents rating a ski resort excellent or very good.
Telski’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ken Stone said Condé Nast is very well respected in the high-end travel market, lending credibility to the rankings. More than 46,000 people weighed in. Since the rankings incorporated off-hill activities as well, the first-place prize belongs to the whole Telluride and Mountain Village community, he said.
“To be right at the top is amazing,” Stone said. “Everyone in this community should be proud. It’s not just about the skiing. It’s the destination.”
Telluride Tourism Board CEO Michael Martelon said the No. 1 ranking will help bring visitors to town this winter. The only bigger motivator would be lots of snow. Martelon said the ranking is more valuable than advertising.
“Consumers are continuing to take control of the marketplace and to have consumers talking about Telluride like that, you can’t outspend that,” Martelon said. “It will be the chatter all winter long. I just love the fact that we beat Whistler.”
Telluride also had nine lodging properties on Condé Nast’s list of top 50 ski hotels: Franz Klammer Lodge, Hotel Telluride, Inn at Lost Creek, New Sheridan Hotel, Lumiere, Camel’s Garden, Ice House Lodge, Mountain Lodge and Peaks Resort.
The No. 1 ranking comes at an opportune time for Telluride Ski Resort, as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Stone said Telski will be able to boast about the ranking in its marketing promotions. The company is about to launch new targeted direct mail and email offers to families with kids younger than 6 years old and affluent families without kids.
“We have over 100,000 targeted individuals,” Stone said. “It’s a good way to catch their attention. We are able to use this boastfully in a way. It’s certainly something to be proud of.”