Visitors to OnTheSnow.com have chosen Colorado's Winter Park Resort as the most "Family-Friendly Resort in North America." The data period for voting was January 2011 when a Nielsen audit showed 3.4 million unique browsers logged into the world's most visited Web platform. OnTheSnow.com is published by Mountain News Corp.
Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia continued to build on its legacy of hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics and received the top award as North America's Favorite Overall Resort.
Visitors also honored Jackson Hole, Wyo., as having their "Favorite Downhill Terrain;" 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."
OnTheSnow visitors were enthusiastic about Winter Park. "This is a ski area with so much to offer for families. The village is where you want to stay if you want to be at the mountain and within walking distance of the lifts and ski school for the kids;" "Great for families, a great place to take the kids. I think that the best part is that it is extremely fun and it is great for families."
Others wrote: "My children (ages 9, 5, and 4) all love skiing Mary Jane. My family and I cannot get enough of MJ. The ski school at Winter Park is the best. My youngest child started skiing when she was 3 and now, at age 4, she skis on blues thanks to the wonderful teachers." Another said, "Awesome ski school. Our 4 1/2 year old twins just loved it."
Winter Park, 67 miles from Denver, Colo., is positioned next to the Continental Divide, giving the resort the distinct advantage of being able to catch winter storms from nearly every direction. Western and southern storms get "trapped" by the Divide. There are 3,078 acres of skiable terrain serviced by 26 lifts.