Do you want a village that feels intimate and embracing at the foot of expansive yet seamlessly interconnected slopes? Is convenience king for you? If you answered yes, then go here.
Giant ski areas - the largest in the world - are a hallmark of French skiing. These sprawling arenas of interconnected lifts, runs and resort centers are so vast that even the brawniest North American resorts look Lilliputian in comparison. (Imagine six Whistler Blackcombs tethered together.) With the comparatively modest 24,000 contiguous skiable acres of Espace Killy out its back door, Val d'Isère is hardly the largest of the French megaresorts (a mere three Whistler Blackcombs).
Steamboat remains in the elite ranks of North American resorts despite a cash-strapped ownership that hasn't spent much in recent years. Why? Good bones: 2,939 acres, 20 lifts and a saucy 3,668-foot vertical drop.
From the beginning in 1967, Snowmass has set the bar for American resorts in several categories: "fall-out-of-bed skiing," meticulous grooming, great family programs and "Let-me-die-here-please!" levels of service.