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ski school

Best Bargains 2003: West

Features

Too strapped to ski? You might be surprised. This year is an especially good time to keep your ear to the ground for great ski deals. Check out these deals in the West.

Passing It On

From the Top

In this issue, our focus is on instruction as we dissect the challenges facing our ski schools ("Ski School Revolution") and also profile some of the best ski clinics available in North America ("Get Better").

2003 Number 1 Resort in the East: Tremblant, Que.

Travel

At some point during your Tremblant vacation, you'll see a small knot of serious people strolling the village taking notes. These are rival ski executives making a pilgrimage (and shaking their heads about their own pitiful villages back home).

2003 Number 27 Resort in North America: Alta, Utah

Features

Alta's unassailable charms are snow (abundant and as dry as the perfect martini), terrain (wide-open flanks punctuated with butt-clenching steeps) and value ($40 a day), categories it is accustomed to dominating in the annual rankings.

2003 Number 4 Resort in North America: Snowmass, Colo.

Features

At more than 3,000 acres and 4,400 vertical feet, Snowmass proves huge is better by providing just about everything you could want in a ski vacation. "Terrain variety is exceptional, and it never seems crowded," a reader says.

2003 Number 11 Resort in the East: Holiday Valley, N.Y

Features

When the Weather Channel makes its annual stakeout of western New York to tell the country lake-effect tales of woe, skiers at the east end of Lake Erie grin in anticipation. They know one of those prodigious snow bands is likely to lash Holiday Valley, perhaps the best ski area between the Adirondacks and the Rockies.

2003 Number 10 Resort in the East: Sunday River, Maine

Features

Thanks to some management changes at the top, Sunday River is now sporting a newer, happier attitude, causing one reader to call it "a civilized version of Killington." But its biggest success is still the Les Otten formula of snowmaking, grooming and lots of fast lifts.

2003 Number 6 Resort in the East: Loon Mountain, N.H.

Features

What do you do when you almost have it all? Loon Mountain, with its velvety smooth grooming, popular family programs and ideal location (two hours from Boston yet at a high enough elevation to get real snow) has asked itself just that. The answer this year is finesse.

2003 Number 3 Resort in the East: Stowe, Vt.

Features

Stowe's considerable charm is about to become more charming. A $220 million expansion plan is moving ahead. Among other things, it includes additional lifts, snowmaking and terrain, along with a "hamlet" at the base of Spruce Peak.

2003 Number 2 Resort in the Midwest: Boyne Highlands, Mich.

Features

Boyne Highlands, near Harbor Springs in lower Michigan, has been a mainstay in Midwest skiing since 1964. "For this region, Boyne Highlands is about as good as it gets," says a reader.

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