Originally built as a homeowners' perk in 1972 to draw buyers to a planned community, Northstar has blossomed into the Tahoe region's third most-visited resort. The resort's beauty is in the details: free lessons five times daily, and more.
Some of Aspen Highlands' biggest assets come literally out of the sky. The famously cooperative Western Slope weather produces an endless supply of bluebird days while conveniently piling up powder by night.
It's baa-ack. You can't blame other resorts for learning from-and occasionally surpassing-the master. But this year's survey reminds us that Vail unquestionably set, and continues to raise, the standard of the ski vacation.