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snowmaking

Utah Resorts Pounded by Winter Storm

Features

Following an unusually dry January for most western ski areas, Utah resorts finally returned to the deep-powder conditions skiers and snowboards have come to expect from the area's legendary powder factories.

2003 Number 4 Resort in the East: Stratton, Vt.

Travel

Stratton made the biggest leap of any resort this year-moving up from No. 17 to No. 4-by catering to a well-heeled clientele who prefer gliding down corduroy to launching off bumps.

Numbing Numbers

Features

For all of its advanced technology—fiberglass-titanium shaped skis, space-age suits, rapid cable-detaching chairlifts—skiing is less than advanced when it comes to statistics about itself.

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 22 Resort in North America: Lake Louise, Alb.

Features

It must be the air. Up a couple of spots from last year's rankings, Alberta's breathtaking Lake Louise resort sparked passionate responses from its supporters. "It's the most romantic ski resort on the continent," gushes an admirer.

2003 Number 14 Resort in North America: Sun Valley, Idaho

Features

Sun Valley's owner, Earl Holding, might be forgiven for not financing a lot of new projects last year. He did, after all, funnel some $70 million into his other mountain, Snowbasin, Utah, the 2002 Winter Olympic downhill and super G venue. This suits many Sun Valley loyalists fine.

2003 Number 18 Resort in the East: Cannon, N.H.

Features

Cannon's not for wimps. Got it? If you need pampering, posh slopeside dining and lodging or tony boutiques, this state-run mountain ain't for you, honey. But if you thrive on challenge, demand variety of terrain and know how to dress warm, then one of New England's oldest, toughest mountains awaits.

2003 Number 13 Resort in the East: Seven Springs, PA.

Features

Great snowmaking and grooming make this resort a dependable favorite for skiers in the Mid-Atlantic. Seven Springs boasts some of the best infrastructure in the world-no surprise, given that one of the owners is the inventor of the tower gun.

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.

Number 4 Resort in the East: Stratton, Vt.

Features

Stratton made the biggest leap of any resort this year-moving up from No. 17 to No. 4-by catering to a well-heeled clientele who prefer gliding down corduroy to launching off bumps. Since becoming part of the Intrawest family in 1994, Stratton has invested millions into updating and renovating the faux-Bavarian resort to meet the demands of the metro-New York families who frequent it.

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