For a skier, the real meaning of the word "value" comes down to getting your money's worth out of a vacation. But to do that, you have to know what you want. Take Utah as an example, where there are skiers who swear they get the best overall value at posh Deer Valley Resort-despite the fact that Deer Valley ranked No. 43 in Value in SKI's 1999 Reader Resort Survey. On the other end of the spectrum is nearby Alta, perennially ranked No. 1 in Value.
Clearly value is a relative term. Here we present an overview of what both mountains offer in terms of skiing, dining and lodging, as well as a dollar-by-dollar assessment of what it will cost you to vacation at each resort this winter. Prices are "rack" (published) rates, and while packages assembled by the resorts' central reservations may well be cheaper, this analysis provides a good estimate of what a custom five-night stay will cost two people this January, before airfare, bar tabs, service charges and taxes.