Monday, November 24, 2014 12:00 AM
By Christopher Steiner, Forbes -- As we arrive here at the precipice of a new winter, we’re pleased once again to offer you the Forbes Top 10 U.S. Ski Resorts. These are the best ski resorts in the United States. The mountains haven’t moved and what constitutes snow hasn’t changed, but this year’s list was put together with an intensity of purpose and breadth of inputs that bests our previous efforts. We analyze more data and more of what matters for ski trips and for what makes the best ski resorts.
If you’ve read our rankings in the past, then you know that we use a proprietary algorithm that renders for each resort what’s known in PhD circles as the Pure Awesomeness Factor, or PAF. By measuring PAF, we determine what ski resorts are best. The PAF score for each resort is the most scientific and proven way to determine how many drips of fun can be wrung from one ski trip. It’s one of the more important metrics developed during our time. You’ve heard of Joules, Ohms, Amperes and the Richter Scale, of course? The PAF measurement will follow these names into history.
This year’s rankings: We spent a good deal of the summer greatly widening the data set we use to inform the PAF calculations. Our improved database includes more than 30 categories of data for 182 U.S. resorts. It was a long summer of toil, but we’re now prepared to release this emission of awesomeness to the world. Even better, in addition to the top 10 listed here, the entire rankings set—182 resorts worth of data, and rankings for regions, snow, expert mountains, family mountains and travel ease—now resides at ZRankings.com, the most comprehensive ski rankings site on the web.
America's Top 10 Ski Resorts
1. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
4. Alyeska, Alaska
5. Squaw Valley, California
6. Vail, Colorado
7. Mammoth, California
8. Grand Targhee, Wyoming
9. Telluride, Colorado