Whistler number one, Vail number two for fourth consecutive year Some fine tuning to Snow Country Magazine’s amenity measurements have helped solidify Whistler as the number one ski resort in North America, according to the publication’s annual ski area rankings. The September issue of the magazine, which should be on newstands next week, ranks Whistler number one for the fourth year in a row. Vail is number two and Mammoth Mountain, in California, is number three in this year’s rankings. "We used the same basic formula but added some new categories to the amenity measurements — steeps and bumps — to make the system more accurate," Editor Ron Rudolph says. "They’re categories that Whistler/Blackcomb excel in." Snow Country’s rankings are based on a complex system of amenity measurements — including vertical drop, high speed lifts, terrain, number of runs and on-hill accommodation — as well as readers’ responses. Rudolph says Vail used to complain about being ranked second by Snow Country, but after four years of being number two "I haven’t heard much from them." However, he admitted after four years of Whistler and Vail being one and two the magazine’s "ratings have reached a kind of homeostasis." Snow Country, a New York Times Company publication, has a circulation of 475,000. A mountain-lifestyle magazine, its annual ratings are considered important marketing tools. SKI, the other magazine to rank North American ski resorts, publishes its findings in its October edition. SKI’s rankings are based on skier responses. Whistler/Blackcomb has finished as high as second in SKI’s rankings. Vail has been number one every year.

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