News » Whistler

'Fickle' magazine rankings 'don't really matter’



There's no doubt about it – Whistler is one of the best ski resorts in the world, and again has the hardware to prove it.

The resort has recently been selected as one of North America's top resorts by three different major magazines.

Whistler has been ranked by SKI magazine, which, according to the pundits, is the most reputable snowsports magazine in the world, as the No. 3 ski resort in North America this year.

"The range of skiing... is awe-inspiring. If you want an authentic big-mountain adventure... Whistler-Blackcomb is it," according to SKI magazine.

SKI magazine's rankings are based on an annual reader survey that generates an overall ranking based on a number of different categories.

Readers gave the thumbs up to Whistler's terrain, lifts and apres-ski scene but gave the thumbs down to its snow quality, ease of access and inclement weather.

The resort has also been selected as North America's best sports town by Sports Illustrated for Women, and the continent's top ski resort by the U.K.-based Good Skiing and Snowboarding Guide.

But does it really matter?

Not according to some of those in the know, employees who work at local ski, snowboard and mountain bike shops.

"If you're here for the skiing, the rankings don't really matter," said Scott Gillis of Fanatyk Co. "They're just based on hype."

"The rankings are so fickle," Gillis told Pique Newsmagazine . "If you ask the average Joe which ski resort is the best, Whistler is still going to be near the top."

Whistler has consistently been ranked as one of the best resorts by various North American, European and Asian ski magazines for more than a decade. And that does seem to be having a cumulative effect on local business.

"We've been getting busier and busier every year since we opened six years ago," said Claire Buchar of Evolution.

But according to Buchar, it's the mountains – not the rankings – that really matter.

Both Gillis and Buchar concluded their thoughts about the magazine rankings in a similar way.

"Whistler is still going to be the same place, even if it isn't ranked No. 1," said Gillis.

Buchar agreed, and said: "People will still be coming here anyway."

Add a comment