Finding the best ski resort to sync up with your personality is important. Every mountain has its own vibe and you need to know if you’re a poma lift kind of skier or a gondola kind of skier Here’s a personality test to help you decide where to take your next ski vacation.
Best Ski Resort For Your Personality Type
Every ski resort has its own vibe. It might be luxury, laid-back, or family-friendly. Every skier has his or her own vibe, too. Maybe you like to have everything taken care of for you. Carry your skis, ma’am? Maybe you like a no-frills mountain with plenty of charm and character. Or maybe you head to the sickest terrain. To make sure you choose the best ski resorts, I’ve broken down four basic personality types and the best ski resort to fit your personality type
Type A Skier: Goal-Oriented and Aggressive
Where to Go: Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, California.
Do you spend your vacation ticking off the list of runs to make sure you got them all? Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Olympic Games, will not disappoint the goal-oriented thrill seeker in you. You’ll want to hit the famed KT-22 with its gnarly steeps and then check out Granite Chief on the backside for cliffs and jumps.
Bringing the family along? Don’t worry, Squaw Valley has an amazing variety of terrain for kids and it’s set at the top of the mountain, so everyone gets to enjoy the incredible views of Lake Tahoe, as well as discovering the best ski resort for your personality.
Where to Stay in Squaw Valley
The Village at Squaw Valley is the ideal place to stay, right next to the slopes and with easy access to shopping, a spa, a yoga studio and excellent restaurants. I recommend Fireside for delicious pizza and Rocker – their brisket fries were to die for.
What to Do in Squaw Valley
Visit the lake. The drive around Lake Tahoe will take you about two hours, but plan for longer so you can stop along the way. Well worth taking an afternoon off the slopes, the scenery and variety of towns – from campy lake towns to casino hot spots – make for a unique and exciting mini road trip.
If you don’t have a car, Tahoe City, just 15 minutes from Squaw Valley Resort, is accessible by bus. A great place for apres-ski, the town has wonderful restaurants and shopping, as well as a beach and park/playground.
While the resorts get plenty of snow, the sun is almost always shining in Lake Tahoe and the lake-level towns aren’t often snow-covered. You can usually walk along the lake, or play at the playground, even in the middle of winter.
Type B Skier: Friendly, Outgoing, but Not Very Detail-Oriented
Where to Go: Deer Valley in Park City, Utah
My family has dubbed Deer Valley “The Happiest Place on Snow,” because we couldn’t help think of Disney World while we were there. All the little details are taken care of, their people couldn’t be happier to help, and you just feel special.
Take the trail signs for example. Ever ride on the lift and wonder what trail is underneath you? It looks like a good one, but do you know how to find it when you’re halfway down the mountain? Deer Valley sets trail signs facing in both directions – looking uphill and downhill – so you always know where you are and how to find where you want to ski! And the chair lifts are like sitting on a couch, with probably a good six inches of padding keeping you warm and comfy!
This luxury resort boasts some of the best corduroy around and you won’t go hungry with its gourmet, award-winning food. In fact, Deer Valley was rated #1 by readers of Ski Magazine for its grooming, service, food, and more, for several years.
If you’re a type B that just wants to have fun and not worry about the details, Deer Valley has you covered.
Important note: Deer Valley is a skier-only resort. No snowboards allowed.
Where to Stay in Deer Valley
You’ll find tons of lodging right on the mountain. For families, look for lodging near the Children’s Center – Trails End Lodge, Silver Baron Lodge, Lodges at Deer Valley, or Deer Lake Village.
What to Do in Deer Valley
Take a free bus to downtown Park City for trendy shopping and eating.
Type C Skier: Detail-Oriented, Dependable, and a Perfectionist
Where to Go: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
For a “perfect” vacation with dependable snow and an array of off-mountain activities, go to Steamboat. Thanks to its location in northwestern Colorado, it averages 350″ of snow and its renowned glades keep powder stashes for days after a storm. But they also groom their blue cruisers with impeccable attention to detail.
Where to Stay in Steamboat
I recommend the Steamboat Grand Hotel. When my family visited, we checked in, took care of our ski rentals, and sat down at The Cabin Restaurant for dinner all in the space of 30 minutes. That’s what I call effortless. You can choose from a hotel room, condo, studio or penthouse. We stayed in a roomy, comfortable condo. But the best part is the easy ski and boot storage at the Grand Storage. Here’s how it works:
What to Do in Steamboat
For a Type C who wants the perfect ski vacation, with active, off-day fun, the town of Steamboat Springs delivers. Soothe tired quads at Strawberry Hot Springs, or try winter horseback riding with Del’s Triangle 3 Ranch.
The town itself continues to thrive as a working ranch town with plenty of authentic western shopping and fine dining.
Visit during Winter Carnival in early February and you’ll get parades, contests, fireworks, and more.
Type D Skier: Laid-Back and Resistant to Change
Where to Go: Powder Mountain in Eden, Utah
When you arrive at the main lodge at Powder Mountain, you might think you’ve been transported back in time to the 70s. There’s no faux-European chalet or fancy village – just a cozy lodge with a joyful bar, a cafeteria with a warm fireplace and a minimalist rental center/gift shop.
But make no mistake – this is no small resort. They are currently undergoing the largest lift-serviced expansion in North American history, adding 1,000 acres of new terrain and making them the largest ski resort in the U.S.
What I loved the most about PowMow (as it’s lovingly referred to) is the wide-open spaces and total lack of crowds. They cap season and day passes, giving them the lowest skier density of any major ski area in North America. Even on a weekend after a big dump of powder, the longest lift line I waited in was maybe 5 minutes and there were places on the mountain I skied and did not see or hear one other person.
The other thing I loved was its side-country skiing opportunities. These areas do not have trails cut, but are open for skiers to, well, just ski. The terrain is not ultra-challenging or super steep, but I found it a fantastic mix of fun and just-shy-of scary for a blue-black skier like me.
If you’re a Type D looking for a laid-back atmosphere and an authentic ski experience, head to Powder Mountain.
Where to Stay in Powder Mountain
NorthStar Lodgings offers condos convenient to the slopes. My family stayed at Moose Hollow, just a short walk across the parking lot from our door to the bus.
I loved that they supplied so many basics that you need on vacation. I’m used to shopping for laundry detergent, paper towels, sponges, etc, when I stay in a condo, but NorthStar Lodgings’ policy is to take care of all that for you so you feel at home and relaxed. There was even a solid supply of oils and spices in the pantry.
Another thing I loved was that Moose Hollow hosted a free Happy Hour on Friday nights where everyone could gather for wine and snacks. This led to us meeting some terrific people who we skied with for several days on our trip.
What to Do in Powder Moutain
Eat at the Shooting Star Saloon in nearby Huntsville. It’s the oldest, continuously operating saloon west of the Mississippi River and worth a visit if you like western culture, history, and quirky attractions. There are a lot of stories here – be sure to look carefully at the walls and ceiling. Their entire menu fits on a napkin dispenser and there are no variations. Do not ask for fries. Do not ask for a burger without ketchup. You get their standard burger and chips, and you’ll like it. This establishment is 21-and-over only, so plan a date night!
Finding the best ski resorts to sync with your personality is important. You may not be happy with a poma lift when you’d prefer a gondola. Do your research before choosing a ski resort and you’ll be sure to have a better experience on and off the slopes.