Readers of Condé Nast Traveler demand quality from one of the country’s most prestigious and awarded magazine publishers – making its Readers’ Choice Awards a reasonably reliable travelers’ planning guide.
And with more than half a million responses in its 32nd annual Readers’ Choice Awards this year, a record for the magazine, Purgatory Resort’s place in the 30 best ski resorts in North America carries some weight.
Durango’s local ski resort ranked 10th among dozens of resorts clustered around the Mountain West, with outliers in the Northwest and Northeast. Colorado clobbered the competition with 12 resorts chosen by Condé Nast Traveler readers, also including Telluride at a coveted No. 2 spot. Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah nabbed No. 1.
Purgatory took the No. 10 spot, beating Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at No. 13; Park City, Utah, at No. 18; and Big Sky, Montana, at No. 23. With a $99 price tag, Purgatory doesn’t offer the cheapest lift tickets on the list – a few resorts offer tickets as low as $70. But a local lift ticket is cheaper than a $162 pass to Aspen Mountain, just below Purgatory on the list at No. 11.
The magazine’s summary of Purgatory highlights the resort’s small crowds compared with the Front Range, its family-friendly perks and “Purgatory Snowcat Adventures, Colorado’s largest cat skiing operation with access to over 35,000 acres of guided backcountry terrain,” the author wrote.