Area’s ski resorts staying afloat
NICK WOLCOTT/CHRONICLE Sara Mines hikes north along Bridger Bowl's ridge in winter 2010.

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"Bozeman is the perfect mix of ski town and skitropolis; it's more affordable than Jackson Hole, less crowded than Salt Lake City and more of a real town that Whistler."

Thus begins Powder magazine's glowing review in of Bozeman in its November cover story on the "Top 20 places to live to ski."

Bozeman, which "lays claim to three blue-ribbon trout waters" and three "distinctly different" ski resorts, ranked No. 1 on this year's list, giving credence to something ski bums across the valley have believed all along.

"Obviously there's no argument here," said Doug Wales, marketing director at Bridger Bowl. "We all know why Bozeman is a great town to live in."

"It's not surprising that we'd be ranked like that," added Chad Jones, spokesman for Big Sky Resort.

To get the top spot, Bozeman edged out Jackson Hole, Wyo., which came in at No. 2, and Salt Lake City at No. 3.

In its Bozeman blurb, Powder magazine outlined not only why Bozeman's a good place to be a skier ("Big Sky's 11,166-foot Lone Peak" and "the renowned Ridge"), but also why it is a good place to be a human being.

Montana State University gives Bozeman "a young, active and open-minded community" and the city "enjoys a rich music and art scene and a robust nightlife full of tasty eateries and copious watering holes."

Wales and Jones said landing on lists like this helps business.

"Powder (magazine) speaks to a specific group of core skiers," Wales said, "so I think they have credibility. It certainly does have weight."

Powder magazine, based in San Clemente, Calif., has a circulation of 72,000.

Daniel Person can be reached at or 582-2665.


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