Please Enjoy These One-Star Ski Resort Reviews

It turns out that skiing doesn’t make everyone happy.


Ah, skiing. It’s the greatest. The crisp mountain air, the rhythmic weave down the slopes, the mouth-agape scenery, the connection with nature. Right? Wrong. The lift lines, the terrible grooming, the unkempt lifties, and dear sweet lord, the prices! The snow is too white, too soft, and then somehow it’s too hard. There’s never enough of it, until there’s too much of it. Ya know, there should be a place for disgruntled skiers to air out the dirty laundry of a tainted ski experience. Enter Yelp to the rescue. Think you’ve had a bad ski day? Check out these one-star reviews.

Bob from Park City, Utah, has an issue with the 12-ounce curls at Park City: “The lifts move far too quickly. I have tried many times and can barely finish a beer by the end of the ride. Unfortunately, I bought the Epic pass so I have to continue drinking at this resort for the rest of the season. I will buy a pass for a different resort next year.” Good luck, Bob.

Ben from Las Vegas, Nevada, has some, ahem, thoughts about Breckenridge: “Let’s start from five stars and work backwards. Lose a star for the fact that I spend more of my day in lift lines than I do skiing down the mountain. Lose a star because Breckenridge has the worst layout of any ski area I’ve been to. Lose a star because I have to pay $12 to park miles from any skiable terrain. Lose a star because they constantly overinflate their snowfall. I’m not saying they lie. I’m sure they have a perfectly scientific way of reporting snow. All I’m saying is that where I come from, if you report 8 inches of new snow it’s because you have 8 inches of new snow for people to ski.” Breckenridge’s snow ruler was unavailable to answer questions.

Frank from Venice, California, had a gross time in Telluride: “Telluride is not really cut out for REAL skiers or families…If you ski groomers and think going on a double black makes you badass, have at it. What counts as a double black here might be a challenging blue on a powder day at Alta, Taos, or even Mammoth. I had to JUMP over an entire line of rocks on 3 runs off of the top of Chair 9…TRide is trying to charge Vail/Deer Valley prices but they seem to attract the douchey wannabes rather than legit skiers. Deer Valley is great service and classy. Telluride is my kids pointing to a used condom in the middle of the street 50 feet in front of the Gondola. Oh, did I mention the affinity for douchebags and their obvious cash?” Frank updated this review to  3 stars after the resort reached out. He will be giving Telluride another chance. No report as to the whereabouts of the sullied prophylactic.



According to Robert from Ventura, California, Mammoth is great for doctors, but not for skiers: “Daily lift tickets are now $149-plus at the window. For a family of four for three days of skiing is $1,788. This is just the lift tickets. Thinking about eating something? Mammoth will happily charge you $10-plus for a burger and about $5 for a cup of drip coffee. Thinking about ski school for the little ones? I hope you have the gold or platinum Amex. If you think a snowstorm would make for an epic powder day at the top you are wrong. High winds keep large portions of the mountain closed for days at a time. On some of the storm days, the majority of lifts are closed. When the storms do pass and the ski patrol starts bombing the upper portion of the mountain, the lifts stay closed until mid day and the avalanche debris fields turn into an orthopedic surgeons wet dream.” Ew.

Jackson has an emphasis on the Hole according to KR from Philadelphia: “This mountain sucks. Don’t even consider coming here. You pay an outrageous amount for a lift ticket and all you do is wait in line until 11 a.m. when the lifts actually open. Not to mention that people pay an extra $250 for a guide that allows you to ride the gondola at 8:45 a.m. when the mountain opens at 9, even when the staff says that no one can ride the lifts due to various bullsh** excuses. WORLD CLASS SKI RESORT RUN BY WORLD CLASS [capitalized expletive deleted].” All caps is yelling with a keyboard and should therefore be taken very seriously.

Jay from Denver, Colorado, pulled no punches for Vail: “Goddamn Vail sucks. Excellent mountain, terrible people. If you like a bunch of rich people from Texas wiping their butts with $100 bills then this is the place for you. If you like a chill, authentic style mountain town don’t go to Vail. Vail is essentially a mall in the sky. Pretty disgusting if you ask me.” Does anyone else feel bad for the $100 bills?

Piggybank issues in Aspen spoiled the experience for Dani from Santa Ana, California: “The people that ski here are a group of complete [expletive deleted]! The majority of people on this mountain are old grumpy skiers that are very entitled and think that they own the mountain. They’re very mean and have major attitude problems. I can only venture to guess that they have not gotten laid in a very, very long time…Also, this mountain is full of rich filth and the vibe is just absolutely terrible! Will never come back until these horrible human beings go somewhere else!” No report on migration patterns of horrible human beings.

Kam from Brea, California, does not like Snowbird. Not even a little: “WORST. MOUNTAIN. EVER. I am a snowboarder so forgive me if you hate my review. I am looking for decent runs that are wide open, and I do not like moguls, but will ride through them if I have to get to another run. I had no idea this place didn’t groom their runs. I get there on a snowy day and I see nothing but moguls everywhere. Nothing but narrow fire roads that they use to get from place to place, and the park is literally a joke. I can count the number of features they had set up on one hand…The one thing I hated more than anything were the amazing amount of moguls that I’d encountered throughout the seemingly limitless number of runs with moguls. Later that day I found out—guess what—they don’t even groom most of their runs. This place is by far the worst resort I have ever been to. Two thumbs down.” At time of publication the moguls had been put away for the off-season and were therefore unavailable for comment.

Big Sky’s employees are unimpressive according to Karl from Moab, Utah: “A real disappointment. As a seasonal staff member I have lost any respect for Big Sky Resort. Communication from management is awful. Most of the staff are transient bums whose life goal is to get high on a daily basis. The culture of the resort is a hands off policy by management when employees misbehave and act out. The skiing is okay, but not as good as Utah.” It is unclear as to whether or not Big Sky has authorized timeouts for misbehaving employees.

James from Park City, Utah, may have had trouble with the fuzz at Sun Valley: “Resort is mediocre and the sheriff’s department relies on out of state tickets to fund their department. Busy restaurants, mellow terrain, just no real reason to ever go again.”

Daniel from Sunnyvale, California, does not have a sunny disposition about Taos: “This place is the PITS. A bunch of amateurs on the mountain thinking they are much better than they are. The blues are greens and blacks are really blue. If you grab a Mountain Collective Pass then 100-percent skip this dump. The staff is awful, the mountain sucks, and the skiers are terrible. The mountain is absolutely not that great. There are a handful of runs absolutely worth skipping. Don’t even get me started on the lifts. And the village blows. Everything closes at 8:30 p.m. Meh.” The trail rating confusion may or may not have been caused by colorblindness.

 

Showing 26 comments
  • Eric Moore
    Reply

    “Most of the staff are transient bums whose life goal is to get high on a daily basis.” This is even, single, ski resort, ever as someone that has worked at a few.

  • Gordon
    Reply

    Some of these are hilarious (can’t find expert terrain at Telluride? You’re not looking hard enough). But one thing resonated: shelling out $1800 for a family of four to ski a long weekend. And that is JUST for lift tickets. To be honest, skiing long ago lost my family (in favor of surfing) because of simple economics.

  • Trevor
    Reply

    Dude’s got a point about Mammoth (And pretty much every other major ski resort). I love the mountain, and it’s where I’ve spent more time on a snowboard than anywhere else in the world since I learned to ride 20-some years ago, but Mammoth (and pretty much the rest of the ski industry) has completely abandoned any pretense of being an affordable middle-class family pursuit. In order to ski more than a couple days per season now, you have to be either wealthy, a ski-bum who lives to ride/ski, or childless and willing to condo-share w/ 10 other strangers. Families are simply priced-out of the game.

    When I was young, single, and more importantly, had friends that lived in town (i.e. free lodging) I could go to Mammoth all the time, and did (20+ days/season was typical in my 20s). These days, with a wife, kid, mortgage, etc. No ****ing way can I afford more than maybe one or two weekends a year in Mammoth. That’s with 1.5 middle-class salaries, and one toddler. With another kid on the way, it makes me sad that my children probably won’t be skiers or boarders ’cause short of moving to a mountain town full-time (Good luck finding a tech job in a mountain town, unless you’re one of the lucky few who can work remotely.), we simply can’t afford enough days on the mountain for them to learn to be proficient on skis or a board.

    If climate change doesn’t put an end to the ski industry economics will. I don’t think there are enough upper and upper-middle class kids to form a whole new generation of skiers and boarders, and the kids of the current middle class are unlikely to get hooked on the sport if their parents can only afford to get them on the hill maybe 2 days a season.

    • Resident of Utah, formerly of Colorado.
      Reply

      Boy, that’s a sad story. If only there was a place with great snow, access to a bunch of world class resorts and affordable season passes, with a thriving tech scene.

      • Reply

        Ya, Trevor, like the Utah rez suggests, I don’t think you are trying hard enough if you really want the trifecta of a family-oriented mountain-town with a tech job. You may have relax your definition of mountain town from a Mammoth-style image to include other options. You know, like SLC or Boise. C Springs, perhaps? Heck, even Wenatchee, WA has Microsoft these days. It’s not like tech industry dominates the world now or anything. Anyway, I do agree that skiing is expensive for families, and I too struggle with it given our fam of 4. It’s a conscious choice for me, though, since the ski road trips of my youth are some of my best memories and I want to give a similar experience to our kids. Example: went to Mammoth last spring break, stayed at Juniper, rented car and drove, stayed in Reno for a night (does that qualify as a mountain town?), got a 4 of 5 pass for me and the boy and 3 of 4 for the girl and the missus, all for total cost of around $6k including travel meals, gas, and expenses. On top of that, and threw in a $500 day at Heavenly on the way back up North. This on a 1.0 middle-class salary, and was largely credit card funded and still being paid off. I bust my ass to make it work and am not about to lose sleep over it. Plan is to hit up the Wasatch this spring, depending on Mother Nature. The day that Steven’s Pass lift tickets went above $50/day was when I got present to the economics of the hobby. Good luck with the job search, and with staying committed to family skiing.

  • Tdub
    Reply

    …only reinforcing my belief that downhill skiing culture is more elitist, expensive, snarky and douchey than golf.

  • Jo D’Orsogna
    Reply

    This is hilarious. My husband and I are from Australia and are trying out many of the US resorts as well as European and Japanese. Even when there is something bad about a place, a few years down the track, you remember the good things and start planning a return.
    You are lucky to have such beautiful mountains and such choice. I can agree with some of the points made but we are coming back again this year and returning to Vail and Beaver Creek and trying out Park City and surrounding resorts and for the first time.
    We want to go back to Telluride and Jackson Hole. We won’t go back to Aspen. Much prefer to get our glam on in Europe.

    • Tom
      Reply

      I had one of my best weeks at Jackson. Stay at the Alpenhof if you want a bit of a European lodging experience, and the cost isn’t a big factor.

    • John
      Reply

      We are lucky to have such beautiful mountains and choices. We were luckier before the money grubbing whores moved here and ruined the place.

  • Mel
    Reply

    Is it wrong to wanna ski and get high everyday? I love those people…

  • Bruce Moffatt
    Reply

    The economics of skiing are well described by the article and the subsequent comments. The ski industry “wonders” (for the last three decades) why more people are not taking up the sport. Unfortunately unless you have a small local ski hill the costs of lift served skiing outweigh the benefits for many people. Snow is beautiful and sliding on snow a fantastic feeling it is sad that the costs and sometimes the attitude of the ski industry is reducing participation and discouraging new devotees.

  • Stephen B
    Reply

    Gotta laugh at the comment about Telluride!!! Obviously he never left happy confines of the base area, because any unknowing tourist can get in a world of steep trouble at To-Hell-U-Ride pretty easily!! Go back to the steeps of Venice Beach if you can’t handle Telluride. Pleeeeze!!

  • Steve
    Reply

    The worst ski resort I’ve ever been to has to be Sipapu in New Mexico! No kidding this place is ran by complete incompetent rude people and the mountain is the most dangerous in New Mexico. It’s either ice or slush take your pick. Please never go there.

    • Craig
      Reply

      Hey, Steve. ‘Sorry you had such a bad time at Sipa. I’m a passholder at another nearby mountain, but have spent 10+ days on that hill and find it to be a remarkably enjoyable hill. I also happen to know the mountain manager and I can tell you that he brings an estimable amount of know-how and commitment with regards to running that mountain. Their elevation is lower than many resorts, so you really ought to track the storms and time your visit a little better because they really excell at meeting a demand for beginner and intermediate terrain. Try it again when they get some soft snow.

  • Amy W.
    Reply

    I agree with the cost being prohibitive. That’s why my family skis at a local hill south of Mt. Rainier that has the friendliest staff (right down to the lunch ladies), is affordable (tickets + kid’s lessons + rentals = $50/day!), and most of the time has great snow. Plus they have great family terrain. Not gnarly steep but skiing with my kids in reliably good snow is worth the trade off. They also have child care for kids under 6!

  • Vdub
    Reply

    Tdub, Where are the private ski resorts dotting the landscape of every high end city? Have you ever been to Palm Springs?

  • Eric
    Reply

    That Breck review is pretty spot-on, actually…

  • Naturescreed
    Reply

    Instead of spening $1800 for a weekend of lift tickets at a major resort spend it on early season passes for the closest non big name ski area. Ski every chance you get for the price of gas. Win.

  • Sean
    Reply

    Breck is the main reason I switched from the Epic Local to the Rocky Mountain Super Pass+. That, and access to Steamboat!

  • Andy
    Reply

    Summit County is dead and gone for good, unless your hiking the pass.

  • Ben Sutton
    Reply

    My friend and I are 2 doctors in the UK, both keen skiers and to be fair not broke but we decided NOT to come to the states because of the eye watering cost of lift passes. We were both super excited for the trees and off piste but I totally agree with the comments about cost.It is less to fly, hire a car, accommodation and a pass in europe than a weeks pass in USA. Most people in europe would say skiing is a rip off but a 6 day pass for my family of four in a massive area like chamonix or 3 valleys is about 700£/1000$.

    • your
      Reply

      Plus Chamonix or many other European resorts have infinitely better apres-ski scenes

  • your
    Reply

    I feel like the first review from Bob was probably satirical.

  • Jon Canuck
    Reply

    In 1980, there was a well-earned saying: In Telluride, Every Night is Friday Night. Parties were scheduled (or unscheduled) 7 days a week: restaurants, bars, bands, homes, the bath house, you name it. Ha, not now the case, Tuesdays are dang near dead. Sheesh, 1 star for Tuesday night. Where’s a guy to get down?!
    PS: In 1980, the T-ride Mtn Resort was just a financial wet dream, so no parties there of course.

  • Spooley
    Reply

    How about this: if you don’t like skiing at resorts, learn to be self sufficient in the backcountry and play by your own rules (while following regulations). There is almost infinite potential to do whatever you want, and, as a bonus you don’t have to complain about (and fund) companies who prioritize their bottom line.

  • Tim
    Reply

    Even living in close proximity (SLC) to all the resorts, there are just too many other competing, and more affordable interests. It was fun growing up in the Boise area and hitting Bogus and Brundage, but it’s just too expensive now. Heck, we could probably ask some friends for buddy passes and Non-Rev to Cusco and enjoy Machu Pichu for the price of long weekend skiing.

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