What did Curbed Ski readers love in 2015? If the biggest stories of the year are anything to go by, then weather, expensive houses, and tiny homes ruled 2015. (But we knew that already, 2014's top stories were skewed similarly.) Here now, the 10 most read stories of 2015.
↑ 10. Mapping the 25 Best Après-Ski Spots in North America
Because who doesn't love a good drink after skiing all day?
↑ 9. Tiny Vermont Cabin is Small on Space, Big on Design
When the tiny home movement just can't stop, won't stop, is it any surprise that tiny homes like this Vermont cabin are so popular?
↑ 8. 10 of the Funniest Ski Town USA Police Blotter Entries
Because people do absolutely ridiculous things in ski towns.
↑ 7. Ski Industry Expert Says 31% of Today's Ski Areas Are Dying
This story from early 2015 came out of Denver, Colorado when ski industry leaders gathered to talk about the future of mountain resorts. The biggest bombshell of the meeting was dropped by Bill Jensen, a well-known industry exec who has worked at the biggest names in the business, from Vail Resorts to Intrawest. The ski resort industry is facing huge challenges, he said, and at least 150 of the current 470 ski resorts in the United States are going to fail and turn off the lifts.
↑ 6. Is El Niño the Solution to California's Drought?
For the past four years, skiers and snowboarders have suffered through one of the worst droughts in the history of California. Everybody wants to know if this year's record-breaking El Niño will help California. Find out, over here.
↑ 5. Billionaire Bill Koch Relists Aspen's Priciest House at $100M
The biggest real estate story of the year was when billionaire businessman William Koch relisted his famed Elk Mountain Lodge property in Aspen, and the second time he asked for even more money: $100 million. Located just 10 miles from downtown Aspen, Koch originally bought the property for $26.5 million in 2007 and put the compound on the market for $89.9 million in June 2014. Why the $11 million price increase from last summer's ask? According to listing agent Craig Morris of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's, the larger price includes not only the original lodge on 55 acres, but also "three other parcels, together worth substantially more than the $11 million price increase." Take the tour, this way.
↑ 4. The Current Snowpack in Colorado is Off the Charts
Curbed readers love maps and charts, so it's no wonder this snowpack map from June 2015 made the top ten. Last season, Colorado had a respectable winter with a few big storms (and plenty of skiers spending money), but precipitation didn't really start cranking until mid April, when many ski areas were closing. Coloradans basically didn't see the sun in May there was so much rain, and across the U.S., May was the wettest on record. Add all of that up and you get a ridiculous June snowpack.
↑ 3. What Do You Need to Know About El Niño? These 10 Things.
First, powderhounds love weather. Second, scroll down to our explanation for the number one read story of the year.
↑ 2. Tour America's First All-Inclusive Marijuana Ranch Resort
Earlier this summer, the country's first all-inclusive pot ranch was supposed to open near Durango in Colorado. The ranch resort was billed to feature things like a "Wake+Bake Breakfast," 4:20 Community Hour, and "Cooking with Cannabis" classes. Alas, CannaCamp failed to open, much to the disappointment of pot lovers everywhere.
↑ 1. There's a 90 Percent Chance We're Getting a Strong El Niño
Ski and snowboard fanatics all have something in common beyond their love of snow: a geeky passion for weather. So it's no wonder that our most-read story of the year was about El Niño. Since this feature in August, we've stayed on this year's record-breaking El Niño beat, profiling what El Niño actually is, what it means for the Northeast (read=less snow), writing about whether it will solve California's drought, and providing GIF-forecasts of what El Niño will look like across North America this winter. Stay tuned for more.