We're down to the final four in the Curbed Cup, our annual competition to find the best ski town of the year. There will be one matchup today and tomorrow, with the polls left open for 24 hours. The final showdown for the prestigious fake trophy will begin Wednesday. Let the eliminations continue!
In the first Final Four match-up of the 2015 Curbed Cup, two ski towns are duking it out: it's a battle between Lake Tahoe's Truckee (9) and Colorado's Crested Butte (12).
So far, Truckee hasn't had any trouble advancing through the Curbed Cup rounds- it's taken down Whitefish and the ever-popular Steamboat to make it to the Final Four. While California has suffered from a four-year drought in recent ski seasons, things are looking up with this year's monster El Niño ready to drop some serious snow. Truckee has plenty of skiing nearby with Northstar, SugarBowl, Donner Ski Ranch, and Squaw Valley all within a reasonable drive. As one reader said, "visitors can fly into Reno and be on the mountain in less than an hour." It doesn't get much better than that. There's also new breweries and plenty of outdoor activities, like fat biking.
But don't underestimate Crested Butte: in its previous match-ups, the picturesque Colorado ski town has trounced the competition- Jackson Hole and Stowe- thanks to a groundswell of local support. And it's no surprise, considering the ski town has been firing on all cylinders lately. Crested Butte is just a really kick ass ski town. It's off the traffic-laden I-70 corridor, offers expanded flights this winter, and the mountain is focused on offering new experiences for its skiers. The ski area's 500-acre expansion is a few years away, but the resort recently built a new umbrella bar at mid-mountain and added more of its exceptional steep-and-deep terrain. Meanwhile, the town of Crested Butte is what ski country dreams are made of: walkable, with good dining, friendly locals, and reasonable lodging.