5 Shreddable Cities for Skiers and Snowboarders
If you’ve ever departed from a ski vacation wishing you didn’t have to leave, perhaps it’s time for a move to a snowier locale. While ski towns offer great amenities and quick access to the ski hill, they aren’t always the best place to live. Take Telluride, Colorado for instance – Telluride’s median home price is over $800,000 while per capita income is $38,000. Unless you work in hospitality, tourism towns can be difficult to live in, so it’s important to distinguish good ski towns to visit versus the best ski towns to live in. Check out these five livable ski cities if your life just isn’t powdery enough.
Serviced by continuously expanding resorts Bridger Bowl and Big Sky, Bozeman offers a low cost of living and median home price. A flashing blue beacon atop the Baxter Hotel in downtown Bozeman lets locals know when fresh snow is falling – just one of the reminders that this is a local-centric ski haven. Bozeman is quiet, but with a population of 43,000, it still offers a thriving downtown with shopping, dining, and an arts scene.
Often ranked among the best places to live in the country, Bend enjoys the benefits of Oregon living with none of the rain. Although the city averages less than 12” of rain per year, nearby Mount Bachelor ski area receives 39’ (FEET!) of snow each year. Bend’s endless outdoor attractions have helped the city grow in recent years. And if you take your après ski seriously, the relatively small city has 22 different breweries to choose from.
No list of ski cities would be complete without at least one entry from Utah, which claims to have the Greatest Snow on Earth. And while Park City may be arguably the best ski town in the state, a sky-high cost of living makes it a far reach for most ski bums. Luckily, Salt Lake City has far lower home prices while enjoying access to nine world-class ski resorts all less than an hour’s drive away. Salt Lake also offers all the amenities of a big city (international airport, lightrail, professional sports teams) within miles of boundless backcountry.
Amazing Sierra Nevada snow coupled with California vistas makes Tahoe the ultimate ski trip for many. But like Park City and Telluride, it doesn’t offer much in terms of residence unless you’re a wealthy celebrity. Located just 30 minutes away, Truckee is home to the country’s first powered ski lift and offers access to eight ski resorts including the aptly named Heavenly Mountain Resort. Though it’s tucked away in the mountains, this city of 13,000 has Amtrak train service to Salt Lake City, Denver, and other major metros.
This tiny Colorado mining town has an even smaller population than Telluride and is just as isolated, but for the most hardcore skiers it’s a paradise. If none of the previous cities have piqued your interest, this one might – the city received 7.5’ of snow in the first TEN DAYS of 2017. Crested Butte has two ski resorts that feature mostly expert terrain and the surrounding mountains offer some of the best backcountry skiing in the West.