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SALT LAKE CITY — Ski Utah's Caitlin Furin has seen so many ski ranking lists that she's never surprised when Utah's resorts top the charts.
But with recent data collected and shared by TurnKey Vacation Rentals and what Furin called scientific proof, Utah may truly have the greatest snow and skiing on earth.
TurnKey's 2018 Ski Report measures ski resorts using only quantitative data: length of season, vertical drop, skiable acreage, number of lifts and trails, snowfall and ticket prices.
"We feel that this is new," said TurnKey's Adam Pedowitz. "The reason we initially did this study was to better understand the interest of our traveling guests."
Furin added that Ski Magazine has long been one of the most credible ski ranking sources, but it is going the other way — this year, she said, the magazine didn't give number rankings to ski resorts, but instead wrote reviews.
In the TurnKey report, three Utah ski resorts made the top 10 — Snowbird, Park City and Powder Mountain. Seven made the top 50, and 11 in the top 100.
TurnKey also compiled Google search data and found that Park City, Snowbird and Deer Valley were ranked third, fourth and fifth most-searched for resorts, respectively.
Colorado, California and Utah are the top three ski and snowboard states, according to the report — nearly half of its top 100 ranked ski resorts in the U.S. are in these three states.
Furin added that there is scientific proof of Utah's skiing superiority.
"We don't just say 'the Greatest Snow on Earth' for any reason," she said.
Utah's snowfall has "significantly less water content in it" than other parts of the country.
"It creates that super light and fluffy snow that we're known for," she said. "We get a lot of snow, and it's really fun snow to ski because it's so light."
Furin also said Utah is the best place to ski because of resort accessibility.
"We have 10 resorts that are within an hour of the Salt Lake City airport," she said.
Pedowitz said Alta and Deer Valley are some of the most popular in the nation for out-of-state visitors on ski trips.
The quality of both snowfall and resorts comes at a price, however; Utah has the second highest average lift ticket price at $89.71, while the national average is $68.11.
Park City has the second highest average rates for nightly stay at $536.
Colorado was the most expensive state in both categories, but it also had more ski resorts in the top 50 and 100 than any other state. And — although ranked only ninth and eighth, respectively — the only two ski resorts to beat Utah's top three in search popularity were Vail and Breckenridge of Colorado.
To make skiing more affordable, Furin suggests staying a little farther from the resort, purchasing lift tickets ahead of time, and even buying multi-resort passes or season passes.