Perhaps they're not quite panic-stricken, but residents and leaders of Vail (CO) are concerned enough about their third-place ranking in the annual Ski Magazine Reader Resort Survey, they've had a Town Council retreat to plot strategy and have another scheduled for January.
It seems that for 14 of the past 21 years, Vail was at the top of the list.
The prior two years, Utah's Deer Valley had won the poll and Vail was second, a position they've traditionally held when not in the top spot, but now Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia has slipped ahead.
Initially, there seemed to be some surprise at the rumors and the resort company issued a statement highlighting their internal customer satisfaction numbers, plus they pointed out that there's a myriad of polls. Then, a columnist wrote a lighthearted piece, which good-naturedly focused on the poll's non-scientific nature and now, the city is discussing ways and programs to get themselves back on top.
In my mind, reader's surveys give the consumer a nice little box to read about everything ranked and the local tourism bureaus get something to put in an ad, but maybe in this instance, Ski Magazine and its readers should also take some pride about their power within the industry.