Orinda, Calif.: Big Sky Resort, Mont., has been named North America's favorite ski resort by visitors to OnTheSnow.com, the most-visited snow sports portal in the world. The Web site, which attracts a Nielsen-audited 1.6 million unique monthly visitors during the winter, offers its visitors the opportunity to write reviews of all resorts in North America.

OnTheSnow's Visitors Choice Awards are chosen solely by visitors to OnTheSnow.com. Awards are based on ratings in five categories: Favorite Overall Resort, Best Downhill Terrain, Most Family Friendly, Best Terrain Park and Best Nightlife, and for combined totals of visitors going to individual resort pages on the site.

The ski resort with the top average score (on a scale of 1 to 5) in each category, and a minimum number of entries, receives the award. Visitors then ranked them in five categories: Overall Favorite, Best Nightlife, Most Family Friendly, Best Downhill Terrain and Best Terrain Park.

"User-generated content is one of the most powerful and effective ways Web visitors have to communicate with each other," said Mountain News Corp. President and Publisher Rob Brown of OnTheSnow.com. "Skiers and snowboarders are relying on the word of their peers when they make resort choices."

Brown points out these rankings should not be used as comparisons of one resort to another, since all visitors to OnTheSnow.com have not visited every resort, and expectations of the ski experience vary greatly in regions throughout North America. "But, they do provide an accurate reflection of our visitors' experiences and their passion for particular resorts."

Big Sky, which also took overall favorite honors for the Rocky Mountains Region, was consistently praised by readers for its terrain, size and uncrowded conditions. Some samples: "What a friendly place, and I'm sure you're tired of hearing it, but, no lift lines!"; "Very family friendly, courteous lift operators and resort staff made it a great experience."; "I've never seen so much snow in my life!"; "Big Sky is the BOMB!! Sweet riding and much powder!!"

Regional awards for the Favorite Overall category went to Mammoth Mountain, Calif., in the Far West; Hidden Valley, Pa. in the Mid Atlantic; Ski Brule, Mich., in the Midwest; Sugarbush, Vt., in the Northeast; and Kimberley Alpine Resort, Wash., in the Pacific Northwest.

North America's Favorite Resort: Big Sky Resort, Mont.
North America's Best Nightlife: Whistler Blackcomb, BC
North America's Most Family-Friendly Resort: Snowmass, Colo.
North America's Best Downhill Terrain: Jackson Hole, Wyo.
North America's Best Terrain Park: Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

Pacific Northwest:
Favorite: Kimberley Alpine Resort, BC
Nightlife: Whistler Blackcomb, BC
Family: White Pass, Wash.
Terrain: Revelstoke, BC
Terrain Park: Whistler Blackcomb, BC

Far West:
Favorite: Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
Nightlife: Heavenly Mountain Resort, Calif.
Family: Sierra Summit, Calif.
Terrain: Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
Terrain Park: Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

Rocky Mountains:
Favorite: Big Sky, Mont.
Nightlife: Telluride, Colo.
Family: Snowmass, Colo.
Terrain: Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Terrain Park: Keystone, Colo.

Favorite: Ski Brule, Mich.
Nightlife: Shanty Creek, Mich.
Family: Big Powderhorn, Mich.
Terrain: Big Powderhorn, Mich.
Terrain Park: Spirit Mountain, Minn.

Favorite: Sugarbush, Vt.
Nightlife: Whiteface Mt., N.Y.
Family: Sugarbush, Vt.
Terrain: Sugarbush, Vt.
Terrain Park: Loon Mountain, NH

Favorite: Hidden Valley, Pa.
Nightlife: Seven Springs, Pa.
Family: Hidden Valley, Pa.
Terrain: Blue Knob, Pa.
Terrain Park: Whitetail Resort, Pa.

About OnTheSnow.com and Mountain News Corp. OnTheSnow.com is the Web's most visited snow report site with a Nielsen-audited 1.6 million unique monthly visitors. OnTheSnow offers the ski report, resort reviews, web cams and skiing deals for virtually every ski resort in the world. There are 13 International Editions of OnTheSnow in seven languages.