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Sunset magazine honors Sandpoint

by Cameron Rasmusson
| December 14, 2010 8:00 PM

SANDPOINT - Many local residents consider their town a hidden treasure, but the secret might be out thanks to Sunset magazine.

The publication focused on Western living recently named Sandpoint the West's most under-the-radar ski town. After parsing through several options including Driggs and Ogden, Utah, the editorial staff of six selected Sandpoint as the victor.

"I really love Sandpoint," Sunset editor-at-large Peter Fish, who first nominated Sandpoint, said. "But I think with the lake, people consider it more of a summer destination. They don't realize that it has a lot to offer during the winter, too."

Sandpoint joined a cadre of nine other towns in the article, each ranked by similar qualifiers like prettiest (Telluride, Colo.) or most food-focused (Bend, Ore.). The editors began the selection process by gathering together and offering suggestions. They refined the list further by discussing each town's finer qualities and awarding points based on their findings.

"We were looking for locations with epic backdrops and the greatest snow in North America," Sunset features editor Christine Ciarmello said. "We ended up with a diverse list because, I'm sorry, but the best mountains are here in the West."

The towns also had to have an active nightlife, beautiful backdrops and charming atmosphere - in essence, they needed to be ideal resort towns.

"Only a small portion of our readership are skiers or snowboarders," "So that was why we chose to focus on ski towns rather than resorts themselves. The towns we selected had to have qualities that could engage everyone."

This isn't the first honor that Sunset Magazine has bestowed upon Sandpoint. In 2008, the editorial staff named Sandpoint among their top 10 dream towns, and in 2005, Sunset readers selected Sandpoint as best small town in the West.

With a readership between one and three million, Sunset's award could potentially increase tourism during the 2010-11 ski season. That's good news for business owners and bad news for lift ticket line-waiters.

"I think you might be seeing a few more out-of-towners on the slopes this winter," Fish said.

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