Top 5 Celeb-spotting Ski Regions
By Rebecca Kelly
Celebrity holidays suggest exotic beaches, tropical cruises and private islands. For some celebrities however, seeking thrills and having fun on a snowy mountain is just their thing. Check out these top five regions – the ideal places to spot the adventurous celebs:
Park City, Utah
This is one of North America’s best-known resorts and has long been an irresistible attraction for skiers due to the legendary powder snow of Park City. Situated in the heart of Utah’s best skiing region, skiers get the opportunity to ski some of the best runs in the Rockies including Park City Mountain resort, The Canyons Resort and Deer Valley Resort.
For the last three decades, Park City has been crowded with celebs, agents and film-executives due to the annual Sundance Film Festival. Not all of these celebs take to the slopes during their visit to Park City, some that have been spotten doing so however include actress Katherine Heigl, funny man Bill Engvall and the famous skier himself, Tanner Hall.
Surrounded by some of Switzerland’s finest alpine scenery, Gstaad lies in the south west of the country. Skiing takes place between 1000 and 3000metres above sea level on 250 km of pistes surrounded by the Alps that boast stunning scenery and unimaginable views of the grand town below.
Gstaad’s reputation as a fashionable hub for high-flyers is known worldwide. Twinned expertly with Cannes, celebrities do not shy away from this resort and can regularly be spotted. During December, Bonhams auction off rare cars which bring a haul of celebrities to the region. Keen skiers among these celebrities that have been previously spotted include English legend Dame Julie Andrews, socialite Paris Hilton and Rainier III, Prince of Monaco.
Rivalling in size with some of France’s most renowned resorts, Vail is a great base to ski the areas of Beaver Creek, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone and Breckenridge and claims to be America’s Number One ski resort.
Since this resort was created in the ’60s as a European-style alpine-ski village, it has been a favourite with celebrities but more-so with corporate titans and famous politicians. Celebrities that have been spotted amongst the crowds on several occasions include Justin Timberlake, athlete Brad Ludden and previously elected official Al Gore.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Located in the heart of the Dolomites in a beautiful alpine valley, Cortina has been tagged as the premier ski resort in Italy. The resort has three major ski areas; Socrepes, Mietres, and Faloria. Today, Cortina d’Ampezzo is one of the classiest and costliest of all European resorts.
The skiing, shopping and dining in this region attracts regular up market visitors from Rome and Milan, many of whom have second homes here. The famous snow-scene in the popular 007 film was filmed in Cortina which still today, attracts celebrities annually. Those that have been spotted here include singer Sting and Hollywood hero George Clooney.
Whistler, British Columbia
After recently hosting the impressive Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games, this resort is as popular as ever. This region flaunts over 8,000 acres of ski and snowboard terrain, 12 alpine bowls and 3 glaciers while its European style village is perhaps one of the best ski villages on the continent.
The surge of the rich and famous into Whistler increases annually partly due its location and the spread of chateau accommodations on offer. Not all come for the adventure and thrills of the piste, some that have been spotten doing so however include model Heidi Klum, actress and yummy mummy Katie Holmes and romantic singer Seal.