The question constantly arose, which is better? Sunshine or Lake Louise? The best advice I heard and that I gave out was this: if you have multiple days, go to both, then on the extra days go to the resort YOU like best.
My personal preference? It reminds me of Big Sky vs Bridger Bowl. There’s not the size discrepancy that exists between Big Sky and Bridger—Sunshine and LL (Lake Louise) are more similar in size. But Sunshine has a more local feel to it like Bridger, and LL has more of a big resort atmosphere, like Big Sky. But like Big Sky and Bridger, both have a local feel, too. They get their share of tourist dollars, but they also have many locals and you can sense it. They aren’t so big or commercial, yet they have personality. The base chalet at LL is a beautiful log building—oversized and grand. The interior upper area has a large, comfortable bar and across the walkway is an upscale sushi restaurant. The lower level has a large cafeteria. Mid-mountain Whitehorn Bistro is a white tablecloth kind of place—I kinda like having a fancy option.
The base of Sunshine is the gondola building with basic facilities, and when you ride the gondola to get to the mountain there’s a hotel, lodge, restaurant and main facilities. The cool bar there in my opinion is the bar grill in the Old Sunshine Lodge. The large alpine ski areas at Sunshine give it a European atmosphere, and the views from the top are exquisite.
Sunshine is a skier’s ski resort. At one of the lodges at Sunshine there are racks set up so you can put your backpack, boots, bags on them and go out and ski. Many of the resorts now have pay lockers, and build barriers so you can’t stack stuff on top of the lockers. Snowbird is like that. So is Whistler. I can’t speak for Lake Louise as I didn’t check out the lockers, but it is a vacationer’s ski resort. People go to Sunshine to ski. People go to Lake Louise to ski, yes, but also because they may be vacationing and it’s there, too. Just my opinion.
The best way to compare them is to ski them both—then make your own delusions.