Pros: Only a few hours away. More than 7 runs. Minimal rude teenagers for a high school dominated place. Great ski patrol and lifties.
Cons: EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE for amount of skiing you get. Ski-to-chair ratio time is absurd. Will become bored, feel like you've done everything twice in 3hrs
Terrain: Icy most of the time. There are quite a few runs to instantly choose from stemming right off either of the 3 chair lifts, however this excitement is short lived due to the fact that unless you snow plow, or carve edge to edge as severely as you possibly can, you are back to the chair lift in approximately 30 seconds for most, up to a minute on some others.
I am a an intermediate skier, not the fastest or a racer of any kind, but I timed myself (staying in tuck position whole way to chair) on each run they have. The times I got are as follows from West-most run to East-most run, (to give you an idea of how short these runs really are) Wormgear: 47 seconds. Little America: 40 seconds. Paradise: 48 Seconds Cannonball: 48 Seconds Cloud 9: 42 seconds, Milk Way: 38sec, Frikadilly: 46sec, Big Dipper: 45sec, Hawaiian Cruise: 49 sec, The WALL, (fun! steep intro) 43sec, Hollywood High (bomb run) 17sec, Serendipity: 24sec, Big Ben: 28 sec.
The Wall: this one for about 25-30 yards, will feel like the backside of a major resort out west. Its steep, icy, and any snow that is found is usually mounded up from skiers/riders all taking the same 3-4 lines down it. It turns into a big wide green run (Hawaiian Cruise) that's kinda fun to keep your speed on and practice carving.
Hollywood High: This is a straight shot from unload zone at top, to load zone at bottom. It is pretty steep at top, (Shared tip with The Wall) and slowly flattens up at bottom. You can get going so fast on this one, that you can't reach your top speed simply because the lodge comes faster than you realize and you end up power breaking and gaining attention of all others coming off of the green runs around it. BE CAREFUL doing this tho, there is a mandatory turning rule enforced on this run, to minimize speeds capable of being obtained. (make it the last run in) lol.
Little America: There is a little "bowl-like" natural structure at top quarter of this run that you can drop into, or air off of.
WORMGEAR is a great run. It is probably the best on the hill due to the fact that you get 3-4 places where the terrain pitch varies and can get a good burst of speed going, there are a few jumps (kickers) built into natural high spots in the run along the way.
Wormgear II is a new expansion opened this year. It is on the backside of the hill that runs parallel to Wormgear. It is coined as a DBL BLACK and actually feels like it too. It has a few fun step downs to air off and gets quite a bit more snow that drifts in and gets caught due to the natural terrain structure.
Terrain Park is actually pretty beefy for a hill of it's size. I'm not a park guy at all, but it really looks pretty cool on the chair up, all the high school kids in there that actually can do some pretty tricky stuff. Has a tractor (wide) tire buried 1/3 into the ground to air over or jib off of. Few pipes to grind on and usually 2 - 3 impressively sized jumps. Downfall is, you MUST HAVE your own gear to enter the terrain park, if they see numbers on your gear, they'll pull your tag for the day. No warnings. So be careful there too.
The Nightlife - there is none. It is "lights out, now get out" mentality here.
Family Friendly: Sure. There are a bunch of little shavers riding around out here with mom or dad video taping and showing em how. However, there is usually a very large High School population of extremely loud clothing to be dealt with. On these days, swearing and rudeness IS obvious. Alot of them will swerve in front of you, or completely cut you off all together. Have seen quite a few angry folks here due to this problem. But the ski patrol doesn't put up with it either, simply find one and give a description...problem will be taken care of quickly, being such a tiny place.
I would scour the area in a 90 mile area for discounted lift tickets. Can usually find them at radio stations and some sporting goods places such as Paramount Sports in Fargo, ND. Scheels DOES NOT carry any. Don't waste your time.
The food inside the lodge is VERY TASTY. This place has one of the best burgers to be had, and for the $5.75 needed, you get about 1/4 lb of patty on the bun too! Pretty fair deal for on site - "wants to be a big resort" facility. I don't understand why they refuse to offer any condiments such as pickles, onions, or relish tho. You get ketchup or mustard. Pick your poison. haha.
Overall, this is the best mid-state ski area simply because of its size and number of runs. This would be a dream if only 12 people showed up, they speed up the lifts, and a snow system moved thru the area dumping at least a foot of snow. What a fun time!