I'm trying to decide whether to spend the $$$ this winter on a family ski trip. Background: three kids, ages 12, 10 and 7.5. Older two have been skiing for a few years, but still rely mostly on the wedge to get down the mountain -- not confident on aggressive blues. Youngest has been on bunny hill a couple of times. I have to rely on getting them out to Catamount on the weekends (an hour from our house in the Hudson Valley), and last season was mostly a bust due to other weekend activities, colds and church commitments -- oldest only got out twice, middle one three times. I didn't ski at all since I was with the little one on the bunny slope. (wife does not ski)
I want this season to be different, and in addition to getting out on more weekends, I am thinking of laying down some cash to do a weekend at a resort over one of the long holiday weekends -- most likely Presidents' Day. I want something with a lot of other activities in case the kids get bored (e.g. tubing, sleigh rides), that my wife might do (e.g., snowshoeing) or that my wife might take the kids to do so I could get out on the slopes alone.
At first I was thinking of Okemo, but worry that that the mountain is too big for what we need and that the crowds from Boston and NYC would be unbearable. Maybe Gore Moutnain? But I worry not enough activities and not a real resort feel. Then I cam across Holiday Valley, which seemed nice and more like a traditional "ski village" type resort. Then I go back and think that the $$$ might be better spent on private lessons at a local mountain.
Any opinions or suggestions? Anyone face this conundrum before? Is the cash worth it for the convenience of being next to the slopes? After all, I am only an hour from Catamount, and not much further to Hunter, Wyndham or Bellayre.
Thanks for any advice.