I think everyone here pretty much knows my favorite mountain is Magic.
What makes it my favorite? Damn, that's a lot of things. First and foremost has got to be the hill itself- steep, rocky, exposed and with trees everywhere and more secrets than the entire "real housewives" cast combined. What makes the hill great though is the people and the infrastructure- it has an open tree skiing policy, patrol is laid back and management doesn't allow too much grooming, which keeps the hill natural and adds an extra element of challenge which I love. Never uptight, snobby or stuffy you can stroll right into the owner's office and he likely knows you by first name- even the employees are more of a family than coworkers. Then you have the social environment which really sets it apart from the rest. The people there are so cool, so inviting and so helpful, it's almost like they all can't wait to rush to another skier's aid no matter how random the need. It has been called "Cheers on skis" by many and for good reason- it is a very tight knit community that grows every year. Everyone has really come together to open up and show people what Magic is all about and when we get an idea to make the place better, we can muster the troops and make it happen- like new glades, chair refurbishing, different fundraisers or shareholder programs. It literally makes anything possible and that is truly motivating.
I know I say it all the time but it's a very inspiring place to ski and be in general. It is a place that not only will raise your pulse and challenge you as a skier every day, but feed your soul as well. It's one thing to have a great hill, it's a whole other to have a benevolent community of awesome, motivated and friendly people- and to have both is truly a blessing and has made a very real impact on the direction and scope of my life. I feel infinitely lucky to be a part of this tiny corner of the world while it experiences a phoenix-like ski rennaisance and shows the mega resorts how it's done.