We went to Big Bear this weekend. Big Bear was AMAZING! Lots of coverage on the main runs. Lots of snowy features and big jumps. Fun and challenging steep pitches with a nice grippy surface. Sunday morning brought sunny skies and man made sweet powder. WOW!
The locals were unimpressed. "Hey, it's always like this. Unless it snows and the trees open up. Then it's really good." Big Bear's quality snowmaking and grooming (how do they keep the groomed runs from turning to boilerplate?) resulted in one of the best days of the season for us - despite the drought.
One issue the locals noted was how quiet it gets midweek. Few ski vacation plans consider Big Bear as a destination. Given that there is almost certainly a sweet manmade base and the possibility of some great terrain during heavy storms, Big Bear should be on the list for ski trip plans.
Being heavily vested in Squaw (with a pass and a rental property there), I probably shouldn't be touting alternative destinations. But Big Bear IS really good - an overlooked gem.