even though we just came back from banff and going to snowmass next month, I am planning next year trip and need some advice.
Our group: wives in their 40's who just started skiing a few years ago, they usually just ski for days in lesson so they will stick to greens. The rest of us are intermediate to low advance skiers.
At issue is the wives want to have a town for shopping when not skiing.
Out west we skied :Tahoe Area (heavenly mainly but also sierra at tahoe), Snowmass (with shopping in Aspen) Park City Resorts, Banff Area (they skied at sunshine but didn't like being above the tree line as they were disoriented)
Places with little shopping that we ruled out back east is Stowe, Killington, Sugarbush. I am considering Sugarloaf but need to do more research. Whiteface (Iceface) is probably not on option for them either. Neither is Whistler as I heard that it rains in the lower elevations.
The wives are very concern about icy conditions as well, hence the trip is usually out west even though that is no guarantee (we went to Heavenly a few years ago and it didn't snow for 6 weeks prior...of course after we left they got over 6' the following week.