I managed to learn how to ski bumps, steeps and powder, in that order, right here in the east coast. My kid can ski all those things as well and he learned it right here. That said it is fun to ski out west and more often than not you will experience better conditions than the northeast has to offer. But I have been out west when there was no new snow and it was warm and wet and there was 2+ feet falling over New England. What I did was fly home and ski 2+ feet of fresh. My personal philosophy is - whenever possible ski where the snow is. When that is not possible ski where you are. When that is not possible do something else.
I can't believe I am posting in this "thread that will not die" again. Maybe mine will be the death blow?