[Fun can be had anywhere. I've probably had my most memorable and fun days in the east (and the Adirondacks are just about my favorite place anywhere, as my screen name attests) but, boy, there is something really sweet and enjoyable about long runs out west in soft snow with views of purple mountains majesty in all directions.]
Back on topic: There are a number of small hills relatively close to New York City, probably around an hour or so from my front door. I'm toying with the idea of getting a season pass at one of them to practice as suggested by the OP. Anyone have thoughts on relative advantages of getting a season pass at one of the local NYC hills? Tuxedo Ridge (formerly Sterling Forest), Campgaw, Thunder Ridge, or Mount Peter? I prefer Tuxedo for some reason, but if anyone has experience with the level of expertise at the ski schools, hours, management, snowmaking, etc.?