...why is it that east coast resorts tend to list their acreage in terms of the trail acreage only, while western resorts count boundary-to-boundary?
Perhaps in an earlier time, when woods skiing was definitely off-limits, I could understand. But now, many, if not most, east coast areas are open pretty much rope-to-rope. Or, if they're not, there are substantial tree-skiing areas which don't seem to figure into the acreage count.
This practice makes it really hard to figure relative size of east vs. west. For instance, I'd guess Brighton, UT is about the same size as Mt. Snow, VT....but you'd never know it comparing the acreage figures.