There's a big aspect of the atmosphere of New England skiing that involves living in the past. New England is permeated with nostalgia, with Currier and Ives prints of skating parties on the village pond, with pride in our Revolutionary history, colonial architecture and antiques. Anyone who grew up in Northern New England probably remembers spending as much time outdoors in winter as they did in summer - they had to, or they got cabin fever. On the other hand, not many people actually lived in the mountains. They were mysterious blue loomings on the horizon, especially alluring when their summits turned white. All the big ski areas were pretty much in wild country. To many of us who moved south and work in the cities, the north country is more alluring than ever.
When I first took up skiing in 1968 there was only one ski "resort", Waterville Valley, and the lodging was two miles from the mountain. Sugarloaf had one modest inn on the mountain. Most support facilities were along the main road or in the nearest town. So when we older skiers wax nostalgic, we idealize the unspoiled mountain, and the true ski town. I guess when we look at the world around us, and then find it transported to the mountains, skiing no longer works as an escape. That's the problem.