Originally Posted by Jamesj
By the way, maybe your friends in Philly reject the East because all they've seen are the likes of Camelback and Blue Mtn. Take 'em to Stowe with you sometime and they'll change their tune.
Speaking as someone originally from the Midatlantic region, I think the issue comes down to accessiblity compared to ski conditions.
I grew up in PA, and hence skied Camelback. I moved to Connecticut and started skiing the Berkshires and Stowe. Boy, did Camelback look bad. I moved to NJ and tried to go up a few times to NE, but as a day trip it was too far to do every weekend and as a weeklong thing...well, we spent a few Christmases at Stowe for the first two years after moving to NJ and the effort of getting up there just wasn't worth it. For weekend skiing, therefore, it was back to Camelback, but for the "big" trips, it was logistically easier to go to Colorado or Utah and the cost wasn't that different. Sure, western skiing was a bit more pricey with the accommodations, but the weather was more reliable and the snow was lighter. Stowe can be a b1tch in January with that wet New England cold that just kills you (I remember two ponchos thrown over me to take a chair ride). The drier conditions in the West just aren't as purely painful to ski in, the snow is lighter, etc.
Finally, I've moved West to have this all the time. And I haven't regretted it for a minute. The only thing Eastern skiing has is more resorts within fewer miles and those neat winding trails that meander through the woods. Oh, and that "ski tradition" feeling.