Goin' against the grain
I'll probably get hammered for this, but 'tis ok, I can take it!
AFAIC, "the genuine experience" is a matter of perception. Perception, as we all know, is unique to each individual. A skier that has little or no sense of history and has only visited mega-resorts like Vail will of course believe that to be the genuine experience. A skier that has little or no sense of history and has only visited mom & pop operations will believe that to be the genuine experience. Who's to say one of them is wrong?
Now before the flaming begins, let me give a (hopefully short) synopsis of my own ski history: I learned as a toddler at Powder Ridge in CT (Vertical Drop: 500'), spent most weekends at Okemo, pretty much did my undergrad on the slopes of Mansfield, Sugarbush, and MRG, and finally attended law school in Colorado. I've also been punishing myself for the past 8 years at Tuckerman Ravine each spring. My point is, I've experienced a wide and varied swath of the ski industry.
That being said, I'm not sure MRG is a more "genuine experience" than Vail, Mt. Snow, Whistler, or even Yawgoo for that matter. It's arguably more genuine in the same way that football was more genuine in Jim Thorpe's day, but how many of us wished we were wearing leather bags on our heads instead of the latest technology on Friday nights in high school?
Don't get me wrong, I love
MRG. The whole of Northern VT will always hold a special place in my heart because of the history, people, and sheer beauty of the mountains. Knocking Vail b/c they've made the financial decision to appeal to a more wealthy demographic is popular, but is it grounded in reality? There are some hardcore skiers at Vail; there's some hardcore terrain; hardcore weather; O.B. access, etc. In the end, it comes down to the experience
you are after.
Personally, I think it's great that skiers, as a group, have all these different experiences to choose from.