I have never been to Panaroma, I have been to Fernie and own a place at Big White (this will be our first season there
) I am a lower level intermediate skier.
Big White, in my opinion, is a great place for the beginner to Intermediate skier. There are plenty of wide open groomers, glade skiing and lots of snow.
The village has a variety of restaurants and bars, and most importantly it is primarily all ski in ski out. If you are a really high level skier, you may not find it challenging, I cannot really comment on that as I am no where near that ability.
Fernie is spectacular, it was my first trip skiing out west, I thought I was a good skier, but was very quickly humbled by Fernie. I think your beginner friends may not enjoy it, whereas you would be in Heaven. The ski village itself for Fernie does not have much going on, there is only 1 bar and it closes around 8:00 pm. The town of Fernie is quite nice but a 20 minute drive away. The other concern with Fernie is getting there. The drive from Calgary can be quite treacherous and around 3 hours. By comparison Big White is a 45 minute shuttle ride from the Kelowna Airport.
I am by no means an expert,I am sure you will get lots of feedback from others, but given the choice between Fernie and Big White for your group, I would recommend Big White.
And welcome to the board!