MRG sounds like like it might fit the bill - we're more about the skiing than the amenties.
So is Smuggs, believe it or not. I take my kids all over VT and NY and these two are our two favorite mountains,.Many who ski Smuggs and MRG regularly do compare the two in many regards.
I vote Smuggs in your case and here's why... (but like others have said, go North)
Of course, Smuggs is a resort and you will see more gapers and/or attitude there but it'll far less than any big box resorts. So long as you stay away from Morse (the beginner's mountain), you are away from the crowd and from the risk running into more novice skiers. Along with the many blue-ish and black-ish groomers to choose from (which isn't as plentiful at MRG), you can also challenge yourselves with some of the challenging and gnarly ones (which MRG has more of). The benefit of staying at Smuggs for your family is you don't have to drive when your family is done skiing hard for the day. Most accommodations are ski-in-ski-out and they are very well furnished (including a in-room jaguzzi) and equiped (including a full kitchen).
There have been many threads on this topic (but you're one of the first for 09/10
). Here is one of my responses on N VT places from a while back...
Originally Posted by chanwmr
It all depends on your ski interest.
With that many ski areas to choose from within such a small proximity, each place has to have its own niche in the market.
In a nutshell...
MRG - extremely friendly, very rustic fair big mountain with little commercial hype, many challenging runs (on/off piste and unmarked) (cheap)
Smuggs - known for family friendliness and programs/camps, something for everyone with terrains ranging from the most novice to the most expert; way underrated for established skiers; setting similar to MRG when off piste; probably second snowiest after Jay (fairly cheap); great trees (marked and unmarked)
Sugarbush - big selection of terrains; composed of two mountain - one very commercial area and the other more rustic/local (upper mid cost)
Jay - most powder in the East; known for its trees for all skill levels and ages; cruise runs suck (fairly cheap)
Stowe - have heard much good thing about the skiing (steeps and bumps) but can never afford to go; known to be very trendy/yuppish (expensive)
Bolton - the smallest in the area; never been there but known for local and younger crowd (cheap)
BTW, Smuggs and Stowe are equally accessible in the winter but not from each other. A normally 10-minute drive turns into a 50 minutes one. Some local skiers poach the connection (officially closed and not patrolled) across from the top of Sterling. Some take the 1.5 hours or so to snowshoe. Some ride their motorized sleds. Years ago when the two mountains were good friends with one another and when the connection was open for access, they used to offer a free ski day for the opposite resort if you stay for the week.