This was our family's first ski vacation, and I did a lot of research beforehand because we were going on a crowded holiday weekend. We arrived on Friday night and got lift tickets for the twilight session (6-10pm). Even though we spent about an hour and a half getting our rental equipment and gear, we were in good shape the next day when we showed up in the morning ready to ski. Those who arrived that morning had to wait for many hours just to get out on the slopes. If you only have one day to ski and it's a weekend or holiday, you need to get there by 7:30am to avoid the long lines. If you have flexibility, my advice is to arrive after 4:30pm for twilight skiing. The crowds thin out considerably after the day session (8:30-4:30) ends. Most of the groups leave at this time. Our best times were after 4:30 because the lift lines and slopes were less crowded. The only problem is that it can get icy at night and that makes some of the higher runs more treacherous (we learned this the hard way one evening). Our family bought 2 day tickets and then extended them one more day for $59/ea and kept our equipment for another day. Overall, we thought the staff was great and worked really hard to help make our first ski trip a great one. When my older daughter's ski jacket got wet, they put it in the dryer for her. My youngest enjoyed the "Cat Trackers" program, lessons, a snack and a dry place to hang out when she got cold. The instructors there were great. The adults and older kids received (group) lessons too, a must for any beginner. We really enjoyed all of the instructors- they gave us specific feedback and helped us with the basics we needed to ski with confidence. By the end of the weekend, we had completed all of the green runs and two of the blue ones! We would definitely recommend the "Cat" for beginners, but you have to plan accordingly, or you'll spend most of your time in frustration, waiting in long lines, instead of skiing.
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