We have 3 & 5 yr old boys. My husband and I have skied all over the world. Now having children old enough to learn to ski, we knew we would be making decisions on where to ski based on good ski schools and good enviroments for children to learn to ski. In 2008 we took our then 3 yr old to Snowmass, Co. We were so encourage that they had him skiing the bunny slope by the end of the first day. Last yr we took them both (2 & 4yrs) to Beaver Creek and Vail ski schools. By the last day our oldest was able to ski the whole lower part of the mtn. We were so excited to be able to now share something we love so much w/our boys. After the attempted terrorist attack on an airliner in Detroit at xmas09, my husband and I decided airtravel w/children right now is just to difficult. So we decided to do something different...drive somewhere for our ski vacation which meant probably somewhere east. How bad can it be? No airtravel fees, no car rental fees, accomodations and lift tickets are cheaper and even better IntraWest is now running SnowShoe (they run many great service resorts that we have been to...from Whisler/Blackcomb in British Columbia to SanDestin Fl). We were so excited to get here. They let us checkin early, we rented the boys skis and boots then found this neat indoor play area BigTop to finish the day. Day 2, (it is 6 degrees outside) I had forgotten from being here 20yrs ago that SnowShoe is backwards than any other ski resort i had been to. The resort is at the top of the mtn. You start at the top and ski down. So the top where all the restraunts and accomodations are is extremely windy and cold. The "magic carpet" and bunny slope lift is at the top! Where the wind is swirling and extremely difficult for children to navigate. After our children cried and screamed from the frigid winds that blew them down, my husband asked the concierge (at Alleghany Springs) if there was an area we could take our children to work w/them further down the mtn where it would not be so windy. He said, "Go to the SilverCreek area. If it is windy here, it is NEVER windy there & you can use the same lift ticket." So we loaded the car to drive away from our ski-in ski-out accomodations to the SilverCreek area. SilverCreek was just as windy, the ski school lady said "it is pretty bad today" I asked if it was always this windy she said, "not ALL the time"
We turned around & went back to SnowShoe, checked the boys into a very clean and well run daycare at Shavers Center ($50/child for a half day), then explored the mtn ourselves. We had 3 great runs (the wind did die down after getting off the top) then they closed the entire mtn for high winds at 2pm. So we decided to get a hot chocolate at the bar at Shavers Center before picking up the kids, the bar had NO warm drinks including hot chocolate. Crazy! We had 1 hr of skiing, pd for 2 children in daycare and rented skiis. I asked the "high preformance" shop employees if it is always like this...they both said out of a week that they MIGHT get one or two days tops without this high of winds. Now i know why I could not rent skis like other places for skiing 5 out of seven days. You have to rent by the day and NO returns. My husband estimated 40-50mph constant winds w/60-65mph gusts. We are going to make the best of the last couple days, but this is not a good locations for our family at this young of age. Also, do not expect to stay connected if you are a Verizon cell phone customer. At&T is available but limited.
We do NOT recommend this mtn if you have any type 1 skiers.
We do NOT recommend this mtn if you expect friendly service.
We do NOT recommend this mtn if you like high end accomodations.
We do NOT recommend this mtn if you have people in your party that enjoys walking around a village and shopping. It is so windy and snow blowing so hard you cannot see the next bldging to know where you are going. We spoke to one family that has been here for 3 days and their children 9 &10 yrs, that have been skiing for 7yrs, will NOT leave the hotel, b/c they are so frightened of the wind.
We DO recommend BigTop play area, Shaver Center Day Care, and getting your groceries an hour out of Snowshoe.