In fairness, I need to start by admitting that I have been a Bristol Mountain ski instructor for over 30 years. But that depth of experience makes me pretty well qualified to provide a review that's based on thousands of days & nights spent skiing there. And as a ski instructor, it's really not my own experience that matters, but the collective experiences of those I've taught -- and ridden alongside on the chairlift -- and chatted with in the lodge over the years. I can honestly say that Bristol was always a great place, but that over time it has continually gotten better and better. Mountain management has been intact for decades, with extraordinary personal commitment to ongoing improvement -- whether that has meant adding new trails, upgrading lifts, investing in state-of-the-art snow-making and grooming infrastructure, adding a Nordic ski center and two terrain parks, etc. etc. etc. with a base lodge expansion next on the list. Being open every night until 10 pm is something we take for granted, but few mountains offer night skiing any more -- including nearly none of the major resorts of New England and out West. Being located so close to Rochester makes skiing accessible to school kids after school, and working people after work, so that skiing becomes something we can do many times each week, and not just on weekends. I can spend a day stuck behind a desk at my "real job", then head down to Bristol for a few hours of night skiing, and head home again feeling like I've just had a little vacation. Offering the longest vertical between the Adirondacks and the Rockies, Bristol does attract many people from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Ontario, and other faraway places, who use Bristol as a destination resort. But for those of us who are locals, Bristol is a real treasure, and the reason so many of us look forward to winter each year.
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