We had a great time skiing at West Mountain on Saturday. We have never skied there (though my husband did over 20 years ago) and had heard that the Resort was under new management. We were looking for a half day ski for the whole family and didn't want to pay or deal with one of the big resorts.
When we got there at 8am the lot was practically empty. We walked up the path and a friendly "greeter" helped direct us where to go. He suggested we get skis first because when you buy your lift ticket the time starts right then. So he saved us some time and money! I saw him helping people all day long.
RENTALS. We went to rent skis first and the SportsPage folks who have recently taken over the rental shop did a great job. They were fast and knowledgeable. There were plenty of spaces to store our stuff. They had a lot of nice helmets for sale and a few other things, but the main store is in town, not at the slope.
TICKETS: Then we went over and got our 4 hr ski passes. It was $35 for adults and $30 for kids. They have a ticket window for passes, but inside they also have more sales folks and a place to sign up for lessons.
LESSONS and OTHER THINGS: I saw several groups of kids doing ski lessons. West Mountain has a little slope with a Magic Carpet lift for the kiddies. They looked like they were doing well. I also saw the Albany Ski Club setting up a race course and we watched some races. The tubing looked great. No one was using the terrain park but it looked like it had some cool jumps. I didn't see any rails or other stuff.
On to the slopes--we were excited to ski because of the new foot of snow from the previous day. The groomed trails were amazing and they had un-groomed ones open as well, and all the lifts were open. There were NO LINES and it was like we had our own private mountain to ski on. The ski lifts are REALLY OLD and probably need to be replaced, but they were running fine. When we left a little after noon the place was sort of full. The lift lines were still really short. And this was a big ski weekend with all new snow!
Food options: The folks running the cafeteria were really nice and helpful. They were obviously working hard to keep everyone fed and happy. The food was fine--especially the fries and onion rings-- and really cheap compared to most attractions. There is no water fountain, so there is nowhere to fill up water bottles, so we just bought water. They also had free water in little cups if you asked for it. We did not go to the restaurant, but evidently it is also under new management and is good. The bathrooms are brand new and really nice.
All in all, we had a great time at West Mountain. From what I hear from the locals the resort has gone through some tough times, but we had really about the best time skiing possible for a reasonable price. I really hope more people go ski at West Mountain and help out a great local institution.