I wrote this review on Yelp that I thought covered it.
This review is meant for any other person trying to learn how to ski and considering this resort.
I went to Sunrise to learn how to ski with 3 people who were already very experienced skiers. They recommended that I take a lesson there and this is the reason why despite having a great time, I'm only rating this place a 1.
My instructor was Alan who seemed friendly enough. It was a group lesson and it was for 90 minutes. Everything started off great, but then when it became time to actually try to ski down the bunny hill, that's when Alan decided to ignore those of us who were struggling and focus on the 2 people who seemed to get it really quickly. I was not one of those 2 people. These were my issues with the lesson:
--Whenever I asked him a question, he would just simply repeat what he already said (which clearly wasn't working and was why I was asking more questions).
--The lessons are done less than 10 FEET away from the little kids (12 and under) learning how to ski and how to snowboard. So when/if you lose control, it is HIGHLY likely you're going to smash into the group of kids. I have no idea why they haven't separated the groups more. This is extremely dangerous.
--It is not easy to get up when you fall with skis on and the instructor only helped me up once and then going forward refused to help me because I was "half his age".
--When the older people in my group fell, he would just let them sit there in the snow, feeling discouraged. I never once saw him try to motivate them, help them up, or try to give them more instruction to improve.
--When the instructor decided to take us up on the bunny hill ski lift for a second time, he sat on the lift with me and he actually said to me, "See those 2 in the seat 2 seats ahead of us?" He was referring to the two people in our group who picked it up really quickly. "They get it. They can ski. The 2 people in the seat right in front of us just need more practice but they essentially get it. You, I'm not sure if you'll get it. And those people down there-" He was referring to the 2 older people in my group who got no help from him whatsoever and a woman who gave up. "They will NEVER learn how to ski." What kind of instructor says that?
When the lesson was over, one of the 3 who were really struggling in my group, passed me by and said, "I think I'm going to stick with walking." And that was probably the end of her attempt to ski forever. And all because of this lousy instructor.
So to recap, I left that lesson feeling really discouraged because I felt really intimidated by just the bunny hill, I was not able to turn and do a C or S in my skis, I could only go straight and go fast (too fast for my comfort while learning). Essentially, I felt I had no sense of control.
Here's the kicker though. After my lesson, it was lunch time, and the group I came to the resort with ran into a family friend of theirs at the cafeteria who used to be a ski instructor. He told me he could get me to ski in no time. After lunch, I gave it a shot with him. After just a few minutes, he was able to assess what I learned and he said that the instructor was essentially teaching me bad habits that serve as a quick fix to get people to ski quickly in the 90 minutes but if they ever try to ski steeper slopes, they'll probably injure themselves because it's not the right way to ski. He basically started me all over from the beginning and everything he taught me was different and opposite from what the resort's instructor told me.
Long story short, my first day started off terrible. I learned bad habits and was deeply discouraged by the resort's ski instructor. This family friend of my group takes me up the Fairway trail (he just completely skipped the bunny trail because he also noticed it was way too crowded for anyone to really learn and feel confident they're not going to run into little kids) and in a short amount of time got me to ski better than the 2 people in my lesson group who picked it up quickly.
Day 2: I did the bunny hill 3 times to warm up and felt in control. I didn't fall at all. I did Fairway 3 times and only fell once the first two times on the steepest part and didn't fall at all the 3rd time. Then, I went all the way up to the TOP of Apache Peak and skied the whole way down and finally started having fun.
Great place to ski, but ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE place to learn how to ski.