We chose Sugar Bowl for our first family ski trip a year ago and have never regretted it. There's a really easy, yet fun training bowl for beginners and their instructional program - both private and group lessons - is the best we've experienced, so far. The prices are a little high for half-day lift tickets and youth equipment rental is out-of-this-world, so we highly recommend renting down the hill. Of course, once you realize you're going more than a few times in a single season, better to just go ahead and buy your kid's gear. :-) They've got some nice runs that are challenging, but still safe for beginners and for speed freaks, there's a huge, wide open downhill area with plenty of room to bring 'em to a stop safely at the bottom. Nothing beats the live music at the end of a long day of skiing and the menu - while expensive - has something for every palette. Donner may be more affordable, but Sugar Bowl just has so much more to offer that it's worth the extra expense.