Family friendly, great value, good snow
No nite life, must go to Salida (18 miles)
I regularly ski Monarch. Have skied Europe, most areas of Colorado. Very happy with Monarch. Excellent value, about 2/3 cost of the "name" resorts. Good for families since all lifts return to one base, can't get lost. Very competent children's school.
Snow usually best in Colorado. Lots of it, powderly due to high altitude. Nice mix of runs, well mantained. Very friendly staff. New ownership has been spending bucks last few years, nice upgrades. Magic Carpet for beginners.
Stay in Salida, 18 miles away, lots of motels at reasonable prices. Largest historical downtown in Colorado.
Monarch is ideal for families. Not so great for singles seeking social scene.