Vail is the Orlando of skiing.
I've had many great days at Vail and it offers a lot for everyone but it is often overly crowded from the parking decks to the lift lines to the restaurants and it is always overpriced. As a vacation town it offers every amenity except genuine character. If you've never skied Vail you should, China Bowl and Outer Mongolia alone are worth the trip. If you're looking for a first Western US trip or first family trip go to Steamboat in Colorado, or Utah for Snowbird/Alta, Jackson Hole in Wyoming, Squaw at Tahoe, Ca., or Taos in New Mexico when they've gotten good snow.