My 6 year old son (who never skied before) and myself went to Ski Snowstar on Tuesday, December 22, 2009. Based on Ski Snowstar calendar it was considered regular weekday. It was my first time skiing in the US, so I can't compare it to other ski resorts.
Parking lot is next to rental/ticket office so if you don't want to pay 75 cents for the lockers, your car is just outside.
1 hour group ski lesson for my son cost $45 which included ski rental and lift pass for all lifts for the rest of the day. My ski rental cost $17 + $10 for lifts with food pantry donation (it is $17 without).
Since nobody else was taking kids group lesson, Wendy started a lesson around 11:30 am and ended it at past 1pm. So, as you can see, my son got individual lesson for the price of group lesson and Wendy was very generous with her time (Thanks Wendy!). Afterwards my son stayed mostly in "magic carpet" area practicing his new earned skills
I was able to do around 20-25 runs down during our time @ Ski Snowstar. All but 1 lifts were open (I do not think they needed it since it was not crowded) and longest line during our trip was about 1 minute long. The runs are pretty short (in my subjective view, it took up to a 1 minute to go down on any of the runs).
Employees were very friendly and took their time to stop lift when my son struggled to sit on the lift during his first trip up.
70%-80% of the crowd were teenagers on their winter break, remainder consisting of families with kids.
Food and drink: we had hot dog, chili soup, nachos, chips, cookies and the rest of the food was similar fast food fare. I guess it is OK for one day trip. They had domestic beers on tap which was just what I needed after few hours of skiing. Total food and beer bill was around $14 for both of us. First floor of cafeteria had fireplace going which added cozy feel to it.
Over all it was fun day trip and I would recommend it for the beginners. I would go again, this time for both skiing and snow tubing (it was supposed to open during Christmas). I think you can pay additional $8 and exchange your skiing lift ticket to tubing ticket for the rest of the day.
Can't comment on a nightlife since we went back to Chicago same night. Can't comment on freestyle terrain park either (it was there), since it is not my thing.