Terrain, Snow, Ski and Ride School, Aesthetics
New England Weather
A big mountain that skis even bigger and better (on a per-acre basis) than anything in the East. Great glade skiing that's obviously cut by skiers who know what's important. Recent upgrades are focused in the right places (snowmaking, grooming, infrastructure) and the surface is generally phenomenal.
Beginners will love the South Branch quad, and the Ski & Ride School is passionate, customer focused, and offers telemark in addition to snowboard & alpine. The rental fleet is great and includes tele gear. Base lodge is awesome and the food is high quality and a good deal. It's obvious that management cares customers, but it's not Deer Valley - and that's a good thing!
If you would choose Bridger over Big Sky, Red over Whistler, Powder over Ski magazine, then you will love Saddleback. I've skied all over the world, and have chosen this as my family's "home resort" - 'nuff said.