I have lived in STL for 9 years. I came from the Northeast where I was also a patroller. Obviously the skiing is not going to be the same. I do not have many opportunties to ski anymore but when I did last - I found this ski area small but comfortable. At that time I believe most of the runs were open. I am not rating the terrain park b/c I don't use it. I think it is a decent place for beginners and possible intermediates. After 2 hours I felt bored. I do agree with other reviews that the place seemed to be run by unprofessionals. MY biggest cons are: the prices for the hours. I would be there at least weekly if 1: the mountain opened by 10AM or 2: if the ticket prices were lowered. I cannot justify paying those prices for the 1 hour I (personally) have to ski. I'm sure I am not he only person with this issue. I have never known a mountain to open so late. Even the one I grew up on (which was a small, local one as well) was open by 8AM and the runs were in a lot better shape. I think the ski area would get more business if they expanded their hours of operation to mid morning during the week, increased their professionalism, and/or reduced their tix prices. Other than that- Hidden Valley is a decent place to get outside and enjoy the snow. I would visit again if time allowed. Nightlife is probably going to be mainly in STL which is approx 30 mins away.