I was bringing my 6 year old to learn to ski. The first time I went, I chose Belleayre simply because a friend has a house nearby. I was more than pleasantly surprised. My daughter started riding the lift fairly quickly, so the size of the discovery area is actually a big bonus. At some of the other local mountains, she would have had significantly less beginner terrain on which to ski. I wish that one of the lifts was configured more for shorter kids like I have seen elsewhere.
As for the top, as a boarder, I didn't really appreciate the long skate to get from the hi-speed quad to the blues, but it's worth it (and I'm much better on one foot now). Plus, I like the variety of terrain which includes cruisers as well as steeps with and without bumps.
It's not as crowded as either Hunter or Windham, offers better boarder terrain than Hunter, and better intermediate terrain than Windham. It's not as refined as the only slightly bigger private areas, but it is priced very competitively and the actual snow experience is at least as good.
Of course, NY snow will never compete with the Rockies but this is one of the best 2 hr day trips from NYC that you can make.