Good snow the weekend we went
Opens beginner slopes last
We picked the right weekend (12-10-11) to go. The weather early that week before our trip was miserable. The slope was truly bare (no snow). By that weekend they had put some major snow on the ground. The temps were great for snow skiing, but not great for most anything else (if you don't like the cold).
I am familiar with west coast skiing, so there were some things which were irritating. The snow was only deep enough to ski on. It wasn't deep enough for them to groom out the ground features on most runs, so there were small miniature rolling hills everywhere in the slopes. This is not a negative point, just a point to be informative for the "out of place" skier.
The Staff was friendly, and the crowds were not bad. There were times, it was crowded on the slopes, but not to a point of being unsafe. You did however need to pay attention, and avoid the people randomly stopped on the slope. The beginner slopes were very icy, but hard to fix that point. The resorts do focus on the bigger runs to open first.
If you are new to skiing, you probably should wait to make a trip in January or February. Also.....just don't book and go. In North Carolina, you should watch the weather, and weather reports very carefully before your trip. If the weather isn't right, you may need to cancel.
The resort operators do their very best, but the ultimate decision comes from mother nature. They work to her schedule.
For families, if someone in the group doesn't ski, they will probably get bored quickly. There is ice skating and tubing (tubing was closed).
We had fun, and are already booked for our next trip. We are whispering to mother nature to give us some appropriate weather for the trip.