Free bunny area which includes a lift, new equipment
Free area (understandably so) rock solid
Went there with some friends and ended up playing the all day instructor.
Checked out directly to the bunny slope expecting the usual lame rope or conveyor with the slope that makes you go at speeds comparable to a jog; couldn't have been more wrong.
WHAT I FOUND
Yes, they have the conveyor belt (which by the way, it's faster to just unstrap and walk up the hill...) but I found that they have two slopes with one lift (one a slope on either side). now, this made things very interesting because it just kind of made sense. It is really sectioned off from the rest of the area so for the most part you don't have more experienced people whizzing by scaring the life out of whoever is just learning.
The downside to this is the following:
Blue mountain holds that you have to buy some type of pass (lift ticket or private lesson) in order for you to get to rental; how closely that's regulated is left to whoever attempts--I bought passes (which ended up being a huge waste of money as by the time my umm "students" learned the basics I was exhausted.
SO I could see how people with their own gear or rent from somewhere else would take advantage and board/ski there for free...business wise it sort of doesn't make sense to spend too much with grooming (the other areas I noticed they had the snow machines running for a good portion of the day)...I like to think of it as an incentive to get to the other areas of the park. This simply means: that area is solid ice, especially in the morning--which anyone who's fallen knows seems counter intuitive to learning (most times I've found especially after the first painful fall--you fall more because of the fear of falling; they end up trying to position themselves to brace for falling instead of correction)
REGULAR PARK AREA
I DID get to slip for one run with one guy who was getting it enough to try the beginner slope in the regular, pass required trails in the park. Mind you it was I think around 5p.m. but where the machines were running, the powder was a very very welcomed sight, but there were ice patches that were..well...really icy.
there were I think 3 sections that if memory serves used to be part of Black Diamond trails, which seem to have a patrol to make sure people don't speed through them, but I would consider the beginner trail more of an intermediate...
If you are planning on staying in the bunny area, I'd hop on that towards the late afternoon when enough people have grinded down the ice..which makes sort of a powder layer..but not by much
There are two lodges, the summit lodge and the valley lodge. the valley area was much less crowded for parking(and is also the bunny area that I was at)
TO BE FAIR
I didn't get to check out the more difficult slopes or the ramp/rail/park area just the bunny area and the beginner trail