Good mtn (for PA). People are friendly.
Unorganized staff, instructors lack experience and patience.
I have been coming here for 20 years, and for a local mountain, Blue has always satisfied, and I prefer it to the other options equal distance from my home. That being said,it was a natural choice to bring my 4 year-old daughter for her first lesson, what a mistake! It was a frustrating experience from the moment I made the reservation the day before, to the moment I picked her up halfway through the session to finish the day instructing her myself. While there is much more to the story then what I am going to tell you, if you are a parent looking to bring your child to his or her first lesson, you will want to read on.
First, the office staff is unorganized, sending me to the wrong lodge, which was awesome, because after driving for over an hour, the first thing I want to do is take my child in and out of her car seat, put her snow suit on and off, drive up and down the mountain looking for the meeting point. Then, we finally found the right place, its now less than a half hour before the lesson is scheduled to start, and no one is there! I stood at the window looking at another befuddled parent. "Is there enough time to get them fitted for skis before 1:00?" she asked, I could only shrug my shoulders with uncertainty. I assume no one there has kids of their own, because they possess little awareness how stressful it can be traveling with children.
More significant, they lack the communication skills (or possibly desire) to break down a frustrated child's wall of resistance. I know my daughter was very excited to try skiing all winter long, right up to the second I dropped her off at ski school. Within a half hour in the presence of their staff, that excitement vanished. I am not a delusional parent who believes my kid can do no wrong, but I'm certain she's not the first child in history who was frustrated and/or scared the first time she put skis on their feet. Given the fact it was a small class size, (it was a weekday, only 6 kids to 3 or 4 instructors) I feel they could have put much more effort to convince her to keep trying before calling me to talk to her twice in an hour.
After the second call, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
The result was, they allowed me to keep her rental equipment an extra hour, bring her to the private instruction area, (only because it was a weekday and not crowded) and ski with her myself. We finished the day with an hour and a half of q/t on the private instruction hill with a few potty breaks in between. Despite the happy ending to her first ski experience, allowing me to keep her skis and use the private hill was a feeble attempt at reconciliation, and the only way I wasn't going to demand a refund. It does not take away the poor experience I had putting faith in their "professionals" to teach my daughter "pizza and french fries", nor does it justify the dollars I was charged to rent skis for 3 hours and trek back to the lodge twice to convince my child to keep trying.
I blame the disappointment on the fact that Blue is not the four season resort some of the other mountains in the area have become. The majority of the staff is obviously part-time "band-aids", they lack the experience, imagination, patience, and motivation required to teach young children to feel comfortable with big sticks on their feet. Next time we are going to a different resort, and if your child is a "never-ever", I would take Blue Mountain out of consideration for his/her first time.