While I hesitate to write this becasue I don't like crowds, I do want Elk to survive and prosper.
Believe the advertisements that say Elk is the best in PA. The terrain is very good and varied (although mostly geared for intermediates and above). Snow conditions and gromming have always been very good to excellent during my visits. The staff is friendly and helpful. The scenery is fantastic. Elk is in a remote, rural stting .... you don't have to look at condos, highways, casinos or outlets (as you do at some other PA resorts). The mountain is laid out well and its easy to go back and forth between the interesting trails.
Elk is all about the skiing ... not very commericial, no gimicks, limited terrain for boaders. It has a fantastic old school New England ambiance ..... down to smelling the wood fire coming from the lodge when you are waiting for a chair (just realize that you are in PA, so adjust your terrain and snow expectations accordingly). The lodge is nice. Not glitzy .... but to me, that is part of the charm. The cafeteria food is what you would expect at any resort (I haven't tried the restaurant but I heard from a reliable source that its pretty good). The only down side, is that the lifts are slow. They have the attached chairs. However, if you go during off peak times, its not a serious drawback.
No disrespect to boaders or beginners ..... but in my experience, I haven't seem many of either at Elk. You are generally sourounded by pretty good skiers who are courteous and know the rules of the road. Elk does have a very good ski school for children. So the youngsters that learn there, are tought well and progress quickly.
Each year I try to get in a few weekday trips to Elk when the lines are really non existent. Its a fantastic place. My best memories of skiing in PA are at Elk.