Terrain, atmosphere, village amenities
Staff attitude, mountain access/parking, grooming
Trekked up to Stratton for the first time this season since recently moving to Upstate NY, right after a great late-season snow storm, the only real one of the season. The mountain is beautiful, as is the village and mountain facilities. The place has an intentional "upscale feel" to it, as I believe Intrawest strives for at all of it's resorts. Prices are rather high, but that is to be expected.
The mountain and it's network of trails is great and has a lot to offer for every level of skiier ability. I went on a rather crowded day, yet the mountain is large enough to disperse the crowd pretty well. A wonderful variety and distance of trails. For some reason, although almost 100% of the mountain was open, several lifts, particularly ones to the peak, were closed, with the crowded and rather slow gondola basically your only choice from base to top. With over a foot of fresh snow on the previous day (ending by sunset), I was rather unimpressed with the amount of grooming that took place. Most of the steep runs seemed totally ungroomed and had a sloppy, VERY choppy "mashed potato" quality to them, not allowing for much speed, and putting a serious challenge to the average skiier's knees! The runs that were groomed ran fast and fun, and were a blast.
I found that the customer service and general attitude of the staff -with the exception of the South American exchange kids- left much to be desired. There was a general "we-are-better than you, you don't matter" attitude from most of the staff. For the high prices paid (for EVERTYTHING), not only was the staff less than accomodating, but the parking system was atrocious. We stayed overnight at the Inn the previous evening, only to find that it took hours past lift-opening to find a place to put our car and access the lodges/lifts. By 8:45 on a non-holiday Friday, one is forced to park miles away and wait on crowded shuttles. Overall facilites are nice, yet become extremely crowded.
All in all, it is a beautiful mountain with tons of quality terrain, but the value of the total experience for what you end up paying leaves a decent amount to be desired...