I, and two friends, headed-up to Snowshoe this Sunday to get in a solid day of snowboarding and use our Kroger ticket vouchers. As we cruised into the parking lot at Top of the World we noticed it was nearly full. We headed over to the building to cash-in our vouchers for tickets and the line was just poking out the door. Line for tickets? No. Line for check-in.
Snowshoe has reduced mountaintop check-in to ONE location. Unfortunately, for anybody wanting to ski, it also happens to be at Top of the World, where the general public is forced to park. If you arrive on a busy check-in day, which just happens to be Sunday (or Saturday, I think, if people are checking-out), expect to wait 15-30 minutes for the next bus to Shavers, or park at Silver Creek and catch the bus up after you get your ticket. You DO NOT want to wait for several hours in that ToW mess.
I was impressed with the amount Snowshoe had open and maintained (things didn't even get icy until late afternoon). Of course, nobody was on the slopes. The resort was packed, everywhere off-slope you went it was a madhouse, but very few people were actually hitting the trails, at least, nothing like I'm used to seeing this time of year.
Then there's the issue of the Big Top. Ugly. Nothing says good aesthetics like a huge, puke green yurt right behind that boxy, poorly-colored Shavers Center. Sure, Spruce Lodge was a bit of an eyesore, but it could've been replaced with something more appealing than an big, ugly green yurt.
One final note, the freestyle terrain was over-hyped. Spruce Glades had two massive drop-ins for two tables that were both less than 20 feet. They had a good wallride, but the transition was too rough, park crew should be doing better. Rails? Boxes? Not in the actual park. No, you have to slide over to Whistlepunk under the Powder Monkey chair. A few jibs leave literally INCHES between your head and the lift above you... seems like an accident and lawsuit waiting to happen. The features, even with it being a "Terrain Garden" were tiny and people were constantly harassing you (esp. skiers, not that I want to point a whole lot of fingers) and snaking you to fly off the side of those small run-in ramps. Not to mention the constand clodding of snow on your head from people above you on the lift. Real cool
Snwoshoe is great, but the focus has shifted from being a mountain with amazing terrain to just the "party resort" image. It's a hassle to just have fun on the snow... something that should be paramount at a SKI AREA.