The demise of the small ski area continues, as discussed in New York Times this weekend. I was a nordic skier as a child, and got into alpine skiing in my late teens, skiing mostly at small areas in upstate New York like Oak Mountain, West Mountain, Willard Mountain, Hickory Ski Center, and Snow Ridge. My first real introduction to deep powder skiing was at Snow Ridge, which is located in the Lake Ontario snowbelt, and is one of the snowiest ski areas in the east, averaging about 250 inches annually.
Those of you who wax nostalgic should check out the New England Lost Ski Areas project, which preserves the history of former ski areas in New England and other regions (including Afghanistan!).
Whether or not the loss of small areas is good or bad probably depends on one's perspective, but I can't help but think that skiing loses a little more of its soul every time one closes.