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TR Big SNOW American Dream, indoor slope in NJ, 2021

MissySki

Angel Diva
I haven't been on one in years, but I did vow that I'm not riding the wooden ones anymore - too rough a ride and I remember being really, really sore afterwards.

And I'm not sure about my ability to ride the spinny things anymore, which is a shame because I love those. I think things like the Scrambler are OK, but not the Teacups. And OMG certainly not the one they used to have where they spun it really fast and the floor dropped down so you were just stuck to the wall - whatever that one was called.

I couldn't do the floor drop one was I was younger either lol. I remember curling up on a bench at Canobie Lake Park after the Turkish Twist when I was in high school.
 

Ski Sine Fine

Angel Diva
I found out at a young age I get motion sickness easily, so the only things I do at amusement parks were bumper cars and the shooting gallery. No FPS video games. No reading in moving vehicles and boats are the worst. I actually got sick on my honeymoon on a catamaran (I wanted to go skiing in Colorado but my fiancé at the time wanted to go snorkeling in Hawaii — sigh, and I still married him). Even on gigantic cruise ships I can feel the deck moving and I always try to pick the cabin near the center of the ship. I used to have to take Dramamine for plane rides, even though I hated how it makes me feel like a zombie. (Incidentally, motion sickness was the reason I stopped taking flying lessons.) After working for a year where I had to fly every month, I actually grew out of the need for Dramamine. Years later, I read about Sea Bands and decided to give that a try on a cruise. I was a bit surprised they actually worked. I’ve been wearing them on cruises and flights ever since. I find I’m actually more tolerant as I age and maybe it’s that too.
 

EdithP

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
It's quite an experience! Planning to go back in a few weeks at the end of another driving trip up north. Going to bring my own skis and boots this time. Also won't be so rushed to leave.

The company that built the Mall of America didn't build the building that houses Big SNOW. That was built by the original developer in NJ that never got past building an empty shell. But they finished the slope, the snowmaking infrastructure, and installed a brand new quad chair.

There is a plan to build another American Dream mall in Florida that will have an indoor slope. Hard to say whether that will actually happen or not though. Construction may not start for another year or two, assuming permits are issued.
I am happy for you! So wish they build sth like that in Warsaw!
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
Years later, I read about Sea Bands and decided to give that a try on a cruise. I was a bit surprised they actually worked. I’ve been wearing them on cruises and flights ever since. I find I’m actually more tolerant as I age and maybe it’s that too.
They really do make a big difference!
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
@marzNC I was just re-skimming this thread, so apologies if I missed this.. Were there lessons available for DD's bf if he'd wanted one? I can't find mention of lessons on the site and whether they are available for adults yet.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
@marzNC I was just re-skimming this thread, so apologies if I missed this.. Were there lessons available for DD's bf if he'd wanted one? I can't find mention of lessons on the site and whether they are available for adults yet.
The business model for Big SNOW is completely different from a regular ski school. Big SNOW always has instructors around, for no extra charge. Ideally there would be 8 for a busy day. Two in the teaching area, two on the "bunny slope," and two at the top of the lift. Plus two extra so that instructors can take a break and still have six on the slopes. Needless to say they are short staffed at the moment.

There was a blue jacket around the entrance door. He helped BF to snap into his bindings. I learned something about what to say to a beginner about where to look. Since we didn't find an instructor at the top of the magic carpet, I looked around when we got down. Found a young man in the right jacket but he wasn't on skis. He only brought his snowboard that day. But knew how to teach a never-ever skier. After that BF essentially had a 45-min private lesson.

My daughter and I deliberately didn't hang around while BF was getting started. We followed him down the last couple runs. He mostly did the banked turns teaching terrain. Finished with a run on the bunny slope. Overall I was quite impressed when the progression. They worked on at least 3 different drills.

Once BF started working with the instructor, I don't think he fell. Perhaps once. The first run down was pretty tough. He kept leaning back, which obviously doesn't work. Also I hadn't gotten any poles. For the flats, he really needed to have poles.

Bottom line is that BF is interested in going skiing again. They are in Asheville, which is 45 min from Cataloochee. That's a small hill that is very good for beginners. So hopefully they'll get there a few times this winter.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
The business model for Big SNOW is completely different from a regular ski school. Big SNOW always has instructors around, for no extra charge. Ideally there would be 8 for a busy day. Two in the teaching area, two on the "bunny slope," and two at the top of the lift. Plus two extra so that instructors can take a break and still have six on the slopes. Needless to say they are short staffed at the moment.

There was a blue jacket around the entrance door. He helped BF to snap into his bindings. I learned something about what to say to a beginner about where to look. Since we didn't find an instructor at the top of the magic carpet, I looked around when we got down. Found a young man in the right jacket but he wasn't on skis. He only brought his snowboard that day. But knew how to teach a never-ever skier. After that BF essentially had a 45-min private lesson.

My daughter and I deliberately didn't hang around while BF was getting started. We followed him down the last couple runs. He mostly did the banked turns teaching terrain. Finished with a run on the bunny slope. Overall I was quite impressed when the progression. They worked on at least 3 different drills.

Once BF started working with the instructor, I don't think he fell. Perhaps once. The first run down was pretty tough. He kept leaning back, which obviously doesn't work. Also I hadn't gotten any poles. For the flats, he really needed to have poles.

Bottom line is that BF is interested in going skiing again. They are in Asheville, which is 45 min from Cataloochee. That's a small hill that is very good for beginners. So hopefully they'll get there a few times this winter.
Thanks for the description! This past weekend I got my non-skiing fiancé to tentatively agree to do a lesson at Big Snow ahead of this ski season. He is very tentative about trying skiing in general, and it’s always been a “someday I’ll try it” idea for him so far. I’ve never really pushed the idea because I don’t feel it’s necessary for him to ski if he really doesn’t want to, but I’ll bring it up and get his thoughts occasionally. I was pleasantly surprised he seemed to take to the idea of trying a couple of hours at Big Snow, and wanted to capitalize on it asap. However, I just don’t think this is necessarily the best way to introduce a never ever adult in their 40s who is very nervous about it. I want to ensure it’s as good of an experience as possible with a great and attentive instructor from start to finish when it does happen. This doesn’t feel like the right fit, and I definitely don’t want to try and teach him myself lol. I thought they might offer traditional private lessons..

I do know a level 3 instructor at Sunday River who specializes in adult first timers. That might be the best route to go when I can get him out to agree to try it there, especially since they’ve started terrain based learning in the last couple of years as well. Mind you, he is up at the mountain in a condo with me every weekend already. I figure it’s only a matter of time before one has to try and slide on snow in this situation right? :laughter:

For some reason the inside location of Big Snow seemed less intimidating than a mountain. I’m not sure why..
 

newboots

Angel Diva
@MissySki - Terrain-based learning, which I understand is what they have at Big Snow, is supposed to be really effective. If I recall, theterrain has an easy runout or a bit of uphill at the end of any downhill mini-slope, so the learner can get the feel of skiing down a gentle hill without the terror and loss of control.

I read about this years ago when Killington started it, so my knowledge is rusty and incomplete. But I think it's worth looking into!
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
@MissySki - Terrain-based learning, which I understand is what they have at Big Snow, is supposed to be really effective. If I recall, theterrain has an easy runout or a bit of uphill at the end of any downhill mini-slope, so the learner can get the feel of skiing down a gentle hill without the terror and loss of control.

I read about this years ago when Killington started it, so my knowledge is rusty and incomplete. But I think it's worth looking into!
I agree with terrain based learning itself. Sunday River has it in their beginner area now too. The only part I don’t like is that you can’t schedule an actual private lesson to have someone teaching you to start at Big Snow.

I’d also love to take a snowboarding lesson in a terrain based learning area. It has to be better than my first attempt without it! Lol
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Thanks for the description! This past weekend I got my non-skiing fiancé to tentatively agree to do a lesson at Big Snow ahead of this ski season. He is very tentative about trying skiing in general, and it’s always been a “someday I’ll try it” idea for him so far. I’ve never really pushed the idea because I don’t feel it’s necessary for him to ski if he really doesn’t want to, but I’ll bring it up and get his thoughts occasionally. I was pleasantly surprised he seemed to take to the idea of trying a couple of hours at Big Snow, and wanted to capitalize on it asap. However, I just don’t think this is necessarily the best way to introduce a never ever adult in their 40s who is very nervous about it. I want to ensure it’s as good of an experience as possible with a great and attentive instructor from start to finish when it does happen. This doesn’t feel like the right fit, and I definitely don’t want to try and teach him myself lol. I thought they might offer traditional private lessons..

I do know a level 3 instructor at Sunday River who specializes in adult first timers. That might be the best route to go when I can get him out to agree to try it there, especially since they’ve started terrain based learning in the last couple of years as well. Mind you, he is up at the mountain in a condo with me every weekend already. I figure it’s only a matter of time before one has to try and slide on snow in this situation right? :laughter:

For some reason the inside location of Big Snow seemed less intimidating than a mountain. I’m not sure why..
The advantage of Big SNOW is that a lot of factors are removed. Weather is a non-issue. It's pretty much guaranteed not to be very busy, especially if you go for an early session. Also no commitment about snow pants or ski jacket. Not that big a deal to spend $80 for everything. In comparison to a SR lift ticket plus the cost of a private lesson or two.

Added bonus to me is that the other people at Big SNOW would be strangers. For some people, it can be easier to try something new without the chance of running into a friend unexpectedly.

Note that while I was watching BF as he learned, I stayed far away enough that he didn't know I was watching. Did that when my daughter had ski school as a kid. It's not that hard when someone is concentrating on the instructors. BF iss not really the adventurous type, but willing enough to try stuff that he knows is important to my DD. We took him on high ropes last year. He's in his 20s so not exceptionally nervous though. Has far more potential than my DH has in his 40s when DD started skiing, even though he's been on skis in college a few times. Wrong personality when it comes to sliding in general.
 

skinnyfootskis

Angel Diva
I haven't been on one in years, but I did vow that I'm not riding the wooden ones anymore - too rough a ride and I remember being really, really sore afterwards.

And I'm not sure about my ability to ride the spinny things anymore, which is a shame because I love those. I think things like the Scrambler are OK, but not the Teacups. And OMG certainly not the one they used to have where they spun it really fast and the floor dropped down so you were just stuck to the wall - whatever that one was called.
It was the Roter. I loved it but my uncle a Dr. told me it was unhealthy.
 

newboots

Angel Diva
I seem to remember there were only going to be lessons for beginners; I imagine I read that on the website at some point, or in a press release or something. Did anyone run across something different?
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Got the announcement about private lessons at Big SNOW today. $199 for 2 hours, $99 for additional people, max 4.

 

MissySki

Angel Diva
Got the announcement about private lessons at Big SNOW today. $199 for 2 hours, $99 for additional people, max 4.


Yeah, $200 seemed a bit steep to me.. I'm not sure why though, that is comparatively priced to mountains for private lessons. I guess with every other part of the experience being so cheap it makes it a little off-putting? Especially when you know this money isn't all going to the instructors. Unless they have a different model of payment than mountains do.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Had a good time at Big SNOW earlier this week meeting up with a couple Divas. I brought my own boots and skis this time. Definitely like how DPS Phantom performs on manmade snow.

The doors to the changing rooms look like decoration. They are pretty nice.
Big SNOW 22Aug2021 - 5.jpeg

Summer Sleds are a new option. They are not traditional sleds at all, but look like fun. Have to have your own warm jacket and snow pants.
Big SNOW 22Aug2021 - 2.jpeg

Didn't remember seeing the warning sign before that the chairlift is not for beginners
Big SNOW 22Aug2021 - 3.jpeg
 

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