Readers complain about getting here, eating here and partying here. So why do they come to Sunday River, and in droves? To paraphrase James Carville: It's the skiing, stupid. Even in a ski season blessed with Western-sized natural snowfall, Sunday River earned consistently high marks for its grooming, snowmaking and vast selection of trails. One reader grouses, "nothing there but skiing." Which must have been just fine with the others who say, "best area in the East" and "about as good as it gets." The recipe that turned this hometown ropetow resort on a relatively low ridge into the flagship of the American Skiing Co. is apparently still working at Sunday River. There isn't much of an après scene, you have to drive 40 minutes to Gorham to find a really great meal, and the condos can look like they were built and inhabited by a posse of teenagers. But when you snap on the skis, you're going to smile. Chances are good that compared to most other Eastern resorts, the trails will be whiter and better corduroyed, the lifts so myriad and fast that even on holiday weekends liftlines will be nil. And those 126 trails, from the killer bumps of Agony to the mellow curves of Lollapalooza, provide enough space and variety for entire families to disappear for days, earning Sunday River golds for Snow, Grooming, Lifts and Terrain. The reader was right who wrote that the off-mountain experience is "generally not up to what it takes to attract a national following." But so is the one who says, "most consistent ski experience in the East."
(-) "A long way from Philadelphia." "Not the place to find a hottie. Better snuggle up with your dog."