Why is it "so nice"? What difference does it make?
I ride at Taos in NM, which up until March 19, 2008, was a skier only resort.
Clearly when the decision was made to allow snowboarders to ride Taos, it was a hot button divisive issue for many of the, ahem, "older" locals and tourists alike. Message boards were alight with all kinds of hateful bullshit, with "I'll never ski Taos ever again" and "TSV just lost a lifelong customer" being two popular refrains.
As a (relatively) youngish guy, I grew up with the vast majority of my friends making their way down mountains with one board strapped to their feet. I remember getting shit (mostly harmless playful ribbing) from friends—and the occasional stranger—about how skiing was oh so uncool, but otherwise, most of the ski vs. board hate was something I heard about rather than experienced first hand. In fact, I came to believe, and still do, that very little hate actually exists, but it's perpetuated by the media and instigated by companies who see it as a marketing opportunity (i.e. Burton's pathetically transparent ski shmear campaign in a desperate attempt to seem edgy and attract the "I hate my parents demographic").
I was sort of on the fence about Taos's decision when I caught wind. I guess there is something sort of charmingly noble (or something) about a mountain attempting to preserve a legacy and tradition of being a skier only mountain. Especially, as it's a no-brainer that any mountain in the U.S. that prohibits snowboarding is cutting off a huge portion of potential customers. Basically, I felt like it was pretty impressive that a corporation would stand behind a conviction in the face of cutting deeply into their bottomline; whether I thought the conviction was worthwhile or not, it's just not something you see much these days. In addition to feeling a bit bummed that Taos's management was finally caving to the allure of the all-mighty dollar, I was concerned that my sleepy, never-crowded skier's paradise would suddenly be awash with people. I grew up skiing the Poconos where standing in a lift line was as much a part of the ski experience as actually making turns. After riding Taos a few consecutive Saturdays—and skiing directly on to the chair lift over and over again in the process—the idea of dodging moving slalom gates and seated mogul-people in between having the tails of my skis ridden on in line to do it all over again, seemed too much to bare.
Much to my delight, after a few wild days, things were back to normal, albeit there were some people lugging around one giant ski all of a sudden. As an added bonus, our previously neglected, embarrassingly shitty terrain park was all of a sudden only sort of neglected and regular shitty...everyone knows those edgy boarders insist on getting eXtreme after all! Taos is a VERY traverse heavy mountain, but despite seeing some doomed fools sitting down half-way down (across?) a cat trail that I easily skied right around, it didn't affect me in the slightest.
I suspect that probably the greatest contributing factor to Taos's relative obscurity and seeming emptiness is it's distance from any airports (ABQ is almost 3 hours from chair 1), but regardless, not much really changed about Taos after the initial stink and hoopla.
My guess is that if Alta decides to allow snowboarding, a similar unfolding will occur: a bunch of snobbish old fogies and their uber conservative children will cry about it for a while, and it'll quickly become a non-issue where most people will forget that snowboarding was once a no-go.
It's just simply not a big deal. We're all in the mountains for the same things, and that is to enjoy ourselves, the outdoors, the rush of moving fast, and to make some memories to share later.
And for the record, this business about snowboarding fucking up the snow pack...well that may be so that shitty snowboarders scrape snow off, but by no means are they any worse than shitty skiers sideslipping or pizzaing entire runs so that they can claim to have "skied a black diamond!" So there.
Maybe after Alta falls, everyone will just drop this whole imaginary "skier vs. boarder" nonsense...I doubt it, but man it'd sure be nice, no?