When people from the Midwest leave home for a ski/snowboard trip, they usually head to Colorado, Montana, or Utah. But they shouldn't discount the east, either.
For one thing, you probably won't have a problem with altitude sickness if you head east. For example, if you ride at Killington, "the beast of the east," the top summit peaks out at 4,241 feet, less than half of the base elevation at some western resorts.
Also, going east lets you see what life is like in another part of the ski world. In the Twin Cities, skiers who drive five to six hours can reach Lutsen (about 1,000 lift-served vertical drop), Granite Peak (about 700 feet) or the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan (600 feet).
Compare that to life in Boston or New York, where five or six hours (or less) can get you to someplace like Killington, Vermont, which has 3,000 or so of vertical drop, and 71 miles of trails.
Killington has six summits to choose from, including two that are good for beginners (Sunrise and Ramshead), one that has world-famous moguls (Bear), and another that has all the steepness most people would want (Killington).
While Killington has a "party hard" atmosphere, you can also get in some great fine dining, at the on-mountain Ledgewood Yurt.
Since the resort does have a reputation for being as crowded as a Manhattan subway, you can save yourself some trouble by going during the week.