well these gentlemen summed it up pretty well, I just did a season there this past winter. Highly suggest visiting your friend - I visited one year, was back the next to work. if they works at a resort most likely either free or 40% off, thats what I had.
Man that -42 night was insssaaaaaane, and it was like 2 weeks of -30 to -40, so crazy, gondolas stop running at sunshine past -30.
Best time to visit there is probably later in the season... december = tourist trap, jan = very cold not as much snow, feb is usually warmer with no snow, and I'm told march is usually the sweet month, though last season the entire season was low on the snow amounts. still had a blast though.