Wow - I think you are LUCKY to only be an hour away! We are 3 hours away from our local mountain in Big Bear and 6 hours to Mammoth. We can't make a day trip with that drive time so we rent a place for the winter in Big Bear and stay for the weekends and holidays with our seaon passes.
I agree with the others that we would rather ski every weekend rather than just take one long trip a season. Even if our snow is mostly man made also.
Same here, we drive up from San Diego to Big Bear which is not a huge resort area. We do make the day trip though. Yes we wake at 5am get ready drive, then drive back down. It's about 2.5 hrs with no traffic.
Then we plan 1 if not two trips to bigger resorts. and this year at least one if not more trips to Mammoth. Planning on having a little rug rat next year so I need to maximize this season.