i live in pasadena,ca (10 minutes from downtown LA)
and mountain high is 1 hour from where im at. Its amazing, 1 hour to the snow. 45 minutes to the surf.
and if you want more powder in your sessions, bear mountain is 1 hour 45 minutes away.
and i gotta say finding cheap as hell lift tickets or season passes isnt hard in L.A..... That craigslist.
its LA so theres always work no matter what your field. (im a graphic designer) and theres tons of work in LA.
+ being able to go back home to san diego is only a bit of a trek.
cannttt beattt itt with a glass full of heroine.
By far this is the most ridiculous response in this thread. Talking about Bear Mountain and powder?
I think you should make some trips out of the LA area for snowboarding. Bear and Mountain High are good for park, but that is it.
As for OP, Denver or SLC probably meet your requirements the most. Portland and Seattle could work but are a bit further away from the mountains.
Also not mentioned yet is Reno. Not to far of a drive from Tahoe.