Vermont ski resorts haven’t been chillaxin all summer. Instead several top ski resorts have brought big ups to their slopes, lodges and lifts. I – for one – am looking forward to skiing the Green Mountains covered in white this season, riding new lifts at Okemo, Sugarbush and the private Hermitage Club, and checking out new lodges at Stratton, Stowe and Killington, and a new hotel on the mountain at Burke.
Stratton is investing $9 million in its 1961 Main Base Lodge – it should be posh with more seating, native stone, and should open by November. Stratton also added a new webcam to the summit and a new tower in SunBowl to improve cell service… so you can’t claim you are out of range at Stratton anymore.
Killington has added toys, rides and ropes plus a new $3.5 million Snowshed Adventure Center, with a nearly mile-long Beast Mountain Coaster, a Skyeride that soars over 100 feet above Snowshed Pond, and a four-story Skye Ropes Course. Beastly.
Mount Snow is adding 10 miles of snowmaking pipe to the 645 new guns installed last season – so that should blow…more snow. Mount Snow continues its huge West Lake 120 million gallon snowmaking water reservoir project aimed to be complete for 2016-17 winter.
Okemo is bubbly about skiing of late, launching a second bubble chair – to cover the Jackson Gore Quantum Four high-speed quad, complementing the speedy six pack orange bubble added last season to the main mountain. Okemo also adds a new fixed-grip quad at South Face, plus a new trail and snowmaking to this latest real estate development area.
Burke, or QBurke as they prefer to be labeled, will debut its new slopeside 116 room hotel, along with $1 mill in new snowmaking. Burke is also promoting a ski for free program Dec 11- 26. More on that and other learn to ski incentives around Vermont and New Engalnd later…
Sugarbush has replaced the Valley House Double with a fixed-grip chair, with a conveyor load system. The new Valley House Quad, which will reach the top of Stein’s and The Mall. A bonus to this new lift, besides two more seats and a swifter ride, is that they also lowered the base to be near the Super Bravo Express load area for less schlepping to this new lift from Lincoln Village.
Hermitage Club at Haystack, the private ski resort, gets a sweet new $7 mill, six passenger heated bubble chairlift – even though the posh ski area with nary a crowd rarely gets lift lines ….its good to belong here.
Mad River Glen is continuing to be Mad River Glen – unchanged, un-accepting of snowboarders, mostly un-groomed, unapologetic.
Smugglers ramps up its snowmaking, especially aimed at the natural features in their kid-friendly learning area – Billy Bob’s Bear Den and Yellow Cat Woods. Cool… kids love the goods in the woods but its nice when they’re well covered for our skis in the trees.
Suicide Six will be celebrate 80 years of skiing this season with new snowmaking upgrades. If you haven’t skied Suicide, make it for their eighth decade season , its cool and so historical.
Stowe adds an Adventure Center with ski/ride school, daycare and a Children’s Center – all located steps from the Stowe Mountain Lodge and an ice rink in Spruce Peak Plaza. A new Stowe Mountain Club Alpine Clubhouse is also coming to the mix for concierge style ski service in this Beaver Creek-esque village.
So that’s the good ski news from the Green Mountains – soon to be white. Stay tuned to Family Ski Trips and Luxury Ski Trips ski friends…winter is coming!
Heather Burke, 2015 Copyright & Photography property of Family Ski Trips