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Month: February 2017

Vail’s plans for Stowe Vermont? Epic or Not?

For years I had been hoping Vail Resorts would round out their portfolio with an Eastern ski resort. Wish granted, but like all wishes – its not exactly as you’d dreamed or anticipated. I was hoping Vail would come in with capital infusion for a New England ski resort in need- say Saddleback that has been closed for two ski seasons, or maybe Jay Peak and Burke Mountain now in receivership after last season’s EB5 ponzi scheme and scandal. But no – Vail goes for Stowe… my favorite ski resort in the East.

The $50 million price tag for Stowe is for the Mountain Ski operation, so ownership of the luxe Stowe Mountain Lodge, the Stowe Mountain Club, and the Stowe Golf Club remain with AIG. That makes for an interesting, perhaps complicated, equation. After all Vail Resorts loves its real estate and lodging revenue, right? They also own RockResorts – a posh collection of hotels, spas and resorts from Colorado to the Caribbean.

Back to Stowe. The biggest question is how Vail will include Stowe in its Epic Pass? Consider that a day ticket at Stowe is over $120, and an Epic Pass unlimited is $809 this season. Doesn’t take a math wiz to calculate the savings in 7 days, with bonus access to 14 ski resorts to boot! Vail Resorts indicate they will announce in March the Epic Pass implications for Stowe ski days – for the 2017-18 Epic Pass. Remember they start selling Epic Passes in April. Tick Tock!

I wager there will be limits and restrictions to Vail’s Epic Pass at Stowe next season. Honestly I hope so – if its unlimited access – the throngs will be at Stowe next season, including me! After all it is some of the best skiing in the East. Arguably Stowe’s epic snow conditions this winter are better than some resorts out west…lol to my western ski friends that assume we “ski ice in the east.”

Currently the Epic Pass is an outrageous deal, with full access to 10 major ski resorts Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Arapahoe Basin, and Perisher Australia, plus four small regional ski areas, and next year Whistler Blackcomb – which Vail bought just months ago. The Epic Pass also gets you some free lift tickets in the Alps, 6 days of skiing in France at Les 3 Vallées, Paradiski, and Val D’Isere Tignes, 3 days skiing the Dolomites of Italy, and 5 days at Les 4 Vallées of Switzerland which includes Verbier, and 6 days in Austria at Lech Zurs, St Anton and St Christoph (the Austrian ski resort privileges require that you purchase lodging and pre register).

I predict lodging rates will go up in Stowe – now that it is a Vail destination. And Stowe is already pretty pricey by New England ski standards. I envisions Vail will make some changes, streamlining of systems and cut backs to Stowe staffing – as I witnessed at Park City last week. Hey, at least Stowe already has the RFID lift ticket technology so they can adapt to the Epic Mix vertical tracking app – bonus. I already now you can bag a lot of vert on Stowe’s Front Four – 10 X 10 when the lifts open at 7:30! Hmmm, that might change too…

So there will be pros and cons with Vail’s Stowe purchase. Stay tuned, and keep your eye out for the serious season pass deals this spring for next season. The Max Pass, Rocky Mountain Super Pass, Epic Pass, Mountain Collective… it may be in ski show down throw down. A little healthy competition is a good thing, right my ski friends?!

By Heather Burke, Photos by Greg Burke, Copyright 2017

Visit Heather Burke’s websites Family Ski Trips.com and  for luxury resort reviews: www.luxuryskitrips.com

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Lessons from the GOAT – Tom Brady

tb12Super Bowl 51 is history – and historical – dubbed the most miraculous Super Bowl comeback of all time. Perhaps bigger than the plays on the field February 5 are Captain America’s actions off the turf.  Tom Brady is being heralded as the GOAT (my daughter Aspen explained the trending acronym): Greatest Of All Time. I’m calling Brady the Gracious Optimist of All Time.

Tom’s timing couldn’t be better in America – to be the pillar of grace, humility and positivity – showing up and showing us how to be the best human being possible – in a time of incredible divisiveness in our nation – Tom is optimistic, and kind. He has nothing but good things to say. How refreshing that the media can’t spin his positivism negatively?!  Today’s so-called “liberal” media is anything but open-minded and accepting – which is BTW the definition of liberal. The news can’t “deflate” TB 12’s champion attitude. Brady doesn’t seize the spotlight to shame, blame or boo anyone, he doesn’t perpetuate the hate, or lambaste the NFL. Tom is gracious – he takes responsibility for his actions, gives tremendous credit to his fellow players, praises and compliments his opponents, even indulges the same media that portrayed him as a cheater not so long ago – with a smile and patience. This Goat doesn’t GLOAT…

Tom Brady embodies and demonstrates daily the #DoYourJob work ethic that made our country great from infancy. Work hard and reap your rewards (5 Super Bowl rings) from the freedom and opportunity we are provided.

I am taking the high road with Tom. Brady works tirelessly to be the best he can be. TB12 is the 1% – the greatest of all time perhaps because he gives 101% effort every day. He’s not like the 99% that protest and complain and blame, the folks that don’t exercise or eat healthy but expect freebies, hand outs,  and federal help. If you haven’t read Tom Brady’s recommended book “The Four Agreements” do so. For anyone not motivated enough, didn’t want to say lazy – trying to be positive like TB, here is a summary of Tom’s principles outlined in this book (but you should read it – annually like Captain America does):
The Four Agreements:
Be impeccable in your word
Don’t take things personally
Don’t make assumptions
Always Do your Best

Last but not least is Tom Brady’s diet – his body is his temple and it shows on the field – a fierce competitor turning 40 on August 3, 2017. Tom is determined to play football until 48, saying he’s in his best shape ever! Try Tom Brady’s diet for a month, or a day:

“80 percent of what I eat is vegetables, the freshest vegetables. If it’s not organic, I don’t use it. And whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken. As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon,” says Tom Brady. Remember his wife is also a super model.

What TB 12 doesn’t eat: “No white sugar. No white flour. No MSG. I’ll use raw olive oil, but I never cook with olive oil. I only cook with coconut oil. Fats like canola oil turn into trans fats. … I use Himalayan pink salt as the sodium. I never use iodized salt. No coffee. No caffeine. No fungus. No dairy.”

Can we all try to be a little more like TB? What the world needs now is positivism, kindness, acceptance, grace and a good ole fashioned hard work ethic. Let go of the negative – take responsibility, embrace each day and be positive. #DoYourJob and be your best.

patriotsThank you Patriots for the GOAT Super Bowl – Greatest Of All Time.

By Heather Burke, Copyright 2017
Family Ski Trips.com

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