Top Family-Run Nordic Resorts

Nordic Resorts run by families are great for family winter vacations, accommodating both parents and kids, and packed with something for every family member from fresh home cooked food to the atmosphere and friendly vibe.

These family-run Nordic resorts offer family clientele a combination of togetherness and/or solo time. There’s never a concern about nothing to do because there are so many choices. From reading a book by a fire to hiking, sledding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating to alpine skiing often nearby. Many of these recreational activities are perfect for family bonding and they create joint memories to last a lifetime. Some folks like to simply unplug and enjoy being away from the hurried world of jobs, school, schedules, and commitments. Many families opt for their vacation time to become untethered from modern-day trappings such as smart phones and social media, for a heightened state of relaxation to enjoy a quieter, easier world.

The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe Vermont built by the singing Von Trapp family, yes of Sound of Music fame, is synonymous with family-run resorts. The hills are alive here with the sound of nature, classic family values and Vermont views. Trapp Family has extensive Nordic trails, plus nearby alpine skiing and ice-skating at Stowe.

Sleepy Hollow Inn is located in Huntington Vermont. Family owner Eli Einman commented, “Our customers appreciate and like to support our family run business.  We’ve been in operation for 17 years now, and each of us has our own roles in the business.  As an example, several long time skiers here know they can request certain trails to be groomed by my Dad, and he almost always obliges.  Often we hear from our customers that they really like to buy season passes from us because they like to support small and family run enterprises.  Folks often tell us there is a good vibe from Sleepy Hollow, and I know that’s just from the casual & colorful (non-corporate) banter that gets thrown around the front desk area.”

Carter’s Cross Country Ski Centers in Bethel and Oxford Maine is operated by Anne Carter and her two daughters and sons-in-law that help with the operation of the two centers. “They’ve been playing at the ski areas since they were one and half years old and then helped out since they were in middle school with the operation in the shop, grooming, and giving lessons.” Of course, the kids’ friends were attracted to the ski areas and the customers got to watch the girls grow up and then see the grandkids around the centers.

Breckenridge Nordic Center in Colorado has been run by Gene and Therese Dayton with their kids for decades. A recent visit by a couple looking for a place to hold their wedding reception stated “Your lodge is gorgeous! We like the cozy feel and the fact that it’s family-owned.”  Therese Dayton commented “Our three children grew up living and breathing this business, where they could see and contribute their hopes and ideas toward a future.  They have worked at the center since they were quite small, and had to earn all of their own ski equipment working on weekends and holiday breaks each winter.  She noted, “Our employees and guests are part of a family legacy in the making.  We try to lead by example and not with formalized documents, policies, and procedures.  We treat our staff and guests on an individual basis, considering feelings, trying to do what is best and right above all rules.  They have seen our children and now grandchildren grow up and they remember stories about when our children were young, and skiing, whether competitive or not interested in racing, always just having fun on skis.”

Falcon Trails Resort in Falcon Lake, Manitoba’s Emily Christie said, “We are a family run resort and it is a huge part of the identity and spirit of our business. Falcon Trails was founded by my parents Barb and Craig, who have been carpenters in the area since 1980. They have a love of skiing and were very active members of the local Nordic ski club. When the government decided to close the local ski area, my parents came up with a proposal to build rental cabins to provide a financial crutch that would help keep the ski hill alive. So for the last 20 years our family has owned and operated the local ski slopes/Nordic trails, which is now a four season cabin rental resort. Today my two sisters and I, along with their partners, run the resort together. I think that being family makes for a very special aspect of our business. It’s like it breathes a soul into the business. When you visit Falcon Trails, you aren’t just visiting a resort you are visiting a community, a little world out in the woods. You are staying with family. It is immediately apparent in the feel of the place, the characters you encounter during your stay and the authenticity of Falcon Trails Resort.”

Content by Roger Lohr of

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