Imagine a private ski resort, a place to call your family ski home on weekends and holidays with fellow families and friends. Picture yourself having lunch and après ski in the grand Clubhouse watching your kids carve turns with their favorite instructor. The valet stores your skis and fetches your car, while you place your ski boots on dryers in your mahogany locker. Membership has its privileges, and private powder days on 45 ski trails at this 1,400 acre playground in southern Vermont. See our Hermitage Club Photos
Hermitage- re-envisioned! The 2020-21 season brings the re-opening of Hermitage, now in the hands of the members, brought back to life in 2020 by 182 founding members, who purchased Hermitage at auction for about $8 million March 2020. Great news for the 250 owners here, under new direction by GM Bill Benneyan, since it was spring 2018 when the Vermont’s Tax Department closed the Club for overdue tax payment, and owner Jim Barnes was cited for $16 mill in misappropriated funds.
If you think Hermitage Club sounds stuffy or snobbish, you might be surprised. There’s a family-friendly casual elegance here at Haystack Mountain where Hermitage Club members carve up corduroy and float threw fluffy untracked powder on 1,400’ vertical served by five lifts all day. Kids are with their coach and friends exploring the mountain. Afternoon brings Clubhouse après ski at the slope view bar, while the kids enjoy their own zone downstairs. Far from stodgy, members aren’t just bigwigs, their social and stoked for adventure, and the Club caters with snowmobiling on Haystack after the lifts close, snowshoeing or taking the snow cat “Catillac” up to the summit Cabin for cocktails at 3,200’, or skinning up the mountain for a moonlight ski down.
The 1964 Haystack ski area that struggled for years is once again a sanctuary for wealthy ski families looking to escape from lift lines and crowded base lodges, preferring to ski and socialize with like-minded families that enjoy the luxury of being catered to. The Vermont scenery is serene at the private club on Haystack Mountain – right next door to Mount Snow, the mood is fun and family oriented. Now that member owners are in charge, renaming ski trails to their originals is on the map, like Gandolf, Avalanche, and Outcast!
So far, 250 families have become members of The Hermitage Club’s 1,500 exclusive spots. The question now is can the membership sustain the Club and its operating expense for skiing going forward, having sold off the golf course.
Members pay $15,000 annual dues after a $50,000 initiation fee, including skiing. You can then buy a house lot or a luxury unit in the Luxury Hotel and a Condo-Hotel being constructed by the Clubhouse. The benefits for active families that can afford Hermitage Club membership is everything you love about skiing and vacation ownership, with none of the hassle or crowds. The six-passenger heated-seat bubble-covered chairlift, a $7 million high-speed lift like Okemo’s – operates swiftly. There’s a heli-pad, even a jet share program for members from The City. Things are more casual now, grilled cheese at lunch in the Club versus Lobster Newburg, and no more big name live bands on weekends. Its about families, belonging, and preserving this unique club in Vermont, one of only two private ski communities in the US – like Yellowstone Club in Montana.
Stay tuned for the future of the Hermitage Club. Their mantra was “We are not a resort, we are a Club. We don’t want you to have a great day here, we want you to have a great life.” Also unhurried, uncrowded, unforgettable…
Hermitage Club Ski Stats:
West Dover and Wilmington, Vermont
Vertical Drop: 1,400’
Skiable Terrain: 194 acres
6 Lifts, 40 Trails
Opened 1964, Founded as Hermitage 2011, Auctioned 2020, re-opening Winter 2020-21