In The Spotlight
Skiers and snowboarders will once again be able to snack, sip and ski their way through Vermont’s favorite local food and drink vendors this year with the return of Ski Vermont’s Specialty Food Days Tour. This slope side tour will kick off Jan. 26 at Jay Peak, visiting fifteen resorts over the course of ten weeks.
“The Ski Vermont Specialty Food Days Tour is something that we look forward to hosting each season,” said Adam Rowe, Ski Vermont Marketing Manager. “This tour gives us the opportunity to promote some of Vermont’s incredible vendors all while visiting slope side with skiers and snowboarders.”
During the tour, Ski Vermont will run an Instagram contest where the first five people at each Specialty Food Tour stop to share a picture with the #SnackSkiVT hashtag will receive a Cabot Cheese tote bag filled with vendor and Ski Vermont products. Follow Ski Vermont on Instagram at @Ski_VT during the Specialty Food Days tour to share images and stay up to date with each tour stop’s offerings.
New this season, Ski Vermont has added Vermont Amber Organic Toffee, Good Mix Foods, The Simmering Bone, Vermont Tortilla Company, SAP!, and Fat Toad Farm to the lineup. Other vendors include iconic Vermont brands Ben and Jerry’s, Long Trail, Cabot Cheese, Woodchuck Hard Cider, Barr Hill, Mad River Distillers, SILO Distillery, Kimball Brook Farm, It’s Arthurs Fault!, Ambrosia Confections and Mountain Grove Coffee.
The Ski Vermont Specialty Food Days Tour stops for 2018 are:
Friday, January 26, 2018 at Jay Peak Resort
Saturday, January 27, 2018 at Burke Mountain
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at Mad River Glen
Saturday, February 10, 2018 at Killington Resort
Friday, February 11, 2018 at Pico Mountain
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Friday, February 23, 2018 at Okemo Mountain Resort
Saturday, February 24, 2018 at Bromley Mountain Resort
Saturday, March 3, 2018 at Middlebury Snow Bowl
Sunday, March 4, 2018 at Magic Mountain
Saturday, March 10, 2018 at Quechee Ski Area
Saturday, March 17, 2018 at Sugarbush Resort
Sunday, March 18, 2018 at Bolton Valley
Saturday, March 24, 2018 at Stratton Mountain Resort
Saturday, March 31, 2018 at Stowe Mountain Resort
Spirit Mountain overlooking Duluth and the city’s Lake Superior harbor offers big time skiing and riding for the Midwest with it 700-foot vertical drop.
Its terrain parks feature some of the biggest jump lines in the Heartland, and nighttime views of twinkling city lights far below outlining the harbor and I-35 winding up the mountain as it leaves the city are some of the best you’ll find in the Lower 48. Add in fat tire bike Sundays, the Alpine Coaster and tubing park and you may find it hard to figure out what to do first. Spend a weekend and try it all. Outdoor Magazine named Duluth one of the best outdoor cities in America.
Trails.Spirit offers 22 trails, equally split between beginner, intermediate and advanced, three terrain parks, serviced by five chairlifts, one a high-speed quad, and two surface tows. The trails, mostly wide boulevards, offer long runs with sustained steepness due to the 700 feet drop. Timber Cruiser is a fun, narrow intermediate trail that tumbles down the mountain. Sundays offer lift-served fat tire bikers an opportunity to test some of the slopes and trails. The terrain parks offer some of the best jump lines and features around the Midwest. Big air jumps range from 15 to 60 feet high. There’s also a 22km cross country trail.
Stay. The Mountain Villas are within walking distance of the slopes. Built on pedestals, you climb up to the round villas, which offer comfortable accommodations and panoramic views of the city and harbor, especially at night. You receive one free lift ticket per villa for each day stay and a discount on additional tickets as well as a $6 discount on rental equipment. There are several lodging partner motels listed on the Spirit Mountain lodging page.
Eat. A restaurant and bar is located in the Main Chalet on top of the Mountain, and the Grand Avenue Chalet with Riverside Bar and Grill at the bottom. There is a couple of “don’t miss” options in the city. The Duluth Grill, located in the harbor area, is well known for its Red Flannel Hash, lamb shanks and banana cream pie. If you like BBQ the OMC Steakhouse, Old Town Duluth, is known for its brisket.
Deals. A 2018 mid-week special; lift tickets are half-off when staying with a lodging partner and rentals are $10 off.
Ever have a friend with whom you’d love to hit slopes, but he or she has never skied or ridden before? If so, the annual Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month may just be the ticket.
A national effort to get more newcomers onto the mountains of the United States, month-long discounts for lessons, rentals, lift tickets – and sometimes more – are in play for anyone who has never put on a pair of skis or latched into a ‘board.
Here’s a look at a sampling of offers at West Coast resorts:
North of Lake Tahoe, Alpine Meadows offers first-time packages Monday-Friday through Jan. 29 for anyone 13 or older. Includes beginner lift ticket with priority access, rentals and lessons.
At neighboring Squaw Valley, the Teaching Tykes program focuses on giving parents of kids 3-6 some skills on how to get their children going in skiing or snowboarding.
Just west of Donner Pass, newbies age 4 and up can pre-register online for Boreal Mountain’s three days of half-day lessons. On the fourth visit, the California resort throws in a pass for the rest of the 2018 season – plus a discounted rate for Woodward Tahoe.
Situated between Reno and the lake, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe has first-timer packages for those 10 and older, with lessons in both morning and afternoon.
SoCal’s Mountain High – the closest skiing and riding to the L.A. basin – focuses on midweek lessons, offering a two-for-one half-day package online (holiday blackouts apply) with lesson, rental and lift access on the dame day for two people, ages 13 or older.
In the hills above Fresno, China Peak extends Learn To Ski And Snowboard Month into the rest of the season. After completed a three-day package (for a single price), graduates get half-off lift tickets, half-price rentals and free group lessons through the rest of the season.
Up in Alaska at Alyeska Resort, the ski and snowboard school has a three-lesson program at a deep discount for those new to the sport. Skiers must be at least 6 years old, snowboarders 8 or older, and package applies to same participant only.
January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and resorts in twenty-six states already are offering more than 100 special offers for beginners who want to learn the sports.
Thirteen resorts in New Hampshire have special offers for beginners, the most in the country, followed closely by New York with 11 and Pennsylvania with nine. Colorado has nine participating resorts and Utah has eight. In addition, some resort groups have organized statewide or multiple resort promotions including New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Michigan, New Mexico, Utah and Ski the Northwest Rockies.
Governors in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Utah and West Virginia are celebrating Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month with proclamations recognizing the significance of the month for winter outdoor enthusiasts. Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker has declared Friday, January 5, 2018 Learn to Ski and Snowboard Day in the state. It coincides with what the snow sports industry is calling Bring a Friend Weekend (January 5 – 7) and the official start of Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.
I SKI NY celebrates its annual Discover NY Ski Day on Thursday, Jan. 18 and Ski New Hampshire celebrates their new Ski New Hampshire Weekend Jan. 27 - 28.
Lesson packages typically feature a lesson from a professional instructor, rental equipment and a lift ticket. Most offers are for one day but some are for multiple days.
“Many parts of the country are getting an abundance of natural snow or cold temperatures that are ideal for snowmaking by resorts,” said Mary Jo Tarallo, director for the initiative. “And, making snow on learning areas is a top priority for resorts so newcomers are guaranteed they will have plenty of snow cover for their first-time experience. No one wants to learn by themselves so we always encourage newcomers to bring a friend or family member.”
The annual Bring a Friend Challenge rewards those who help introduce newcomers to lessons from a pro.
Newcomers can win prizes by posting photos of themselves their first day on the slopes using the hash tag #firstdayfaces. Prizes include $250 gift vouchers from Liftopia.com, GetSkiTickets.com, Skis.com or Snowboards.com.
Both the Challenge and First Day Faces officially start on January 5, 2018 and continue through February 28, 2018 at the conclusion of the Winter Olympics.