Stowe Mountain Resort’s Summit Gondola re-opens for access up the state’s highest peak Saturday, Sept. 13, just in time for the Vermont fall foliage season. The Gondola will operate daly from 10:30am to 4:30pm through Oct. 13, weather permitting.
The Stowe Country Club opens May 10 for their summer/fall season. The country club is located in the Village of Stowe and is only half of the 36 holes of golf offered by Stowe Mountain Resort.
Ski Vermont reports Jay Peak will debut the new Stateside Amphitheater, a 1,500-person outdoor music venue offering seated and lawn options this summer. It will open July 25-26 with the Jeezum Crow festival, featuring nine acts.
Magic Mountain comes off its second consecutive record year. Upgrades will continue this summer and fall with more snowmaking investments. That capital will come, uniquely, from Magic’s skiers and riders. The funding will be directed toward new equipment enabling more man-made snow earlier and more efficiently than in years past.
At Okemo Mountain Resort, the Haulback Challenge Course offers a self-guided treetop adventure. Monkey Crawl, Bridge to Nowhere and Tarzan Swing are just a few of its 27 features.
Smugglers’ Notch, an award-winning ski and ride area for families, continues that theme in the summer with new offerings that include soap-making, green tea skin care and stand-up paddleboard yoga.
Stowe Mountain Resort and Spruce Peak Realty has begun construction to improve and expand the heart of Spruce Peak. Amenities will be built around a new ice rink that will double as a community plaza and green in the summer.
Stratton Mountain will bring the kids into the kitchen. Kids Culinary Classes, Aug. 4-7, will explore how to make fresh Italian-American favorites from scratch. Taught by the Stratton Mountain Club Chef Ralph Capalupo, kids will learn kitchen safety, sanitation, nutrition and how to make cooking fun.
Investments of over $1 million will be made this off-season at Sugarbush Resort. Mechanical and electrical upgrades will occur to several of the resorts lifts, with additional upgrades in snowmaking. Permitting and construction of additional parking will also begin.
Poster: Jezzum Crow Featival will be held in new Stateside Amphitheater at Jay Peak in July (Jay Peak/Facebook)
At a time when many resorts are usually thinking of their closing ceremonies and skiers and riders are starting to look toward warm weather vacations, the Eastern and Mid-Atlantic region in spring 2014 is changing the paradigm. Lots of snow, deep bases and more of both coming, will make those typical spring events look quite a bit different.
It all begins Valentine’s Day, but consider spending your entire Presidents’ Week at ski resorts throughout the East. Better act right away as its one the busiest times of the year. Here’s a sampling of offers:
Stowe, Vermont’s 10-year development effort at it’s Spruce Peak area will get a decidedly family-flavored makeover starting later this spring. This next phase comes after extensive conversations with homeowners, club member, and guests.
Stowe, the classic eastern ski resort, is in the midst of massive capital improvements, with more snowmaking capacity at the core of those projects.
The northern Vermont resort receives an average of more than 300 inches of natural snow annually. But, the periodic vagaries of winter weather on the eastern seaboard likely precipitated a half-billion dollar master plan that began with the formation of a 116 million gallon water storage area.
It was a long time coming, however. Stowe’s Jeff Wise told SnoCountry.com that concept “was over a decade in the making after Vermont Act 250 approval in 2001.” Act 250 is the state's tough environmental process.
Stowe’s investment, in that time, has included new lifts, access systems and terrain. Stowe has been cognizant of its’ environmental stewardship, while enhancing the on-hill guest experience.
“Through a pair of conservation easements donated to the Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, over 2,000 acres of wildlife habitat has been permanently protected,” Wise said.
“Those lands include 10 acres of summit ski terrain on Spruce Peak that have been restored to their natural state, providing crucial habitat for the Bicknell’s Thrush, and dense forests adjacent to the base village that provide nesting sites for Peregrine falcons, and habitat for moose and black bear.”
Stowe, in 2010, became the first eastern resort to receive the Sustainable Community Certification from Audubon International.
Investments continued this past summer in its snowmaking operations, including an additional $3.4 million in new equipment and upgrades, which consist of 100 HKD tower guns, three Super Pole Cat fan guns, a new pump-house and miles of snowmaking pipe.
That is in addition to the $4.7 million invested last summer, bringing their snowmaking arsenal to 445 HKD tower guns, 150 energy efficient land guns, 20 Super Pole Cat fan guns, and another seven miles of new snowmaking pipe.
Wise said the improvements allow Stowe to operate with greater energy efficiency and eliminate more than 100,000 gallons of diesel storage, use and emissions.
From a guest’s standpoint, the snowmaking buildup increases potential for more early season terrain, raises overall snow quality, and allows mountain operations personnel to resurface quickly after adverse weather.
“Stowe is scheduled to open Nov. 23 with top-to-bottom terrain off the new FourRunner Quad,” Wise said.
Photo: New snow guns installed at Stowe (Stowe Mountain Resort)