We’re a little more than a week out from the end of 2019, which means some level of freedom from the onslaught of “Top 10” and “Best Of” lists.
But this index that I discovered via Boston.com still needs to be addressed.
Vacation rentals search engine HomeToGo recently ranked the best ski resorts in New England based on affordability. The parameters included cost of rentals, a lift ticket, lunch, and overnight accommodations.
The results are…interesting.
Cranmore Mountain Resort came out as the most affordable resort according the numbers, with a total cost of $232.02 ($47 equipment, $89 lift ticket, $9.99 lunch, $86.03 accommodations). But if that’s the case, why don’t some other local spots in the Mount Washington Valley like Black Mountain and King Pine, — both proud proponents of skiing affordability — top Cranmore in the rankings?
Sugarbush ($358.76) makes the list at No. 11 (one spot behind Stowe at No. 10?), but next-door neighbor Mad River Glen is nowhere to be found. Does that mean the popular co-op is a more expensive option that everyone else on the list? Uh, no.
There are also a few popular spots missing from the list: Cannon, Ragged, Magic Mountain, Pats Peak, Burke Mountain, Mt. Abram, Shawnee Peak, Attitash, Wildcat, Wachusett, Berkshire East, Gunstock, Bromley, Middlebury Snow Bowl, Mount Sunapee, and Waterville Valley. To name one or two.
In fact, only 14 ski areas make HomeToGo’s list. The state of New Hampshire has more than that many alpine areas alone.
HomeToGo, based in Berlin, Germany, specified that it was creating its index based on the “top 14 ski resorts in New England,” but it seems a sort of arbitrary selection based on the criteria. After all, any skier or rider who thinks the cheapest option for skiing in New England should run somewhere around $232.02 per person, per day, needs to start by at least purchasing some equipment to cut down on those exorbitant rental prices.
Besides, what stops us from assuming other costs? Shouldn’t we also have entries for breakfast, gas money, and a souvenir hat? Where’s the tip you left in the bag check tip jar?
Is skiing a cheap sport? Nope. But nor is the cost anything to the degree of this index, which would rightfully frighten away any newcomers.
By the way, Stratton earned the bottom spot in the list with a total cost of $414.91.
If you’re paying $414.91 per person, per day for skiing or riding, then we need to have a talk.
Wet and wild
Is it really already time for the dreaded January thaw?
While the likes of Killington and Jay Peak were certainly delighted to report about a foot of new snow earlier this week, the weekend forecast appears dim.
Rain is expected to invade the mountains beginning Saturday, and might cause a washout for the remainder of the weekend with temperatures more springlike than any of us would care for in January.
“Temperatures will be near 50 when rain begins late Saturday and that rain is expected to become heavy for a time Saturday evening and night before tapering off Sunday morning,” Josh Fox wrote on his Single Chair Weather Blog, which focuses on the Green Mountains.
“It’s an ugly situation that could all end in a little snow during the day Sunday though I am not especially optimistic regarding accumulations right now.”
Membership has its privileges
A lifetime membership to REI can reap significant lift ticket deals.
Join REI for only $20 and you’ll be open to purchase tickets from the co-op for as much as 47 percent off local window prices.
An adult, non-holiday lift ticket to Mount Snow can be purchased for $61.99, nearly half of the normal rate of $118.
Skiers and riders can save 20 percent on a night lift ticket at Wachusett ($46.99), 33 percent at Waterville Valley ($63.99), and 22 percent at Attitash/Wildcat ($68.99). There are also a variety of junior, senior, and teen discounts.
Go to www.rei.com/c/lift-tickets for more information.
New England Ski Journal TV on NESN
Tune into NESN on Thursday at 3 p.m. for the latest edition of New England Ski Journal TV with a visit to Black Mountain and the iconic village of Jackson, N.H. The show will also air Friday evening at 6.
On Friday evening at 6, a new edition premieres on NESN with a visit to Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln, N.H. That episode will also air on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 2:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m., and Thursday, Jan. 30 at 2:30 p.m.