The Lodge at Spruce Peak (Stowe) has been named among the best ski hotels in North America by USA Today readers, landing at No. 5 on the publication’s list.
“Surrounded by the natural beauty of Vermont, The Lodge at Spruce Peak (formerly Stowe Mountain Lodge) is one of the only ski-in, skiout accommodations in the Northeast, offering easy access to Stowe Mountain Resort,” the publication wrote. “Guests of the luxury lodge have access to an alpine concierge, ski pros, a full-service spa and fitness facility and adventure programming for the whole family.”
Located at the base of Spruce Peak Mountain, the Forbes Four Starrated hotel features 300 luxurious accommodations with gas fireplaces, large bathrooms, kitchenettes or full kitchens and private balconies. Amenities include an award-winning spa, full-service fitness center, all-season heated pool and four on-property dining outlets.
Guests are steps away from Spruce Peak Village center, where they can enjoy outdoor ice skating, a world-class Adventure Center with indoor climbing wall, shopping, multiple dining outlets and the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center. In the warmer seasons, The Lodge at Spruce Peak offers 36 holes of golf including the private 18-hole The Mountain Course.
Pro Tour hits Waterville
Waterville Valley Resort will host the White Mountain Dual Challenge, a World Pro Ski Tour event, from Feb. 8-10. Witness a field of Olympians, national champions and NCAA champions in the U.S. as they face off side-by-side in dual-slalom action.
“We are thrilled to expand the World Pro Ski Tour schedule to three events this winter to create more opportunity for ski racers from across the globe,” said Ed Rogers, president of the World Pro Ski Tour. “The American ski community is craving more events to see their idols go head to head in dual slalom, the most exciting alpine race format that will also make its debut in the South Korea Olympics.”
After a stop in Vail, Colo., the tour hits Waterville before visits to Steamboat Springs, Colo., Buck Hill, Minn., and the final event of the season, March 28-20 at Sunday River, Maine.
Jay Peak Resort for sale
One of New England’s largest ski resorts, Jay Peak, is on the market. The Burlington Free Press reported that appointed receiver Michael Goldberg would need a sale price of $250 million to recoup funds for the investors.
Goldberg, in a federal court filing aimed to assist in the resort’s sale, said the resort has been ahead of financial projections due primarily to favorable snow conditions and lower payroll, and that now is the optimal time to put the resort up for sale.
Jay Peak and sister mountain Burke were seized by government officials in 2016 amid ethics complaints against former owner, Ariel Quiros.
Exhibit honors Maine’s Olympians
A grant from the Maine Community Foundation supported the creation and installation of an exhibit, “Maine Olympians — From the Pine Tree State to the World Stage,” which is currently on display at the Ski Museum of Maine.
The exhibit presents the stories of Maine’s participants in each of the Winter Olympics from 1948 to present day. It portrays each athlete/coach and explores the reasons Maine is home to many outstanding nordic and alpine skiers, jumpers and snowboarders.
“Did you know that Maine has had a participant and/or coach in every Winter Olympics since 1948? If you did not, that’s OK, as the vast majority of people in Maine have no idea, either,” writes Cooper Friend, the museum’s president. “I sure didn’t. That is why we are bringing this incredible story to life with this new exhibit. It is a story that must be told.”
Magic opens Green Chair
“There’s a new chair lift in town,” Geoff Hatheway, Ski Magic’s president, announced. “The Green Chair.” The lift opened last month to service less difficult mid-mountain terrain from the base area, fulfilling one of ownership’s key investment projects of introducing more reliable lifts to access more terrain to more skier types without changing the mountain’s character. “It’s a beautiful, classic double lift. Just what the family ordered,” Hatheway said. It’s the first new lift at the ski area since the 1980s.
The chair comes from nearby Stratton, where it was removed to make way for Stratton’s new Snow Bowl lift. The fixed-grip chair was installed by Pfister Mountain Services and Magic’s operations team, led by lift supervisor Travis Richmond. Magic skiers and riders raised money to cover painting costs.
Shuttle service a skier’s dream
It’s a happy new year for skiers and snowboarders in Maine who need a lift. The Maine Ski Shuttle runs on Saturdays to make it convenient getting to the peaks. It leaves out of Portland at 6 a.m. and travels to Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Loon, Cannon or Bretton Woods, depending on the Saturday.
The price is $89 and includes the bus ride and a day ticket to the ski area. Riders must be 13 years or older. Check the Maine Ski Shuttle Facebook page for scheduling and booking information.
Wine sales support scholarships
Look for a Ski Vermont-labeled cabernet at your next après-ski session and smile knowing that portions of your purchase will fund the nonprofit organization’s new scholarship program for Vermont students.
New England-based wine company 90+ Cellars and Ski Vermont teamed up on the project designed to help high school students who are looking to break into careers in the ski industry by pursuing collegiate studies in hospitality, ski area management or environmental studies.
A 90+ Cellars’ 2016 cabernet sauvignon produced in California has been labeled with a pair of skiers on a chairlift, heading for last tracks under a bright orange sunset beneath the Ski Vermont name. One dollar from every purchase goes toward the scholarship.
“What we are looking for are students who may go on to become leaders in the ski industry,” said Adam White, communications director for Ski Vermont. White said he doesn’t know yet how much each scholarship will be worth, or how many will be handed out; that will depend on how well the Ski Vermont wine sells.
In the past year, 90+ Cellars has partnered with several Massachusetts nonprofits to give them part of the proceeds, said Terry Lozoff, vice president of marketing for the wine company. “With the winter, (we asked) what’s one of the things that we love most about winter in New England? That was skiing in Vermont,” Lozoff said. “The fact that Ski Vermontis a nonprofit made it a great tie-in.”
The Ski Vermont wine is available statewide and is listed for $15.99 on ninetypluscellars.com.
Ski Vermont works with 20 alpine and 30 cross-country ski areas around the state to lobby for their best interests and connect them with the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.
NESM to awards grants
For the 14th year, the New England Ski Museum’s Cal Conniff Grant Program is allocating up to $3,000 in grant funding to individuals or organizations consistent with the museum’s mission to preserve the history of skiing and winter sports.
The grants are funded with proceeds from the Hannes Schneider Meister Cup Race, held each March at Cranmore Mountain Resort. This year the successful applicants will be announced on March 1 at the opening reception of the Hannes Schneider Race in Cranmore’s Eating House Restaurant.
Cal Conniff had a distinguished career in the American ski industry, culminating in 16 years as president and executive director of the National Ski Areas Association. Following his retirement, Conniff’s energy and ski industry knowledge benefitted the New England Ski Museum, and Conniff served as a director, president and founder of the Hannes Schneider Meister Cup Race. In recognition of those contributions, in 2006 the ski museum designated its existing grant awards the Cal Conniff Grant Program.
Is expansion on Mount Sunapee horizon?
Action by New Hampshire’s Executive Council has given a green light for expansion at Mount Sunapee on state park land, but the ski area’s owner, Vail Resorts, has yet to announce any intention to do so.
Originally conceived in 1998, long before Vail’s ownership, the proposed West Bowl expansion has evolved in size and scope over the years. Situated largely on private property but including a section on state land, the expansion could be served by a 5,100-foot high-speed detachable chair, as well as a surface lift. Concept plans have called for a new base lodge area and condominiums that could serve the new ski terrain to be developed on some 150 acres of land.
With new talk of the West Bowl in the news, the Friends of Mount Sunapee released its opposition to any expansion there. “The Sunapee Highlands, recognized for its ecological importance, has been the focus of land protection efforts for more than a century,” the nonprofit stated. “Introducing resort sprawl across an environmentally significant landscape is short-sighted and violates Mount Sunapee’s conservation legacy.”