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Southern Vermont Road Trip

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Several buddies and I will be meeting up at end of January, midweek only.  Southern Vermont is central to all of us, so that's the destination.  We'll have varying abilities in the group from beginner to advanced, so no day trips to K-Mart, MRG, etc.  It's just not in the cards.  Groomers and some trees will do the trick for most of the guys, so I'm thinking Stratton and Mount Snow.  


Most of them are younger and foolish, so they want some night life vibe, etc. They won't care about the Disney-fication of an Intrawest village, and they won't even know the difference if I explained it to them. I'm betting they're mostly interested in the overall roadtrip experience, something memorable.  They're not powderhounds.


In any event, thoughts on which hill might be better suited for the group (given their abilities)?  Is one definitely better than the other in certain ways?  Should we just hit both Stratton and Mt. Snow?  And where to stay?

post #2 of 25

Mount Snow,.. unless your friends are all doctors or lawyers.

post #3 of 25

The ski experience will be the same, but Mt Snow has far better night life.   if you go to Stratton Magic and Bromley are very closeby which could offer some variety.  Stratton is a tad farther north and is higher in elevation, so the snow might be a touch better.  Okemo, though,  does the best job of grooming and tends to have the most reliable snow.  

post #4 of 25

Midweek is great because there will be no crowds anywhere.  I've been to Mt Snow, Stratton and Okemo and I agree they are all somewhat similar in size and type of skiing - all perfect for your group.  I guess I would pick the one that seems to provide the best cost factor.  I'm not an expert in nightlife, but thought none of them will have much in the way of midweek nightlife?  Town of Ludlow near Okemo might provide a little.  Towns of Manchester/Manchester Center near Stratton would provide some restaurant/bar/shops. 

I think Teddy must know Mt Snow better than me, what nightlife is there midweek at Mt. Snow?  Is it kind of sprawled along the valley between the ski hill, West Dover and Wilmington?

post #5 of 25

Vermont weather in January is variable.  You won't have any trouble finding a place to stay mid-week, and Vermont is a small state.  It's only a few hours driving between Mount Snow and Jay Peak.  Wait until the night before you leave, and go to the best place based on the weather. Mid-week night life in Vermont is quiet.  Your best bet is to find a bar with a pool table.  



post #6 of 25

I'd wait until a few days before you go, to decide where to go, based upon who got the most snow recently.

post #7 of 25

I would choose Okemo. Since you are going mid-week, they run the most lifts, have the most varied terrain, and the best groomed conditions. There are a few night spots in Ludlow, some good restaurants and a super market all in town. The driving distance is not that much different from Stratton and Mount Snow and route 103 off I91 is much better than the back roads to the other resorts.

post #8 of 25

I know that I have never found much appealing nightlife in Ludlow. Manchester has better dining choices (I like a Mexican place on the main street next to the Congregationalist church). From what I have heard, but not experienced, Mt. Snow has a somewhat livelier apres scene.

post #9 of 25
Originally Posted by Robin Sadler View Post

route 103 off I91 is much better than the back roads to the other resorts.

Huh?  Rt 103, Rt 30 or Rt 9 in Vermont are about the same in terms of speed limits, surface and back road factor.


post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

I don't think I can wait until the last minute and just make the call based on snow.  We're coming from Canada and various states in the US, and logistics are gonna be a biatch.  There are 30% off deals until the end of this month for bookings.  A few of these guys are fresh out of college and not much cash on hand.  However, if I can find decent central lodging as a base of operations, then we can just daytrip wherever......maybe 1 day at Mt. Snow, 1 day at Okemo, 1 day at Stratton? 


Don't necessarily need to stay on resort lodging, but I'm unfamiliar with off-resort stuff in that area.  Might just be simpler to book a condo in the "best" area and use it as a day-trip launching pad......?

post #11 of 25

I would avoid Okemo like the plague. Check out Magic instead, if the conditions are good.

post #12 of 25

I  enjoyed the vibe at Bromley which has a very local and retro feel and also has less expensive tickets than the others. I like it better than Okemo. It is basically across the street from the access road to Stratton.

post #13 of 25

This is not the most convenient, but if low cost and some night life is important and you don't mind a daily commute, I can tell you from personal experience there are quite a few inexpensive chain motels around Brattleboro.  It's about 45 mins from Mt. Snow and maybe 75 to Okemo.  Brattleboro has a decent little downtown with bars, restos and shops including a large Sam's Outdoor Outfitters for all your winter sports goods.

post #14 of 25

IF you traveling a long way, you might better drive further north.  Northern Vermont has much better skiing.  Wherever you go it will be pretty quiet at night, and every Vermont town has cheap motels that are empty miidweek.  Stowe is a good bet, but it's pricey, unless you go one of the weeks they run promotions.



post #15 of 25

For lift tickets, join the Connecticut Ski Council:



post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 

Why avoid Okemo like the plague?  Crowds? We'll be going mid-week so I suspect few crowds anywhere. Bad terrain/grooming?  Remember, these guys aren't looking for gnar, they're just looking for some fun and skiing for mostly intermediates.  Look at it from their perspective, they don't see things like resident Bears here. 


Stowe for the group is out.  Too expensive.  I've contemplated Killington, but I dunno, I think it might be too overwhelming for most of these guys. I was kinda thinking Mount Snow, Stratton, Okemo.  I day each.  They get to experience more for a road trip and hopefully leave feeling they "accomplished" more, if that makes sense.

post #17 of 25

They are all the same and Okemo would be a good choice for your group.  They generally do a great job grooming.  The lifts are great.  It's too flat, but I think your gang will love the place.

post #18 of 25

Unless there's a powder dump, Magic is not open Tue-Wed-Thu.  And they don't groom.  And it's really an expert's hill.  And there's not much night life.  On the other hand, if it snows, ther's no better place in southern Vermont and the lift tickets are the cheapest you'll find.  And if you link up with a passholder, you can get a discount to knock the price down even further and if you buy us a beer in Goniff's Den, we'll share the goods.

post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 

LOL thanks for the heads up.


After checking lodging specials, Stratton is surprisingly the best overall.  Okemo is astronomical so that's out of the question.


I'm wondering if 1 day each at Mt. Snow, Okemo, and Stratton is too much pushing?  

post #20 of 25

Pushing in what regard?  Driving?  They're all w/i 45 minutes of each other, so driving will be an issue, but not huge.  As far as skiing, I'd say that for your group, the skiing is all about the same.  My own $0.02 is that Mt. Snow has the easiest-to-access harder stuff (north face), but if you're skiing mostly intermediate, they're all completely equivalent.  Differences will be simply nuances of trail scenery.  All of them keep up with the grooming pretty well.  Mid-week, they'll all have about the same level of busy-ness.  FWIW, I think Stratton has the nicest base area -- it's trying to be a "village".  But for skiing itself, people might have preferences, but it's Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry. 

post #21 of 25
post #22 of 25

Bromley faces south, so it's a good bet on a cold, sunny day.  It's smaller than the others, but closer and usually cheaper. 



post #23 of 25
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

LOL thanks for the heads up.


After checking lodging specials, Stratton is surprisingly the best overall.  Okemo is astronomical so that's out of the question.


I'm wondering if 1 day each at Mt. Snow, Okemo, and Stratton is too much pushing?  

Save your time and energy and just stay at Stratton. If you found affordable lodging at Mt Snow or Okemo I would say the same thing. Getting to know the place you are at can be very enjoyable plus there is less driving. It is only 3 days. I have lucked out with slopeside lodging at affordable rates at Stratton. If you are slopeside you will be able to put your boots on and ski. At the end of the day you can all enjoy drinks in the bar and walk back to your lodge. If you really do feel the  need to try something different Bromley is a very short drive from Stratton.


post #24 of 25

Stratton when a 100% open has some fun glades and a few bump trails.  If you have fresh snow poke around the right hand edges of Kidderbrook for Test Pilot glade.  Three straight days of Stratton would be a lot for me, so a side trip to Okemo or Mt Snow, or with enough fresh snow Magic, could be an option to mix up the experience.

post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 

I was thinking exactly that Talisman, thanks.


Between 30% off lodging and Liftopia deals, I got a killer 3-night package.  Gonna stay at Stratton for the duration, but ski first day at Stratton, 2nd at Mt. Snow, then Stratton to finish.  For the price I got, can't complain.  Get to ski a couple hills, stay in the Village, flexible options for things to do for the guys.


Really looking forward to this, but it seems so far off!

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