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New England Bears Gathering - Official Thread

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 

See Calendar For Dates (click here)

A gathering in New England may be a do-able thing for me, Lisamarie, Lisahardt, hugo, Todd M., RSell, Mr. Potatohead, and undoubtedly many others. I am willing to be point man on this one, but setting the date will have to wait the final, final setting of the Big Bears Meet in Utah, which I kind of consider the main event. Once that date is set, we can get going on location, accomodations, and whatever else you Bears can think of.

I'm open to any location, but I think I can offer the most assitance with Smugglers Notch.

Although convenient for New Englanders, it obviously would be open and welcoming to any and all Bears who may wish to meet in New England. Please post on this thread with any thoughts. Thanks!

[ August 29, 2002, 12:17 PM: Message edited by: AC ]
post #2 of 89
Sounds good, especially since I can't make the major gathering.

Willing to be participant or instructor.
post #3 of 89
Not an instructor, but I'd be interested in participating in a New England gathering. Will depend on site and dates, of course. Never been to Smuggler's Notch. I usually go to Sugarloaf which is a great mountain but I don't get the impression that anyone has any pull there for special deals, etc.
post #4 of 89
Thread Starter 
Sugarloaf is, like, NORTH. Although I'd go there if the majority so desired, the purpose of a New England Bears Gathering is to make it easier for people in the northeast to attend. I'd love to go to Jay or even Mont Sutton or Mont Tremblant - but they could defeat the purpose of the New England meeting. To me, the ideal location is one that has a decent area, has snow, and draws the greatest number of northeast Bears.
post #5 of 89
Sounds good! Too bad Todd's not hanging out with us anymore.

Do you want this to be a gathering, or another mini instructional camp?

I've never been to Smugglers Notch, but that may be a good idea. Probably accessible for people from NYC, etc.
post #6 of 89
I wasn't advocating Sugarloaf specifically, though I guess it sounds like I was. It is a great mountain but I know it is a little off the beaten path! Of course, the selection of the place where the most can attend is best. Hopefully, though, I'll be able to get to meet some of you all...
post #7 of 89
Count me in!
post #8 of 89
Count me in as well.

What's wrong with Sugarbush?... it seems to be centrally located, has lots of different terrain for everyone, and doesn't have the slowest-lifts-on-earth that plague Smuggs.
post #9 of 89
I'm in also.

No preference as to location.
post #10 of 89
Any mountain, any time.

Subject to conflicts!

post #11 of 89
Thread Starter 
So let's get more input on loaction. Jamesdeluxe [hencforth JD] has suggested Sugarbush as central with terrain and non-slow lifts. Please let us know your thoughts on location.
post #12 of 89
How about the first weekend of March (2-3) at Sugarbush? That way, we should be assured of decent cover, and we wouldn't be in danger of overlapping the Utah meeting slated for late January/early February. And if we're planning a proper New England meeting with lots of Yankee flava, the Mad River Valley is the right place, no?

To minimize the organizational hassles presently bogging down the other meeting, I suggest letting everyone deal with their own accomodations. There are lots of options, either closeby in Waitsfield or in Burlington. As far as lift tix, I know that you can buy them at local sports stores for $45 (but we may be able to swing a group-buy discount if we get enough people committed).
post #13 of 89
Thread Starter 
Once there are enough solid commitments here on dates and place to justify further exploration, I'll contact the resort we choose for special deals, of course on tickets, and perhaps on accomodations just to see what the rates can be. It would be nice to have at least one group dinner, too.
post #14 of 89
EXCELLENT!!! That way the maniacs can ski MRG, if they so choose! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #15 of 89
Thread Starter 
uh, like, maniac is another word for kick-ass skier?
post #16 of 89
uh like, not a gaper!
post #17 of 89
OK, I'm basically a newbie gaper beginner, but I ski MRG, so it can't be THAT hard.

I kind of like the Sugarbush idea for the following reasons:

1) Sugarbush has two resorts, plus MRG is right around the corner. You can literally drive past all 3 within 10 minutes. Not to mention that it provides a base to make day trips to other places like Killington, Smugglers & Jay, among others.

2) My club has a lodge up at MRG so I don't have to worry about where to stay.

3) It's pretty likely that I can get some people into the lodge but I don't know about more than 3 on a weekend. (There are 10 rooms x 2 Bunk Beds each) Maybe a total of 8 people, me included.
I'd have to check into the protocol there because obviously the lodge is meant for members. I do know that the club does give priority for people who are booking for more than just a weekend so if I had a number of people who were interested in staying say Friday to Friday the club would look on that a lot more favorably than just a pack of my friends who wanted to stay for a weekend.

If this is during the week I know for sure I can get more than 1 room. Theoretically, I could book all 10 for 40 people, but in reality I would probably only be able to COUNT on getting 5 rooms.
I might get more, but I wouldn't COUNT on it if you see my meaning.

Just so you know, here are the rates for non members. Be aware that the club only contracts a cook when there at LEAST 20 people in the lodge at a time:

  • no meals, 1 night ------------------ $18</font>
  • 1 night, 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner ----- 34
Weekend </font></font>[*]no Meals, 1 night ------------------ $26</font>[*]1 night, 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner ----- 44</font>[*]2 nights, 2 Breakfasts, 1 Dinner ---- 76</font>[*]3 nights, 3 Breakfasts, 2 Dinners --- 120</font>[*]4 nights, 4 Breakfasts, 3 Dinners --- 164
I can also get discount tickets for a number of different mountains. I'm not entirely certain how that works for non-members but if y'all want me to look into it, I can. I'm actually heading up there this weekend and there'll be some other members around so I can ask about the generalities.

Two more thing to keep in mind.

1) These are summer camp size bunks beds. Basically a narrow twin. It's enough to sleep on just fine but it isn't sprawled out - arms akimbo type sleeping.

2) I suggest that IF this is a way y'all want to go that the self confessed snorers (like me) are segregated in one room.

[ June 06, 2002, 02:59 PM: Message edited by: nakona ]
post #18 of 89
OK, here's the deal...

Oboe asked me to look into this but the first thing I need to know is the maximum number of people we're talking about possibly attending a New England GTG.

Two things I can tell you so far:

1) There are a couple of weekends that are blocked out, when a member really can't bring a bunch of guests. Other than that, it's pretty wide open.
Unfortunately, I don't yet have firm answers on which weekends they are.

2) In theory, discount tickets are for club members only. In practice, nobody follows anyone around to enforce this policy. However, while I can get away with buying some tickets, the more I buy the more attention I attract. Where the invisible line is, nobody really knows but I know that if I tried to buy 50 tickets someone would raise an eyebrow.

I will try to get all the info put together so that y'all can know what's involved with THIS option, but if the group chooses a different option, say a package deal with a regular resort, my feelings wont be hurt.
Right now I'm just looking to see what kind of deal I can put together through the club and put it out there for folks to ponder on.
post #19 of 89
But anybody can buy discounted tickets at Sugarbush since they participate in the preseason bulk ticket deal offered to the flatlands ski clubs. Last year, Sugarbush was $32.00, Okemo was $34.00, and Killington was $37.00. The cheapest club to join is Aetna Ski Club near Hartford, CT. It's $20.00 for a membership and the forms are online. You don't need to work for Aetna and you don't need to live in Connecticut. The ticket deal happens in, I think, late-September or early October.

I think Sugarbush is a good choice. It's as far north as most Jersey/NYC people are willing to drive. It doesn't get crushed with people on weekends the way the Southern Vermont resorts do and lodging prices are somewhat lower. It has a good blend of old skool New England skiing like Castlerock, cut glades, decent advanced terrain, and lots of groomers for intermediates. If they don't have a drought problem again this year, they also have reasonable snowmaking coverage. Mad River would be a good spot midweek. The single chair liftline is a little bit much on weekends.
post #20 of 89
Thread Starter 
Well, obviously, the lunchbox has landed. Thanks, GeoffD. But check this out, too, if we can get twenty or more Bears and friends, families, whatever, neighbors, complete strangers who will join up just to save money, etc.:


In particular, please note the variations at different dates and the week day/week end differentials.

[ June 13, 2002, 01:03 PM: Message edited by: oboe ]
post #21 of 89
Thread Starter 
If we decide to do the Sugarbush Group Sales thing,then we'd need the up front money from those who would participate. That means hard money for twenty or more participants. If it appears that there will be fewer than twenty, the AE Ski Club would seem to be one decent way to go for any individual who can't get tickets for les than $32/day
post #22 of 89
As before,

Any mountain, Any time.


Thanks for all your organizational efforts.

post #23 of 89
Originally posted by oboe:
But check this out, too, if we can get twenty or more Bears and friends, families, whatever, neighbors, complete strangers who will join up just to save money, etc.:

Anybody who volunteers to coordinate something like that is a true glutton for punishment. Unless it's something like a bus tour where you get the cash in advance, it's brutal trying to get 20 people to actually mail you a check.

The Connecticut Ski Council lift ticket deal is the best one I've ever seen and a $20 AE Ski Club membership where you can get the membership form and lift ticket purchase form online is about as easy as it gets. As long as you get your act together in September, it makes for some pretty inexpensive skiing by eastern standards.
post #24 of 89
$32 a throw sounds good to me for mid-season at Sugarbush. So judging by the paucity of info on the website as of today, I assume that the AE Ski Club issues the prices and participating mountains in September? Is there a limit on the number of tix you can buy for each ski area? If Magic Mountain is part of the deal this year, I'd be extra happy. I'm dying to hit that place under more ideal conditions than I got last winter.
post #25 of 89
Thread Starter 
For lift tickets, I concur that the Aetna Ski Club is a great way to go. Also, it requires no organizational effort beause it's an individual thing - you pay your twenty bucks, you get to be a member, you get the deals. The $32 for Sugarbush was for the 2001/2002 season. New prices will be available soon. Here's how it works:

There is no limit on the number of tickets you can buy for any of the ski areas which participate, and you need to ask AE Ski Club about the areas. I know that Sugarbush is included, and I know that Stowe is NOT included. You decide what you want - how many tickets for each ski area in which you're interested - and you place your order with AE Ski Club and send your money to them, up front. Then you get back vouchers. To redeem a voucher for a ticket, you go to the ticket window, show your AE Ski Club membership card, and turn in the voucher - they give you the ticket. If you have left over vouchers after the season ends, the redemption amounts and procedures vary from area to area. Your vouchers can't be used by someone else.

I did talk with the ticket person at AE today, and she said it's best [necessary as a practical matter] to join now, before August. For twenty bucks per adult member, ten bucks for a youth under eighteen, or forty-five for the whole family of two cohabiting adults and unlimited household children, it's a no brainer. The only questions will be: What resorts, how many tickets per resort.

Thanks again, GeoffD! This is a boon for sure.

Next item to tie down is the span of dates for the gathering. I will be posting a poll soon, so please register your preferences there. At Utah, ski camp will be from January 25 to 29, 2003, and the gathering itself will be from Jan 30 to Feb 3 or 4, 2003.

Before the poll starts, please e-mail your preferences for dates to me at: bgreene@law66.com
post #26 of 89
I normally pay $33 through my club.


Step number one:

How many people are definately coming.

Definately coming is defined as being so sure that you are coming that you are willing to pony up cash UP FRONT and probably several months in advance.

I put up a poll to get the attendance numbers.
post #27 of 89
Great plans.

I would love to attend, but won't be able to know the dates until the clinics I have to attend/conduct are posted in late September. I am answering the poll as if a clinic is a "disaster".

I will probably join AE before the August date.
post #28 of 89
Originally posted by KeeTov:

I will probably join AE before the August date.
For what it's worth, last year, I joined and bought my block of tickets at the same time in, I think, late September. The club has something like 800 members and many seem to belong mostly to get the ticket deal. It's a win, win, win deal. The AE ski club collects membership dues from phantom members they only hear from once a year and use the dues to defray their club costs for active members who attend their events; the ski resorts get a big pile of cash in October when they're hurting the most; phantom club members get to ski at a decent discount.

Just make sure you don't blow it for everybody by getting caught selling tickets in the parking lot.
post #29 of 89
Thread Starter 
As I understand the AE Ski Club deal, you don't get tickets - you get vouchers. Each voucher can be redeemed for a ticket at the area specified on the voucher, but your club membership card is required for that. Therefore, "selling tickets in the parking lot" doesn't seem to be an option, but, in case it is, I agree - DON'T DO IT! Please. Thank you.
post #30 of 89
Originally posted by oboe:
As I understand the AE Ski Club deal, you don't get tickets - you get vouchers. Each voucher can be redeemed for a ticket at the area specified on the voucher, but your club membership card is required for that.
The voucher-tickets-whatever are printed by the resorts. They're the same stock all the bus tours use for group sales and the same as the hotels use for their Lodging + Ticket deals. Instead of having a tour operator or hotel printed on them, they say "Connecticut Ski Council". They're as good as cash at the ticket window. At Okemo, Sugarbush, and Killington, I've never had anybody ask me for a ski club ID. I suppose they could but I can't imagine why they'd bother.
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