Originally Posted by steamboat1
The Mansfield side of Stowe has arguably the best terrain in New England, good lift infrastructure too. The base lodge however leaves a lot to be desired. Yeah I know it's a landmark & they can't change it. Octagon, Cliff House & Midway leave a lot to be desired also.
While Spruce village is beautiful & the new lifts nice they ruined the terrain on that side of the mountain as far as I'm concerned. There's only 1 or 2 trails worth skiing over there now. The better terrain up top was eliminated & the premier trail (Main Street) is closed to the public the majority of the time.
As for their snowmaking expansion they were behind the pack in that regard & have just caught up to most, not all, of their competition.
Personally I wouldn't rank them at the top but they are right up there.
I actually like the dichotomy that Stowe presents with its Mansfield side vs Spruce side. Spruce side is absolutely loaded with amenities and luxuries, and also houses practically all of the resort's easily accessible beginner terrain, an okay selection of intermediate terrain, and a little taste of difficult terrain.
Meanwhile, Mansfield side offers practically no beginner terrain and only basic amenities.
What that means is that the large majority of casual skiers and non-skier types tend to be isolated to Spruce side, while the Mansfield side is left by and large to the real skiers. It really came through to me that this was the case a couple seasons ago. I'm an instructor in a program that spends almost all its time on Mansfield side. My nephew worked in ski valet, and spent a majority of his time on Spruce side. My overall impression of Stowe is that the general skill set there is higher than average. Meanwhile, he was thinking "why can't anybody at this place ski?" That's when I went "Aha!"
Of course, gapers still tend to find their way to Mansfield, but in nowhere near the quantities that would be the case if there were an integrated lift system. (I don't count the Over Easy as integrating Spruce/Mansfield).
That's right. Segregation. It's the way to be for good skiing.