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Jay Peak crowds at Xmas?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

How much of a zoo is Jay during Xmas week? I've been running the numbers on a family ski trip out West (I'm in DC) from 28 Dec to  01 Jan, and the totals are pretty staggering. To fly a family of 4 out West during that timeframe to ski for 3 days adds up to about $5500, on average. (Crested Butte came in at the cheapest at ~ $4400. Big Sky was the most expensive at ~ $7500.)

 

Getting in the car and driving to someplace on the East Coast for those 3 days of skiing suddenly seems a lot more appealing.

post #2 of 11

It is crowded but so is everyplace.  Good skiing at Jay Peak requires natural snow.  That can certainly happen for Xmas week.  Safer bets are areas with extensive snowmaking and grooming.  Jay does have the water park for the kids but I can only imagine how crowded that might be.

post #3 of 11
Jay is a great ski area, but Christmas is NOT a safe bet anywhere for skiing, places that rely on natural snow are a worse bet, eastern ski areas that require good natural snow? That is like hitting on 20 in blackjack, a terrible risk with not a lot of upside. As Crank said, Christmas week is time for maximum snow gun coverage. Anywhere with only a couple of trails open will feel crowded no matter how many folks are there.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 


Sorry, I should have prefaced my post with the assumption that this year will be a decent snow year. I've been holding off booking ANYTHING until I see how the season is shaping up. Whether I go out West or stay on the East coast will be dependent solely on who has snow, not the cost of the trip.

 

So I guess the question should have been, "In a good snow year, how crowded is Jay at Xmas time? Is it as crowded as Stowe and Sugarbush, or less so due to it being farther enough North that people don't bother to make the trip?". I guess what I'm really asking is how long are the waits in the lift lines at Xmas, assuming most of the mountain is open?

 

Whiteroom, is your post implying that Jay doesn't have a ton of snow gun coverage?

post #5 of 11

Jay does not have a great rep for snowmaking and the big attraction there is glades, not trails.  Even in a good snow year it is rare that much natural terrain is open by Christmas.  Sometimes it is, but you cannot count on it.  Probably just as crowded as Stowe or Sugarbush.  Jay has been attracting crowd with new hotels and indoor water park yet have added no new uphill capacity in many years.

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksampson3 View Post
 


Sorry, I should have prefaced my post with the assumption that this year will be a decent snow year. I've been holding off booking ANYTHING until I see how the season is shaping up. Whether I go out West or stay on the East coast will be dependent solely on who has snow, not the cost of the trip.

 

So I guess the question should have been, "In a good snow year, how crowded is Jay at Xmas time? Is it as crowded as Stowe and Sugarbush, or less so due to it being farther enough North that people don't bother to make the trip?". I guess what I'm really asking is how long are the waits in the lift lines at Xmas, assuming most of the mountain is open?

 

Whiteroom, is your post implying that Jay doesn't have a ton of snow gun coverage?

 

By the time you know how the season is shaping up, expect there to be little to no availability for lodging. Up at Jay, you're either staying on the mountain property at one of their hotels, at a handful of tiny B&B's nearby, or you're staying 10-15 miles away, at the opposite end of a narrow winding road up to the mountain, which translates to 20-40 minutes away. Right now there is stuff available, but if you wait until November or early December? No way. A ski/splash/stay package during the time you're thinking about for 2 adults and 2 kids is currently starting at $652 a night, that includes your room, lift tickets, and admission to the water park. If you have kids, the water park admission is absolutely NOT optional, even if you stay at Stateside, which is away from the water park itself. Everybody knows about the water park, and it is right in your face in the main base area. So your kids are going to see it, and they are absolutely going to want to do it. And frankly, coming off snow and parking yourself in the lazy river while your kids tear around the slides... not a bad plan for apres. 

 

In any case, there's no way you can wait too long. People are going to plan ahead and book during that week. The rooms at Jay are likely going to go even faster than anywhere else this season, exactly because we had an awful Christmas week last year. At least at Jay, you could cut the ski day short and head to the water park, and salvage more fun from the week than at a lot of other mountains. People will remember that from last year, and book it for this year. I had clients who were skiing a half day at Stowe, then hopping in the car and shooting up to Jay to hit the waterpark in the afternoon, since the skiing was so limited last Xmas week. 

post #7 of 11
Oh, and as far as how much of a zoo Jay is during Christmas week, this is a picture from last year: 
 

 

Then again, everywhere is like that. It's Christmas week. Busiest week of the season. 

 

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 


freeski919,

Great, great info. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I know that I'm going to get shut out at a lot of places if I wait too long to plan the trip, but I'll take that risk. I'd rather take that risk than pay in advance and ski crappy conditions because I decided to book early. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

 

Regardless, someplace is going to have snow this Xmas and will be willing to take my money.

 

Thanks again

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksampson3 View Post
 


freeski919,

Great, great info. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I know that I'm going to get shut out at a lot of places if I wait too long to plan the trip, but I'll take that risk. I'd rather take that risk than pay in advance and ski crappy conditions because I decided to book early. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

 

Regardless, someplace is going to have snow this Xmas and will be willing to take my money.

 

Thanks again

I made this suggestion in a different thread, and I'll make it here, too. Take a look at Burke. They have some great terrain, and they just opened a brand new hotel at the end of the summer. Burke, along with Jay, have been at the center of a pretty nasty financial fraud controversy. However, both resorts are under outside control now, and the receiver in charge these days is looking to put the best face on the resorts in order to be as attractive to a potential buyer as possible. 

 

Burke is the biggest mountain in Vermont that hasn't been considered a true "resort" to this point. However, the aforementioned scandal had to do with building the new hotel and the other resort amenities to bring Burke to that level. So it's a mountain that has brand new resort infrastructure... but doesn't have the resort type crowds yet. Its in a kind of sweet spot in that way, and could be a great bet for a lot of people this season. They have ski and stay packages starting at $535 a night for 2 adults 2 kids. No water park, though. 

post #10 of 11

Burke, snowmaking, not so much.   Nice to have a decent amount of terrain open.  They mostly get lesser amounts of snow than Jay as well.  At Jay you can find rooms in Newport an easy 20 miles.  Look into Alpine Haven condos 3 miles past Jay towards Montgomery.


Edited by crank - 10/6/16 at 1:48pm
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
 

Burke, snowmaking, not so much.   Nice to have a decent amount of terrain open.  They mostly get lesser amounts of snow than Jay as well.  At Jay you can find rooms in Newport an easy 20 miles.  Look into Alpine Have condos 3 miles past Jay towards Montgomery.

True, but if he's going to wait on snow, Burke may have the better odds of having availability at that point. If there's snow, that is. 

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