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Info on Stratton

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking of taking the family to Stratton this year. Has anyone been and can you give me some info about it? : :
post #2 of 13
I've skied Stratton a number of times over the years and believe there are far better alternatives in Vermont. Stratton has a faux Austrian base village with cobblestones, jewelry stores and high end ski shops at the main base. Stratton has pretty good terrain for beginners and intermediates, but lacks expert terrain. There snow making and grooming is pretty good, the mountain is the highest in Southern VT and the lift system is extensive with a gondola, a couple of six packs and many quads.

Stratton markets to the country club set from CT and NY, so be prepared for self indulgent attitudes from others on the slopes. Stratton has the highest weekend lift ticket prices in the US so don't expect to meet many locals or day trippers.

There are many other resort choices in Southern Vermont which I can detail. What are you looking for in an 'ideal' ski week.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Children are 5 and 4 years old. They have never skied. My wife does not ski, and I am an advanced intermediate to low expert (been skiing 30yrs). Looking for clean places to stay and eat and maybe one or two extracurricular activities for the family. I live in Richmond, VA and can't drive more than 10 hours or so or it will have to be a 2-day trip. I am tired of Snowshoe WV, and everything else down here sucks.
post #4 of 13
I agree with Talisman.

There are better resorts in Southern VT than Stratton.

Look at Okemo especially since the beginner area is pretty tame for your wife and kids and there are a few runs for you to enjoy on your own.
post #5 of 13
Also check out Bretton Woods which is in Northern NH but would probably only take you 10-11 hours from Richmond depending on how you drive.

The terrain is not challenging but they has alot of high speed quads and no crowds on Weekends.

Also a good place for the kids to learn.
post #6 of 13
Bretton Woods is a good suggestion, but it may be a little quiet for a non-skiing spouse, but North Conway is close by with lots of outlets, places to stay and good restaurants. Bretton is a bit longer drive than Southern Vermont but has very little in the way of crowds and dependable snow quality both faux and natural snow. That part of NH has a fair number of ski areas like Cannon, Attitash and Wildcat, plus the scenery is excellent too.

The Okemo suggestion is good as Ludlow gives a taste of a Vermont town for the non skier and has fairly tame terrain. Okemo has reliable conditions with regard to faux snow and grooming. The Okemo base it like 2 miles from Ludlow and the town hasn't been gentrified yet lots of places to eat and stay. Okemo is no secret and is crowded on the weekends which can make for a hectic learning area. If you go mid-week it is a fun place to learn, but on the weekends you would do better to go to Bromley.

Bromley is close to Manchester so there are lots of places to stay, eat and shop. Bromley is smaller than Stratton and Okemo but has decent lifts, grooming and snow making. Personally I think it is one of the best places to learn in Southern Vermont because of the learning area and lift set up is segergated from the main area and is not too big a ski area so your spouse could find you. Bromley faces mainly South which is fun on cold sunny days, but it mean the snow can also melt on warm days.

Pico is another longer shot as the snow making and grooming can be deficient some years but it isn't crowded and Rutland is near by. Rutland is no Manchester or Ludlow as far as charm goes it has Wal-mart and the like, but has places to stay and eat on the cheap. Pico has a good lift system and doesn't see weekend crowds and because of the base elevation catches natural snow pretty well. Lots of Vermonters ski here including the clerk from Wal-mart, the waitress from the diner and maybe your motel owner. Pico is the unwanted step child of ASC and nearby Killington.

Keep asking questions!
post #7 of 13
I like Pico also.

I took a nasty spill on Forty Niner a few years ago.
post #8 of 13
Well, if your wife doesn't ski then Stratton may be your best choice if you are driving given that there are some shops and other things to do at the mountain. (Even though I agree with the previous posts about Stratton's shortcomings: its a zoo, some rude people, etc.)

If she is content to read a book and have a drink then Bromley would be a possibility. It is a family mountain and their ski school is really good; and if she drops you off she can go to Manchester just down the road where there are a lot of shops.

I wouldn't go to Okemo since it wouldn't be fun for her at all; the base lodge is crowded and smelly and Ludlow probably wouldn't keep her occupied for two days.

If you go to Bromley or Stratton, consider having dinner at Johnny Seesaws (right next to Bromley). It has great food and atmosphere. It is also a hotel and I think they have packages with lift tickets for Bromley and maybe Stratton too.

I live in DC and go to S.Vermont several weekends a year.

Have fun.

[ August 29, 2003, 09:50 AM: Message edited by: snowflier ]
post #9 of 13
For S. Vermont, and goood family atmosphere why not Mt. Snow. Great intermediate terrain.

If you just want a couple of days and your tired of Snowshoe, then look at Seven Springs. I learned to ski there, and there's lots of other stuff to do besides skiing for [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] everyone.
post #10 of 13
FWIW, the one time I went to Mt. Snow in the last ten years, I stayed at the big base hotel. They seemed to have lots of things going on (or going on nearby) for non-skiing folks (eg, snowmobile rides, testing cars, horse rides, bingo right in the hotel(!), nature walks, etc.). With their swimming pool and exercise room, and the possibility on dropping in on the non-skiing folks every few hours, this might be a good option. Just don't go on the weekend.

WRT Bromley, I think its a wonderful little mountain, but from what I saw of the shops in Manchester, I don't think shopping there would hold the interest of someone who was used to mega-malls, mega-outlets, etc. ...then again, I never shop unless there is a gun to my head

Tom / PM
post #11 of 13
Mt Snow does have lots of intermediate terrain and some intersting tree skiing, a high base elevation, good lifts, adequate snow making and grooming. Staying at the base hotel is fairly expensive, but on a weekend frees you from the tumult of the main base area. Mt Snow gets pretty crowded at the main base and this is where ski lessons and the ski school is.

Mt Snow is a day trip for me so I don't have the perspective of staying on Mtn. I like the fact there are three base lodges so you can start at Carinthia or Sundance and skip the base lodge hulabaloo. PM points out that Mt Snow does try to keep non-skiers busy, but there isn't really a near by town the size of Ludlow, Manchester or Rutland though Wilmington does have a few shops to poke around and Brattleboro isn't too far away.

In fairness Stratton also has a gorgeous day lodge in the Sun Bowl which is a great place to strat the ski day once you are over the shock of paying $72 for a lift pass.
post #12 of 13
My $.02 worth...

Having just moved here, I haven't skied (yet), but Manchester is a good town for a non skiing wife to nose around in. Loaded with outlets and antique stores all in one strip...park the car and walk around.

Wilmington is the same on a much smaller scale.

If I were gonna pay a premium price for a lift ticket, though, Stratton wouldn't get my money. Killington would. That place is IMMENSE. I didn't see the fluff I saw at Stratton either, and that appealed to me. There were no high end shops, just massive skiing appeal.

For a decent deal though, Mt. Snow and Bromley are high on my list of places to try.
post #13 of 13
> ...For a decent deal though, Mt. Snow and Bromley are high on my list of places to try...

Bonni - I'm not so sure abt Mt. Snow's prices, but Bromley certainly can be inexpensive. One day last season, I skied from about 11 AM till closing for something like $22. Without asking, they gave me the afternoon rate even tho it was well before the afternoon session started, they gave me a discount because the lift to the top was on wind hold, another discount because I was wearing a helmet, and probably a final discount because I simply woke up that AM.

Bromley gave me extremely good old-time-skiing vibes. I felt like I was "going home". Its not big, but it certainly had plenty of nooks and crannies to explore and play around in. It felt like a detuned-MRG. I'd definitely go back.

My only caveat about the place is that because of the S exposure, the snow probably sees more freeze-thaw cycles than other VT resorts and hence is likely to be more icy. On the day I hit it, it was below 0 F, so this wasn't an issue - the snow was great.

Another place for you to check out this winter is Magic, right up the road fm Bromley. Its a bit larger and a bit tougher than Bromley, but also a "good vibes" place.

Tom / PM

[ August 29, 2003, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
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