Stowe

VER­MONT

SKI - - EAST - ——J.C.

Vail buys Stowe: It was flab­ber­gast­ing, block­buster news for Eastern skiers last spring. For the first time in its eight-decade his­tory, Stowe’s ski op­er­a­tions (not the ho­tels) would be owned by a ski re­sort com­pany rather than in­sur­ance ex­ec­u­tives. (AIG con­tin­ues to own Stowe Moun­tain Lodge and the Spruce vil­lage, though the Spruce Camp base lodge goes to Vail.) Due to the tim­ing, sur­vey re­sults only par­tially re­flect the change in own­er­ship, so Stowe’s slide in the rank­ings, down from No. 2 last year, can’t be cred­ited to Vail. Rather, it’s the same old com­plaints: park­ing, pric­ing, a grow­ing un­ease with the one-per­center vibe of Spruce-era Stowe. “$125 for a ticket; are they crazy? (Guess I am, ’cuz I bought it.)” It’s hardly crazy to want to ski at Stowe. Many of the East’s most dis­cern­ing rip­pers con­sider it the best there is for ter­rain, snow, and sense of place. And with splen­did scenery, his­toric vil­lage, fine restau­rants, and now a full­blown brew scene (von Trapp and Al­chemist), Stowe still puts it all to­gether. Now you can ski there on an Epic Pass that costs less than half what a Stowe-only pass cost. And for a lot of Stowe fans, that’s the big­gest news ever.

FAM­ILY AC­TIV­ITY

Take a guided tour at the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream fac­tory in Water­bury, 15 min­utes away.

APRÈS SPOT

Start with a cold beer at the Den in the his­toric CCCbuilt Mans­field Base Lodge be­fore head­ing a mile down the Moun­tain Road to the Mat­ter­horn.

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