New Year’s in the Mountains!

We will remember 2008 as an above average year for skiing and riding.
February was strong with lots of snowfall. Skiing remained great until a St. Pat’s Day rain out. Fresh late March snow allowed for spring skiing into mid-April.

Quite obviously, we are getting crushed this December.

The sun is setting on 2008, but the best day for skiing and riding in New England might just be tomorrow (12/23/08).

Q: Where are you going to ski in 2009?
A: With only a week left to make arrangements act now.

In this blog entry, find 10 deals you can still make happen.


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Resort: Smuggler’s Notch
Town: Jeffersonville, VT
Report Card: Grades
Deals/Events: Big mountain, big fun this New Year’s! Smugg’s consistently ranks as one of the best family resorts in the country. The accolades are reflected in the festivities they plan. They almost always have family-friendly options.
However, if you do not have kids (or just want to get away from them) this NYE could be your opportunity. Smuggler’s Notch (Madonna Mountain) is home to some of the best terrain in the region. The resort has put together two good package deals.
Option 1: From 12/27/08 – 1/3/09, rates starting at $229 per person per night
Option 2: Arrive January 1st and stay through the 4th, rates starting $135
The package includes everything you need (lift tickets, lodging) Call reservations at 800-451-8752 or visit the website for more details.
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Resort: Pats Peak
Town: Henniker, NH
Report Card: Grades
image courtesy of Pats Peak

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Deals/Events: You may know this already, but the S.G. loves Pats Peak. It is one of the easiest drives from Boston. The have 100% snow-making and lights. It is a great family spot. They got terrain for all abilities.
What you may not know is they (both visitors and employees) at Pats Peak love to have a good time. To properly address the long legacy of smiles, the mountain has put together some affordable NYE options. You can buy a “Party & Skiing & Tubing” ticket for $90/adult or $50 junior/senior. To just “Party” $70/$35. To just “Ski” $32 for all. They also have Snow Tubing for $18. Children under 5 are free.
On NYE for the “Party” there will include fireworks, live music, comedians, food tasting, champagne sipping – the works…hit the website for a schedule and booking details.
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Resort: Jay Peak
Town: Jay, VT
Report Card: Grades
Deals/Events: Make the move north, as far as you can go without leaving the USA. Jay Peak has got the usual for New Year’s Eve (fireworks, dinner, party) but the real draw will be the POWDER. In case you have been asleep there is a ton of Snow on the way to Jay.
Hotel Jay is offering a three-night stay for $195/person/night (based on double occupancy). The price includes lodging, lift tickets and meals (breakfast & dinner). The powder skiing and riding is priceless.
The offer is valid any 3-nights from December 25th, 2008 through January 1st, 2009 (vacation must be completed by January 1st, 2009). Rate does not include tax or gratuities. Book online at jaypeakresort.com or call (800) 451-4449 to speak to a reservations agent. Use Code HOL3 when booking.
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Resort: Sugarloaf
Town: Carrabassett Valley, ME
Report Card: Grades
image courtesy of Sugarloaf

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Deals/Events: Sugarloaf has a couple of New Year’s options.
Option 1 – for the reserved folks: Hit the newly redone Bullwinkles mid-mountain restaurant. For $130, the resort will give you a lift up to the lodge in a Snow Cat (if you have never ridden in one it is very cool) and set you up with a first rate dinner experience. Good for the romantic types…
Option 2 – the wild side: The legendary Widowmaker (bar/club) is rocking out all night to 80s music the band Fast Times. The mountain’s fireworks will be visible from the base and the Widowmaker has plenty of outdoor decks to see them. This would be the S.G. pick.
Use the resort website to make your reservation.
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Resort: Wachusett
Town: Princeton, MA
Report Card: Grades
Deals/Events: Massachusetts needs some representation somewhere in this gallery. So here it is – the local option. Wachusett Mountains has put together two packages to choose from this New Year’s.
The Mountain Package – For $52 ski/ride until midnight. There will be plenty of things happening to keep you entertained around the mountain: fireworks, balloon drops, magicians, live music, karaoke and Guitar Hero (which they are advertising for kids, but I know plenty of adults who partake) and more…
The Champagne Package – Spend $95 and you will get everything mentioned in the Mountain Package plus hors d’oeuvres and a gourmet buffet to fill your belly. Wait! There’s more! This package also includes a champagne toast to ring in the New Year at midnight, party favors, and desserts.
Reservations REQUIRED for Champagne Package, space is limited 978-464-2300 ext. 3705
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Resort: Cranmore Mountain
Town: North Conway, N.H.
Report Card: Grades
Deals/Events: This year, Cranmore will host a brand new New Year’s Eve event, called the Crantastic New Year’s Party. This sounds like they are going all out. On New Year’s Eve, as 2008 draws to a close, the folks who are lucky enough to be at Cranmore will be skiing and riding until midnight. They have two separate fireworks displays planned (at 7:30 and midnight). There is also the option of snow tubing. Dinner and gifts included. All this and more for short dollars.
• Ages 13 and up: $69 – Youth ticket (ages 6-12): $59
• Ages 5 and under: complimentary skiing and snow tubing (for children 42″ and under) while with a paying companion.
All tickets may be purchased online at cranmore.com; in person seven days a week at the Ticket Haus at Cranmore; or by calling 603-356-5544.
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Resort: Trapp Family Lodge
Town: Stowe, VT
Deals/Events: Here is the option for the cross-country skiers in the group. The Trapp Family Lodge (Think Sound of Music. Yes, those Trapp’s.) It’s a first-class operation. They have acres upon acres of well-manicured cross-country ski trails. The accommodations are impeccable. All set to the backdrop of Mount Mansfield.
For New Year’s Eve and Day, they have a full slate of events with option for children (pizza and pool party), and adults (outdoor ice bar), and both together (sleigh rides).
Visit their website for more details and to make a reservation, but after a day of cross-country skiing, all you may be up for is hanging in by the fireplace with a hot toddy.
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Resort: Stratton
Town: Bondville, Vt.
Report Card: Grades
Stratton Village – image courtesy of resort

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Deals/Events: Stratton busts out one of New England’s finest torchlight parades every NYE. They also have a fireworks display that thumps and echoes across the nearby valleys.
There are several family dinner options offered in or around the base village, with activities scheduled for children. For the adults, check Grizzles out. There is a $25 cover to get into the NYE party, which features live music from the Adam Ezra Band.
Over New Year’s, Stratton is offering its classic Lift and Lodging package. For $113/night based on 4-person occupancy, get a room and a lift ticket. This deal requires a three night stay.
Use resort website to book your Ski and Stay (with some play) at Stratton this NYE.
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Resort: Gunstock
Town: Gilford, N.H.
Report Card: Grades
Deals/Events: Get the entire family into the van and make tracks to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Gunstock’s party.
Here is what they have happening: skiing and riding until 11:30 p.m., one hour of tubing (two hour tickets will not be available), “quick fix” clinics, snowshoe hikes, sleigh rides, kids’ entertainment, live music and DJ, and more!
Tickets are $40 for adults and teens, $30 for children and seniors and 5 and under are free. Season pass holders are no charge. Groups of 20 or more are $30. Prepaid registration.
Contact the Group Sales Office at [email protected] or call ext. 120. Child care is available by prepaid reservation. $20 per child. Limited space available. Reservations are a must – call the mountain.
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Resort: Killington
Town: Killington, VT
Report Card: Grades
Deals/Events: No one needs a reason to go to Killington for a party. The resort has earned its reputation as one of the best ski stops for nightlife in the country (not just New England).
Here’s one anyway: the New Year’s First Tracks Ski & Stay Package is a great option for those as serious about partying and they are about skiing. Arrive Thursday, January 1st. Includes 3 nights lodging and a 3-day lift ticket. Packages start at $134 per person per night. Rates are based on 4 people in a 1-bedroom condominium and do not include tax or service fees.
Advance reservations required, packages must be booked at least 24 hours before arrival.
1-800-621-MTNS (6867).

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S.G. Note – you have to fill out a report card to see the average grades from all people.
Be safe, ski smart, and have a Happy New Year!
Think Snow in ’09,
S.G.

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