4 Legendary Ski Bars

VTSKI+Ride — Winter 2018

What makes a ski bar a legend? It’s the abundance of good times, year after year, and the people who bring those good times into your life.

[The source article is about 4 legendary Ski Bars -- this blog entry, however, includes only The Matterhorn in Stowe.]


On a night when cars are parked up and down the Mountain Road and there’s a line at the door of The Matterhorn, Charlie Shaffer has an air of perpetual calm. It may be getting rowdy with a gang doing shots going at one end the bar. The dance floor may be a mosh pit. There may be a skinny-dipping challenge in the river just off the back deck. Shaffer takes it all in with an impish, bemused smile. He greets the regulars with a pat on the arm, and a “good to see you, did you ski today,” runs a hand through his tousled hair and steps back into the kitchen to check on things.

Meanwhile, Louise Shaffer deftly rolls sushi in the sushi/martini bar on the lower level, facing big windows and the river. As Charlie says, “the fish comes off the same boat that serves restaurants in Boston. It gets there at 11 and it is here by 5 pm.”

Charlie and Louise Shaffer

Charlie and Louise Shaffer

The Matterhorn, a perennial favorite in national “best ski bars in the U.S.” lists, is a near-mandatory watering hole for any skier headed down the Mountain Road from Mt. Mansfield. It’s has been an institution since the 1950s, hosting the Monkees, members of The Grateful Dead and NFL star Doug Flutie and the Flutie Brothers band (whom Charlie sometimes sings with). After being a regular customer, Charlie, a  Boston skier who had a weekend house share in Stowe, bought the place in 1996.  Soon after, he lost his job as a trader and moved up  full time. “It used to be a little more wild here,” he says. “But then again, so were we.”

Locals Jake and Donna Carpenter, and Burton’s posse of pro riders, are regulars. One night this past January, Ethan Hawke stopped in. Harvey Keitel threw his son’s birthday party here —and sent a video to the kid’s godfather, Robert DeNiro.

The Matterhorn has also been the scene of a (predictable) cat fight on Season Seven of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” (aired in 2016).  In describing the episode, E! Online called the ‘Horn, “A restaurant in the midst of what seems to be an identity crisis (seriously, it looked like a barn and inexplicably served buffalo wings and sushi).”

What they missed is the knack that Charlie, who used to work on the floor of the Boston Stock Exchange, and Louise have for making just about everyone feel at home—be it a fur-clad New Yorker sipping a martini or a 20-year-old liftie downing a Heady Topper.

Over the bar hang mugs belonging to regulars. “We save the mugs for people who work around here and really give back to the community —patrollers ski instructors and such,”  Charlie says. They come and bring their 60-year-old private lesson clients. They bring their friends and kids with them. And then they leave (or not) and the music cranks up and a new crowd shuffles in.

“A lot of the people you see here have been coming here since they were in their 20s,” Shaffer says. “I can’t tell you how many met their wives or husbands here.”  He looks around and smiles. “Toni and Eileen Bowen, a couple in their late 70s who drive up from Montauk, Long Island, are long-time customers who have become some of our best friends and they bring their kids and grandkids,” Charlie says.  “The people I have met in this community and the friends we have made here are just incredible.”

At the back of the bar, beyond two pool tables, kids in ski gear are slamming quarters into a pinball machine. A crew that just skied down the backwoods Bruce Trail (which spills out a hundred feet up the road) has hoofed it in to grab a beer.

The après crowd segues seamlessly into the family dinner crowd, then into a late-night singles scene as the bands shift from one beat to the next. Charlie drums his fingers on the bar to the beat and smiles. No matter how crazy it gets, he always seems to be having a good time. “Perhaps the best thing about owning The Matterhorn is you get to see your friends at work all the time,” he says. “There are some nights when I’m getting ready to go home and in walk some friends, and then I know I’m gonna stay and have a beer with them.” —Lisa Lynn

Read the complete article, which includes Chez Henri (at the base of Lincoln Peak near Sugarbush), the Pickle Barrel (Killington), and the Red Fox Inn (within 10 miles of Stratton Mountain Resort, Bromley and Magic Mountain)


New Year, New Home: 11 Fresh Ideas to Try to Shake Things Up


by Nancy Mitchell
Senior Writer • Apartment Therapy • New York, NY
December 31, 2017


The beginning of the year is a time of new things, of fresh starts. If you're feeling the urge to try something a little different in your home, we've got 11 ideas to help you shake up your look.

1. Paint the inside of your bookshelves

An idea we're stealing from The Design Chaser. Would also work to paint a wall before putting up shelving.


2. Hang art in an unexpected spot

A Paris apartment spotted on AirBnB keeps things grounded, and though certainly not a look for most people, it's a surefire way to make your ceilings look extra high in comparison.


3. Paint your ceiling

Earlier this month, Pinterest reported that painted and statement ceilings are going to be all the rage in 2018. Be a step ahead by tackling this project before the new year (warning: this is only for those without popcorn texture).


4. Hang a collection on the wall

Spotted on Domino, here's a great way to display some of your beloved collections. Dust off that hoard of guitars/globes/paperweights and either hang them straight on the wall, or on a shelf.

Read this complete apartment therapy article and the remaining 7 fresh ideas here.

The Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate Market Report

☆☆ January 30, 2018 UPDATE: the report has been reformatted to be more reader-friendly. Click on the link below to see the enhanced format. ☆☆

2017 Year-End Stowe Area Report
including Details for Stowe, Waterbury, and all of Lamoille County

Our 2017 Year-End Market Report uses market-wide data, based on transactions that closed in 2017 in our Multiple Listing Service; and, compares them to sales that took place during the same time period in 2016, providing the most comprehensive market analysis in the area.

Read the complete report here.

Call (802-730-4343) or write
with any questions or for more information

3 Things Super-Organized People Do at Home that You Don't

I think my wife wrote this article under a pen name. No one else could have described my decluttering short-comings so accurately! I'm going to get it right this time.


by Shifrah Combiths
Apartment Therapy
January 7, 2018

Each of us have personal feelings about cleaning and home keeping. But what remains remarkably similar across the board are the trouble spots that we all find tricky to solve. Which, by extension, means that those perpetually organized people who never seem to have the stuff explosions most of us fall prey to have found successful ways to address these very same sticking points.

They have a system for incoming paper and mail

Nothing multiplies like paper piles. People who stay on top of paper clutter have a system that works and that they stick to. Such systems might include:

  • Walking straight to the recycling bin when mail is in-hand and tossing circulars, offers, and other junk straight into it. 
  • Dealing with time-sensitive papers right away. The field trip permission form gets signed within the first ten minutes your kid puts it on your desk, for instance. You don't have to remember to turn it in later, and the paper is back in your child's folder and out of sight. 
  • Treating kids' paper deliveries like the mail. While it's in your hand, recycle what you don't need, take care of papers that require action right away, and store or photograph art that you might want to save. 
  • Have a place for everything else. Bills that you can't deal with right away, insurance documents you have to make phone calls about, and papers you plan to file in Evernote — these need a basket or bin to contain them. The only way to keep this spot from growing out of control is to have a designated, regular time to deal with these papers. Organized people all do it.

They have a system for not-quite dirty clothes

Clothes that have been worn but don't yet need to be washed are a clean bedroom's and picked-up closet's downfall. You've got to have a plan and place for them or these clothes will end up slung over chairs and/or pooled on the closet floor. Wardrobe Purgatory: Where to Store Your Worn (But Not Dirty) Clothes has some great suggestions and tools to help, including over-the-door hooks, stands, and racks.

They have a daily routine to clear their most common surfaces

Surfaces are breeding grounds for clutter and if they aren't cleared off vigilantly, they'll always be cluttered. Think of your bathroom counter, kitchen counters, and dining room table for starters. Make certain spaces off-limits for the entire family as a set-down spot (for instance, the dining room table), and address the other surfaces nightly. Put bathroom and kitchen counter items back where they belong or corral things that must remain out on trays. Remember that that first thing you place on the counter because you don't want to put it away invites more items to join it, so resist the urge.

Read this article at Apartment Therapy.

5 Ways to Experience Winter in Stowe

Stowe Village.jpg

Curated by the Stowe Area Association

Looking for the quintessential New England experience this winter? Dreaming of carving fresh pow on the trails? Here are five ways to experience what National Geographic calls one of "The World's Best Ski Towns" this winter:

  1. Play at the mountain. Stowe Mountain Resort has the most skiing and riding terrain open in the east, with 82 inches of fresh snowfall this season and state-of-the-art snowmaking producing optimal skiing and riding conditions. Explore other activities at the resort, like ice skating or relaxing by an outdoor fireplace, while absorbing the natural beauty of Mt. Mansfield–the highest peak in Vermont. Take the complimentary Stowe Mountain Road Shuttle to and from your hotel room
  2. More snowy fun. Winter has arrived, and with more snow in the forecast, there are other winter activities to enjoy, like snowmobiling, sleigh rides; and, dog sledding. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and backcountry skiing are also popular with Stowe's world-class Nordic trail system and variety of trails nearby. Need gear? Pick up equipment rentals and other sports gear and apparel in town.
  3. Festive activities. Holiday shopping is an adventure in Stowe. Find the perfect gift for your family and friends during Reindeer Quest (through December 24). #ShopStowe and win prizes as you collect snowflake stamps at Stowe shops. Enjoy a live holiday performance, children's activities, cooking and food demonstrations, New Year's Eve celebrations and other events.
  4. Eat, drink and be merry. Ranked one of the "World's 10 Best Ski Towns for Foodies" by Fodor's Travel, Stowe is home to a variety of dining establishments and craft beverage producers. Sample craft beverages on the Stowe Craft Bev Trail and other local flavors on the Stowe Tasting Trail.
  5. Plan your stay. Stowe offers quality accommodations for every taste and budget. Solidify your winter plans with the Midwinter Getaway or the Extend Your Weekend lodging offers. Not sure where to start? Visit us online at gostowe.com, call us at (800) 467-8693 or stop by the Visitor Information Center while in town. Exclusive discounts for lodging, activities, equipment rentals and events are available year-round.

Winter Activities in Stowe
Purchase Lift Tickets Online

View Events Calendar
Views Lodging Specials

Righteous Renovations! These Home Features Are Proven to Pay Off

By Lance Lambert | Dec 18, 2017
Lance Lambert is a data journalist for realtor.com. He previously wrote for Bloomberg Businessweek and the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Follow @NewsLambert

pbombaert/Getty Images

pbombaert/Getty Images

After all these years of paying down your mortgage, spending thousands on maintenance, and pouring buckets of blood, sweat, and cash into your home, you’re finally ready to move on and sell. But hold on: Those home features you thought were so cool back in 1995 might just be a tad outdated.

Sorry, we know you've had some fabulous times in that sunken living room. You once beamed with pride over your white-on-white, brushed metal-accented kitchen. If that backyard Jacuzzi could talk! And maybe you still harbor a secret affection for those popcorn ceilings in the bedrooms. But the truth is, those things are repelling otherwise eager shoppers. If your home has the right mix of what buyers today are clamoring for—trendy amenities like open floor plans, stylish backsplashes, and heated hardwood floors—it can help you sell your home faster and at a better price.

So the realtor.com® data team looked at a variety of common amenities, to come up with which ones are featured in the homes that close the quickest—and for the most moolah.

"Renovating a home with the right features can not only recoup the cost, it can help you sell your place much faster," says Jessica Lautz, managing director of Survey Research at the National Association of Realtors®. “That means a quick transition into your dream home.”

Tastes simply change over time. The same way we look back with regret on scrunchies, Crystal Pepsi, and the Spice Girls, there are parts of our own homes that now fill us with remorse. It's not surprising that dedicated home-theater rooms, which take up lots of space for an activity that can now be done on an iPad, just aren’t as popular anymore, says Kermit Baker, chief economist at the American Institute of Architects. On the other hand, an extra bedroom has mostly universal appeal, since it can be used for a guest room, a gym, or a home office.

For millennials, the largest group of first-time home buyers, extra rooms are not necessarily going to sell them on a house. “It's more features than space they are looking for," Baker says. Especially techie ones, like smart home connectivity.

To come up with our hot list, we looked at 40 of the most common home features. Then we sifted through realtor.com's listings to figure out which were in the homes that sold in the fewest number of days. The fewer days on the market, the more in demand the feature. (We narrowed our selection to features that can be found in most parts of the country).

We discovered that the top features are:

1. Smart home features (such as smart thermostats, refrigerators, and locking systems)
2. Finished basements
3. Patios
4. Walk-in closets
5. Granite countertops
6. Eat-in kitchens
7. Hardwood floors
8. Laundry rooms
9. Open kitchens
10. Front porches
11. Dining rooms
12. Energy Star appliances
13. Two-car garages
14. Fireplaces
15. Security systems

Read about the hottest home features in electronics, amenities, exterior, interior design, and rooms — in the complete article at realtor.com

Merry, Merry, Merry

“Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To your friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” —Oren Arnold

Original Artwork by Jim Swan ☆ Unlimited Swan ☆ Rowayton, CT

The #1 Reason People Finally Remodel Their Kitchens

                                                                                                                                                                                                      (Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      (Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

by Dabney Frake

There are so many reasons to remodel your kitchen. You just bought a house and you hate what's there now. Perhaps you finally saved up some money and can afford the change. Or, you plan to sell the home in a couple of years and think new cabinets will appeal to buyers. All good reasons, but do you want to know the most common thing that pushed people to finally take the plunge and redo their kitchens?

#1 Reason: Because homeowners just can't stand their current one anymore.

It's not just a rational decision apparently, or a well-executed strategy to upgrade. Day after day, for years perhaps, owners walk into a space and shudder at what they see, or are frustrated by the current layout. Eventually they just break down and give in to the want for something different. 43% of renovations in Houzz's Kitchen Trend study were attributed to this decidedly human motivation. In 2014-2015, that number was only 29%.

(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

Compare that to recent home buyers, who move in and want to renovate right away— either they can't live with the previous owner's taste, or everything is dreadfully outdated. Only a little over one quarter of kitchen renovations came about because new owners wanted to make the space more their own (28% each year for the past three years).

In fact, only 24% of projects happen when the kitchen is functionally broken down and busted: maybe appliances aren't working, cabinets are off their hinges, and the countertop is falling apart. It appears we don't drive our kitchens into the ground, so to speak, where they are beyond repair or unsafe.

Fewer people cited a change in family or lifestyle that would warrant a new kitchen (10%) or needing to upgrade in order to put their home on the market (8%).

The good news: 40% of kitchen projects came after homeowners had finally saved the money. Yes, they hated their kitchens too, and wanted to make the change, but waited instead until they had the funds for the project. We'll just have to hope that all the others aren't assuming a bunch of credit card debt to cover their remodeling expenses.

For more info, check out the 2017 Houzz Kitchen Trend Study.

Does this ring true for you and your motivation to renovate?

Read the complete article as it was published in apartment therapy

​27 Things to Get Rid of in the Kitchen Before Thanksgiving

by: Shifrah Combiths November 6, 2017

(Image credit: Morgan Schemel)

(Image credit: Morgan Schemel)

Nothing turns a happy chef into a frazzled one like rifling through drawers or disassembling the kitchen to dig out the necessary tools. Don't let this be you at Thanksgiving. For a smoothly running kitchen — and, more importantly, a smiling cook — eliminate everything that doesn't need to be in your kitchen before the big day.

Donate or toss these extras:

  1. Any more than three spatulas (keep any combination of no more than three sizes or types)
  2. Can openers (you only need one)
  3. Corkscrews/wine bottle openers (keep the one you always reach for anyway)
  4. Tupperware missing lids
  5. Lids missing tupperware
  6. Empty glass jars you're keeping "just in case"
  7. Used twisty ties
  8. Pens, pencils, Sharpies (you get to keep two of each)
  9. Paper and plastic grocery bags (depending on what you use them for, keep about five of each)
  10. Condiment packets from fast food places or restaurants
  11. Take-out menus
  12. Everything in the junk drawer (except what's worth putting back in and organizing)
  13. Papers and pictures stuck to the fridge
  14. "Junky," advertising, or broken magnets
  15. Extra whisks (no more than three in different sizes and materials)
  16. Used candles
  17. Salad tongs (you need one set, max)
  18. Napkins from the drive-through
  19. Expired spices (get new ones for maximum flavor; make a list)
  20. Expired canned goods and other pantry items
  21. Chipped mugs
  22. Chipped dishes
  23. Chipped anything
  24. Old rags and sponges
  25. Cleaners you never use (again, keep only what you always reach for)
  26. Bottle brushes (you can keep three if they are different sizes)
  27. Aprons in excess of whoever cooks in your household plus one for guests

Move these things somewhere else:

These kitchen items don't need to occupy valuable real estate in prime locations of your kitchen. Things that you use only a couple times a year should be stored in the hard-to-reach spots or, if you have the space, elsewhere in the house, like a cabinet in the garage.

Bonus: If you dig up and move these things out of the way now, you'll know exactly where they are when you need them on the big day.

  • Party platters
  • Cake/cupcake carrier
  • Pie pans
  • Pie weights
  • Specialty bakeware (the madeleine pan, the tart pan, the springform pan, etc.)
  • Trifle bowl
  • Sprinkles collection
  • Cupcake liner collection
  • Piping bags and tips
  • Candles
  • The apple peeler/corer
  • Specialty molds (a spoon mold, heart molds, bundt cake molds)
  • Cake stands
  • Gravy boat
  • Large roasting pan
  • Electric knife

Putting the time in now to get behind-the-scenes ready will not only pay off on the biggest cooking day of the season, but will also give you an efficient kitchen all year round.

Read this article at Apartment Therapy

Last chance to buy your Epic Pass — No more pass sales after November 19

Vermont’s Day in the Sun

On a [recent] crisp autumn day, Craig Hogan landed at the Burlington International Airport in northwestern Vermont. The leaves set the surrounding countryside ablaze with red, orange, and gold. Across Lake Champlain, he caught a glimpse of the Adirondacks — a postcard-worthy picture of a sun-kissed New England fantasy. The Chicago-based vice president of luxury for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC was captivated by the rich scenery and people, who greeted his big-city tendencies with warm, free-flowing hellos.

Hogan was met by a cadre of local real estate experts from Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty. Later, they met up with their Vermont counterparts at Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate in the fabled ski town of Stowe: broker McKee McDonald, and his mother, Peggy Smith, owner and broker. Both teams treated Hogan to a whirlwind tour of eight inspiring properties throughout their state, beginning first in Burlington at the lakeshore, then to Colchester and weaving up north to the island town of South Hero until they finally reached the mountains of Stowe. What followed was an eye-opening journey through Vermont’s most vibrant towns awakening to an influx of investment and new development.

[Burlington properties are not included in this blog entry]



When you think of the most luxurious and renowned ski destinations in the nation, Aspen and Deer Valley probably come to mind. If Stowe is also on your list, your awareness of the country’s skiing hotspots is impressive. This northern Vermont town is de rigeur, and increasingly attracting ski aficionados seeking premier mountain conditions. But, for real estate buyers looking to purchase homes in the area, the slopes are only the beginning.

“Stowe is unmatched on the East Coast in terms of the mix of luxury resorts in a quaint New England Village, world-class skiing, and year-round activities,” says McKee Macdonald of Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate. “While many people come just for the skiing, once they experience the other seasons, they realize how wonderful Stowe is year-round and often spend more time here in the summer than the winter. Stowe offers close proximity to Boston, New York, and Montreal and has direct flights from Washington, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, and other major metropolitan areas on the east coast. In addition, this ski capital of the east is located in the heart of the craft-beer industry in Vermont; and, within an hour’s ride of Stowe, you can taste many of the top beers in the world as well as many of the top rated cheeses in the country.”

3564 Weeks Hill Road Stowe, VT, United States $ 1,975,000

3564 Weeks Hill Road
Stowe, VT, United States
$ 1,975,000

Key to Stowe’s recent burst in popularity is the $500 million investment now-former owner AIG Insurance made in the transformation of Stowe Mountain Ski Operations, and its subsequent purchase by Vail Resorts in Colorado. “The long-term projections of Vail’s investment in the ski resort will continue to enhance Stowe’s reputation as a world-class destination,” adds Macdonald.

Real estate in Stowe reflects the predicted luxury expectations of high-net-worth individuals, with upscale ski-in, ski-out condos, brand-new construction, and homes that feature a combination of old and new with historic elements and modern features among the popular trends. We mined the market to find some of the most unique and valuable properties for sale in Stowe.

235 Lower Sanborn Road Stowe, VT $ 1,950,000

235 Lower Sanborn Road
Stowe, VT
$ 1,950,000

A coveted neighborhood, gorgeous surroundings, impeccable privacy, and great entertainment potential bring four-season enjoyment to this spectacular Stowe property. This wooded estate that sprawls over 26 acres of pristine Vermont land features the ultimate in rustic luxury, inside and out. Gather in front of the brick fireplace and gaze out onto an amazing expanse of verdant green. The gourmet kitchen shares the serene vistas while offering a professional space for crafting gourmet meals. With 4,884 square feet including five large bedrooms, a bunk room, and a recreation room, this Stowe property can easily accommodate the whole family and any visiting guest coming in for a ski getaway.

71 Sterling Ridge Road Stowe, VT $ 1,495,000

71 Sterling Ridge Road
Stowe, VT
$ 1,495,000

Classic farmhouse architecture meets mountain chic in this idyllic Stowe home, which features views of the Green Mountains and Stowe Mountain Resort ski runs. Elegant interiors and abundant entertainment spaces embrace large gatherings, while the country kitchen with its professional appliances including a double Viking range can accommodate even the most particular chef—and palate. With five bedrooms, six and one-half baths, and 10,147 square feet, this residence features a gracious space for everyone, including a sumptuous master suite that overlooks Mt. Mansfield and a charming wood-paneled bunk room.

Overlooking a bounty of trees just reaching their peak of colorful splendor come November, this private view estate is the quintessential mountain property. Flanked by extensive wood and stone, with large windows to take in hillside vistas, the home also features well-designed interiors with six bedrooms in 5,442 square feet. A gourmet kitchen, spacious new living room with fireplace, and magazine-ready bathrooms provide contemporary touches that complement the home’s distinctive architecture. A private setting with a babbling brook, swimming pool, tennis court, and screened-in porch make it hard to leave, while the easily accessible location puts all the best of Stowe within reach.

Can I help you find yours?
Call or write for more information; or, to arrange to see these properties
(802) 730-4343 / send me an eMail

To read this complete blog article with Burlington properties included,
visit the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Blog

Just Listed in Hyde Park, Vermont

Charming Cottage and Studio in Hyde Park Village

303 Fitch Hill Road

This charming Cottage with a separate Studio/Guest House on 12+ acres is the only residential property of its kind in the Village of Hyde Park. A large old mailbox marks the only driveway on Fitch Hill without the home in sight. As you turn off the paved road into the driveway and go 'round the bend, you'll drive out from under the tunelled trees as you arrive at the Cottage and Studio.

$ 429,000 ☆ See the details and the rest of the 35 interior and exterior photos here.

Can I help you find yours?
Call or write for more information; or, to arrange a visit
(802) 730-4343 / send me an eMail

Vermont's First Target Store Is Coming to South Burlington


Target has announced plans to open a store in South Burlington's University Mall in October 2018 — the company's first location in Vermont.

Target has announced plans to open a store in South Burlington's University Mall in October 2018 — the company's first location in Vermont.

For those of you who may have postponed visiting Vermont for a lack of a Target store, your time has come!

Target has announced plans to open a store in South Burlington's University Mall — the company's first location in Vermont.

The store is expected to open in October 2018 and will employ about 75 people, according to a press release issued by the company. Vermont is the final state in the union without a Target, which has stores in Plattsburgh, N.Y., and Keene, N.H.

Here's a map that shows you where it will be and how long it will take you to get there before or after skiing or shopping in Stowe.

Read the rest of the story at Seven Days