Rochelle Lash, Postmedia News | 26/11/13 1:26 PM ET
With Porter Airlines’ service beginning Dec. 15 for twice-weekly flights from Toronto to Burlington, Vermont, Ontario snow sports fans have many new options for skiing and snowboarding at top resorts such as Stowe. During February and March, Porter will expand to four flights weekly.
Vermont’s snow-sports areas have precious powder days, major steeps and jumps and snow-bunny fun. But destinations such as Stowe have total tourism cred off-mountain, too. Visitors can get stoked for artisan-inspired gourmet cuisine, New England warmth and rockin’ après-sports with dozens of local brews like Long Trail and maple martinis gently stirred with Vermont Spirits craft vodka.
On-mountain, snowmaking and snowboarding are trending at Stowe Mountain Resort, the most sophisticated vacation development in northeastern U.S.A., during any season.
Winter rules for the 20% of Stowe’s visitors who come from Canada during snow season when they can make first tracks on the woodsy Goat trail or master a bump run on the daunting National. Novices also have a new option — an extra-long, covered Magic Carpet surface lift on mellow Spruce Peak. Stowe also has invested $8-million recently in snowmaking — that’s almost 10 times more than any other New England resort — to create a high-efficiency, eco-conscious system that makes more white stuff while using less energy.
Park sharks will love the rails and boxes of the new Jib Nation on Lower North Slope, plus and the expanded freestyle features on Lower Standard, in addition to the biggest jumps on Tyro. Home of Burton Snowboards, Stowe has a Burton High Performance Demo Centre and a full complement of Burton programs.
Deals abound. You can sharpen your game with Stowe for Starters which includes a lift ticket and two 90-minute snow-school sessions — that’s almost all-day learning, for $162 U.S. p.p. The swish Stowe Mountain Lodge has handsome condos, a heated outdoor swimming pool, fine dining and a lavish spa. The Ski and Stay Package starts at $361 U.S. per day, for two people in a studio, or $557 for four in a one-bedroom suite.
When you unbuckle, Stowe’s essential experience includes contemporary American cuisine at Solstice in the Stowe Mountain Lodge, a visit to the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum and an evening at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center. Considering that Stowe is a vintage village with about 5,000 permanent residents, the line-up is jaw-dropping and includes Warren Miller’s dazzling downhill film, Ticket to Ride, capturing incredible snow thrills in Kazakhstan and Iceland, Dec. 29 and the Rudolf Nureyev State Ballet Theatre of Russia staging The Sleeping Beauty, Feb. 1.
IF YOU GO
Vermont Ski Areas Association: 802-223-2439, skivermont.com; info on approximately 20 Alpine and 30 Nordic areas.