BONUS ROUND: SPECIAL RESORT STORY IDEAS
Jen Butson, email@example.com
Everyone's got a story. Ours just happen to be really darn interesting and often inspiring examples of innovation and Vermont ingenuity.BOLTON VALLEY RESORT
Profile: Allison Buttner, Bolton Valley Terrain Park Manager
Allison Buttner is one of the only—if not the only—woman terrain park managers in the East, and one of just a handful in the country. Allison, 25, has been skiing for more than 22 years. Born and raised in Killington, she grew up skiing Killington and Pico and went through the local schools. She began teaching skiing at Killington in 2001 and graduated high school in 2003. She spent her freshman year at Roger Williams in Rhode Island but then realized she needed to be near a ski resort and transferred to the University of Vermont. She has a degree in English with a minor in music. “During my second year at Bolton Valley, my boss was dedicated to teaching me everything he could,” said Buttner. “Over the years, I've been lucky enough to collaborate with people from Snow Park Technologies and Snowgrind; two professional terrain park building companies. They helped me understand how to create function and flow. I don't mind being the only girl in the room. Resort operations are known for being ‘the boys club’ and I fit right in. Women need to show that they are willing to get some sweat on their brow, get dirty and handle the stress associated with the job. Working hard and trying to overachieve everyday is the only way to gain respect from the guys. My advice to other girls is don't be afraid to try. Get out there and learn some skills.”
Teaching Kids to Ski and Ride in Their Own Backyard
Despite the fact that Vermonters have dozens of opportunities to ski or ride, many never learn. Twenty-eight years ago, Bolton Valley set out to change that. Today, its After School Program teaches more than 2,000 Vermont children to ski and ride each year. On Wednesday to Friday afternoons and evenings, Bolton transforms into an outdoor schoolhouse for kids. Because of its accessibility to Burlington, nearly 40 schools participate in the program as resort officials strive to make winter snowsports accessible to all. The program includes lift tickets, lessons and rentals each day and students can participate in one of the five-day programs that the resort offers. The cost is just $180 for the five days. To keep kids skiing or riding when their After School Program is over, Bolton provides discounted seasonal equipment leases to all who participate in the program as well. Kids today need ways to be active and healthy. What better way to encourage that than to be outdoors skiing and riding during the winter months with classmates and friends?
For its first mountain-run real estate venture, Burke needed a partner who understood what a special place the mountain is and shares the resort’s goal of reducing its impact on the planet while providing an outstanding experience for guests in summer and winter. It was a tall order. Then, straight out of central casting came JB Clancy of the respected Albert, Righter & Tittman Architecture firm in Boston. Not only does JB sit on the Board of Passive House Institute US, but he’s also a Burke Mountain Academy graduate. Did he learn to get the most out of every bit of energy used and an appreciation for the planet on the trails of Burke? Well, we can’t take responsibility for that, but you never know.
Olympic Gold Medalist Donna Weinbrecht joins Killington Resort this winter to teach women’s clinics and mogul clinics. Visit www.killington.com for more updates.
Magic’s secret is its people. Some folks think that Magic’s challenging, diamond-studded slopes are what make it one of Vermont’s best kept secrets. No doubt that’s part of the story. But, what keeps this legend alive is the passion and support of its most faithful customers. Many have become shareholders in the new Magic Partnership, nearing 300 investors who have contributed $3000 each. For many shareholders, this is an investment to keep Magic going and growing into the future. Still, Magic is not just about growing the list of shareholders; it also celebrates those who give in so many other ways. Community Volunteer Days are held each fall where Magic customers assist with trail grass cutting, glade clearing and other maintenance activity to prep for the new season. Still more have contributed this summer to a grassroots fund to re-paint the famed Red Chair, along with new padding and foot rests. There were 177 pledges received, each covering the cost of one of the 177 chairs on the lift. All fundraising was done solely by the Magic faithful through their own online campaign.
These people, and others, just ordinary Magic skiers, display the passion and community commitment that truly makes Magic, well, magical.
MOUNT SNOW RESORT
Mount Snow has an incredibly colorful history, thanks in large part to our founder: Walter Shoenknecht. Currently, Mount Snow is owned by Peak Resorts; a company known for its modern day innovation. That innovation continues today with the installation of America’s only high speed detachable six passenger bubble chair lift, dubbed the Bluebird Express. The installation of this technologically advanced lift once again puts Mount Snow at the forefront of advancing the ski industry into the next generation. The first time the resort took on this role was back in the sixties when Walt not only focused on the ski product by expanding terrain, installing new lifts and making snow; he also focused on the overall ski experience by offering an outdoor swimming pool, an indoor skating rink and a 350 foot geyser-turned-ski-hill called Fountain Mountain.
More recently, prior to the installation of the Bluebird Express, Mount Snow has led innovative snowmaking technology by flanking many of its major trails with more than 250 high output, low energy fan guns. These incredibly efficient machines not only enable Mount Snow to open earlier in the season with a higher quality product but have also saved hundreds of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel, previously needed for the standard air-to-water guns.
*This story can be expanded upon dramatically. The premise is “Mount Snow is Always Making History.”
OKEMO MOUNTAIN RESORT
Skiing is free at Okemo Mountain Resort. Too good to be true? No, it’s true! Every morning, the first hour is free at Okemo. The first 60 minutes of lift service is complimentary every day of the winter season so skiers and riders can sample the snow conditions before they purchase a lift ticket. Try-Before-You-Buy is valid midweek from 9 to 10 a.m. and on weekends and holidays from 8 to 9 a.m.
Use of Okemo’s lower mountain surface lifts is free all the time – every day, all season long. At Okemo’s Clock Tower base area, the F-10 Carpet is 400 feet long and accesses the Fairway trail. At Jackson Gore, the Stargazer Carpet and Orion’s Belt Carpet combine for an 800-foot ride to the top of Bright Star Basin.
Overnight guests who book a two-night, or more, midweek stay (Sunday through Thursday) at an Okemo Mountain Resort managed property (online at Okemo.com or by calling 800-78-OKEMO), will enjoy an afternoon of free skiing or riding on their arrival day.
Children 6 and younger ski free every day. A complimentary lift ticket, available at any ticket window, is required to access lifts. Learn more about Okemo’s great steals and deals.
SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH RESORT
Zip lining in winter offer an unbeatable thrill: Smugglers’ year-round ArborTrek canopy tour, the first of its kind in Vermont, celebrates its one year anniversary in December 2011. Participants on the 2.5 to 3-hour tour, located in a scenic valley near the Resort Village, ride more than 4,000 feet of cable on eight sections of zip line, cross a suspension bridge, and rappel from trees. Scenic tree platforms in a mature forest of hemlock, white birch and sugar maple yield stunning views of the resort, Mount Mansfield and the Green Mountains. In keeping with the resort’s commitment to environmental stewardship through nature-focused programs that combine learning and fun, canopy tour guides highlight local ecology and natural history.
Technology on the slopes: Children enrolled in Smugglers’ ski and snowboard school enjoy Flaik GPS use included in their all-day instruction experience. The GPS track the miles, vertical and trails that the child skis or rides each day and cumulatively, and offer end-of-day or at-home review via an easy online log-in to check out personal stats with family and friends. The GPS are also available for rental. Adults can download the Smugglers’ Notch app on their iPhones with GPS functionality to have a quick reference to resort information and similar tracking of their mountain movements.
Explore the Notch: The resort is just a few short miles down the mountain from rugged Smugglers’ Notch pass, which becomes a recreational playground in the winter when the road through the pass at the base of towering cliffs closes due to snow. Smugglers’ offers three fun and exciting guided opportunities for exploration of the Notch, the storied home to contrabanders during Prohibition times and earlier: an aerobic Winter Walking morning trek, evening snowmobile tours, and a moonlight snowshoe trek.
STOWE MOUNTAIN RESORT
Chillax KidSpa at the Spa and Wellness Center at Stowe Mountain Lodge
The Chillax KidSpa, part of the Spa and Wellness Center at Stowe Mountain Lodge, launched in December 2010 is dedicated to providing children of all ages with a unique spa experience in a safe and relaxing environment. The Chillax KidSpa was developed as a response to the increasing need for relaxation and stress reduction in children and teens.
The Chillax KidSpa offers services including relaxation sessions, mini massages, princess manicures and ice cream pedicures. The Chillax Session, the spa’s signature treatment, starts with four simple rules: you have to have fun, you have to giggle, you can’t kick our therapists when they massage your feet and you have to chillax. Children and teens are then led through a variety of breathing exercises along with chocolate facials and “whoopie pie” hand treatments.
The KidSpa at Stowe Mountain Lodge features four oversized bowl chairs, filled with blankets and pillows, each equipped with a personal massager. The space is designed to be bright and fun while promoting relaxation and allowing kids to stop, breathe and re-sensitize to their surroundings. Overlooking Spruce Peak plaza with floor-to-ceiling picture windows, the KidSpa is a quiet repose from the hectic lives children lead. Visit the Spa and Wellness Center for kid’s specific treatment menu and info.
STRATTON MOUNTAIN RESORT
Stratton Mountain has long been home to a new school ski school. The resort was the first to dedicate a full-fledged junior ski school, long-since inspiring generations of skiers and riders. The definition of snowsports schools has continuously evolved over the last five decades. Today, Stratton ski and snowboard instructors take a holistic approach to the discipline, bringing students beyond the groomers as well as employing unconventional means such as snowmobiles to access varied terrain, parks and tree runs. Stratton instruction equips its students to conquer the mountain on any day of the season, highlighting the relationship between the gear, the snow and physical anatomy. The resort stresses that knowing how to read the snow and adapt to the conditions is as fundamental to evolving as the arc of turning. An inspiring trend of note, the 2010-2011 season saw a 10% increase in adult lessons.
Sugarbush is proud to offer a unique program for people who want to start skiing and riding: The award-winning First Timer to Life Timer Program. This program immerses newcomers into skiing or riding with equipment, lift tickets, lessons and a free season pass to some of North America’s best terrain.
After gearing up, First Timers to Life Timers are led through a series of three lessons led by coaches certified by The Professional Ski Instructors of America. At the conclusion of the lessons, participants are awarded a Sugarbush All-Mountain Season Pass for the remainder of the 2011-2012 season.
The First Timer to Life Timer ($255) is open to skiers and riders ages 13 and older who have no prior experience with a snowsport. Sugarbush graduated more than 200 first timers through the program last season. To enroll in the “First Timer to Life Timer” program call 888-651-4827 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRAPP FAMILY LODGE
Trapp Family Lodge Brewery: More than a decade ago Johannes von Trapp started thinking about brewing his own beer, for guests of the resort. His dream was to produce an American version of the tasty Lager he has enjoyed over the years on his trips to the countryside near his ancestral Austrian home.
Johannes' dream became reality in the Spring of 2010, with the opening of the Trapp Family Brewery. The modest facility (60,000 or so gallons a year) is located in the lower level of the DeliBakery (formerly the Austrian Tea Room), where draughts of these heavenly concoctions will be available year round.
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