Ski Like a Local

Ok, this isn’t me skiing, but, it was the scene here in Stowe just 5 months ago (3/18/17 to be exact)!

I know, it is still summer and trust me, we aren’t wishing this wonderful summer here in Stowe away anytime soon.  However, we wanted to pass along this bit of news regarding what we anticipate to be valuable information for our ski and snowboard guests.

As you may have heard, Vail Resorts purchased the Stowe Mountain Resort this summer.  While there are expected to be some positive operational changes (traffic and parking, no. 1) with that transfer of ownership, everything we have heard, and read in the paper, indicates that the experience on the mountain will be even better than ever this coming 2017/2018 winter season.

One significant change and one that we hope gets the attention of our skiing/riding guests is the Epic Pass.  As many may already know, the Vail Resort model seems focused on selling passes versus daily lift tickets.  And as you investigate this difference further you will note that the skiing/riding experience at Stowe has new way to have a more valuable ski/ride experience through the Epic Pass.

The most popular Epic Pass provides the pass holder an amazing option for Unlimited Access to Stowe, several resorts west of the Mississippi as well as access, with some restrictions, to several exclusive Resorts in Europe within the coming ski season 2017/2018.  This standard Epic Pass is listed at $849 (now through Sept. 4, when we understand it is expected to increase in price).  The typical walk up rate last year at Stowe Mountain Resort was $122.  While there were certainly some deals to be had and we did have access to some of those deals and pass along the savings from the Resort to you, the point is with the new price of the Epic Pass at $849 you would pay for the pass with the $122 walk up rate in less than 7 days of skiing/riding, either here OR a combination of here AND out west!

And, the beauty of this pass, especially for those within driving range of Stowe or even fly/drive you can “Ski Like a Local” here in Stowe.

How?  Well, say you planned your escape to Stowe, and ok, New England weather becomes, well, New England weather. You find yourself on the mountain and the conditions are as we say, not exactly pristine.  Well, if you had plunked down the walk up rate (or even a discounted rate) you may have felt the need to “tough it out” and ski/ride through that weather.  With this pass you can do as the locals, try a few runs, say, ok this isn’t my cup of tea, count it as a ski day, and head for early après ski happenings in town and not feel the loss as you would before; just like a local.  All knowing you can come back and ski it again as you have paid for unlimited lifts this season through that pass.

As a “local” ourselves (a transplanted local, for sure) we love the pass idea as it allows us to get as many runs in as possible between check out and check in on select weekdays and the occasional Sunday!  We, as you may be able to see here, are very excited to welcome our new neighbor to Stowe with their Epic Pass.  Give us a call and let us help you coordinate a unique experience here in Stowe, Vermont.

See you outside,

George

Insert yourself in this scene!

All Dressed in White

All Dressed in White

Have you experienced winter in Stowe?  If you have, you understand the wonderful transformation of the Stowe Area and Mt. Mansfield from our summer playground to the most scenic winter wonderland.  While of course Stowe is well known as the ski capital of the East, there is so much more to experience here in the winter for those who may not be as enamored with strapping a couple of fiberglass boards or a single snowboard onto your feet and gliding down the mountain, testing the laws of gravity and feeling that rush of sheer joy of being outside.

And while we do happily and graciously host many skiers and snowboarders each winter we actually have just as many guests who come here at this time of the celestial calendar for the sheer beauty of our winter scenery or to perhaps experience this winter landscape in other ways; snowshoeing, cross country skiing, dog sledding, outdoor ice skating, snowmobiling and not just limit their options to downhill skiing or riding.  And then many may just be looking for a peaceful retreat with a book, glass of wine or mug of hot cocoa, next to the fireplace in our common areas, or your personal fireplace in your guest room, all the while watching the snow fly beyond the windows.  Can’t you just picture that?

We love Vermont for so many reasons, but, certainly the opportunity to experience each of our distinct and memorable four seasons is a huge part of why we think we have such a special place here to share with our guests.  We look forward to sharing our “backyard” of Stowe, Vermont with all who, for any length of time, look to call our home their home away from home.

See you outside,

George and Mary Anne

Friends Returning

Of the many “perks” that we feel come with this “job” as Innkeepers, certainly, one of the most rewarding is the opportunity to welcome back friends from one or many more previous stays.  This past weekend we were so very fortunate to have a full house/”no vacancy” sort of weekend with six of our nine guest rooms filled with returning friends.

We had Louise (Weezie) and Allen here (all the way from southern Vermont!) returning to the Brass Lantern Inn to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.  These friends enjoy Vermont so much that they actually stay here and we are so richly rewarded to have this opportunity to host them again and again.  And we were so humbled that they felt that the Brass Lantern Inn was the “perfect place to be to celebrate our 40th anniversary!”  Thank you Weezie and Allen.

Bruce and Sheila have been coming to the Brass Lantern Inn for more years than we have even been the Innkeepers here.  They come at least once a year, typically for the winter activities of cross country and downhill skiing but have also come in the summer with bicycles in tow.  This past weekend, like all previous examples of their stays, they bring their guitar, beautiful musical voices and warm, infectious laughter.  This time they brought family with them taking over four of our nine guest rooms.  Thank you Bruce and Sheila.

Paul and Maria made their yearly trek from the Boston area.  We joked that they had to come north to great a break from the record snowfalls that the Boston and southern New England area experienced this year.  At least here they can do something with the snow other than just shoveling it out of the way.  Thank you Paul and Maria.

This past Friday, the main gathering room of the Brass Lantern Inn was filled with music and good times thanks to the Bruce and Sheila.  We sure wish we could have them here every weekend as it was such great way for all of our guests to get to know one another gathered around the fireplace, sharing Cabot cheddar cheese, wine or your favorite local micro brew.  Our music night was shared with Weezie and Allen, Anthony and Carol from Nashville, Tennessee, as well as  Susan from Toronto (and family of Bruce and Sheila).  I think we all made new friends this past weekend.

I miss my family back in Columbus, Ohio and our friends from our former lives in Baltimore, Maryland.  While that loss can be tempered by phone calls, social media, and the occasional off-season trips to see family and old friends, our lives are so full now with so many new friends through our current position in life here as Innkeepers of the Brass Lantern Inn.   We have also had the occasion to host family and friends which is even more special here in Vermont!

How can this role as an Innkeeper be classified as a job when we have the greatest opportunity to meet so many wonderful people?  Ok, when the printer breaks down during the busiest weekend of the winter or a heating valve sticks in the closed/off position on a night where it is 18 below, or the housekeeper quits on Valentine’s Day Saturday morning or any number of small issues like this you get a sense of why it might be considered a job.  But truly these are all trivial matters in the larger context of this wonderful experience.

And this is all before you realize you are in this wonderful corner of paradise called Stowe, Vermont!  Yes, we are so very thankful to be here and it is only through the support of our guests and friends, both new and returning that allow us this unique opportunity.  We never take that for granted and hope you see that in return from us through our service and warm welcome.  Thank you all!  

George

“Spring” is here, well, sort of…

What a winter it has been here in the north country of Vermont. And while the calendar says we are into day 3 of spring, the snow and the conditions for outdoor enthusiasts are probably the best they have been all winter. Truly!

All outdoor activities of skiing, riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, ok, you name your favorite winter activity, is still on here in the month of March (and most likely well into April) in Stowe, Vermont.

There are signs, however, that winter is losing some grip as our recent warm sunny days, cool crisp nights are also perfect for the true spring event in Vermont; Maple Sugaring. The sap is running now that we have the temperatures swinging from below freezing overnight and well into the 30’s and 40’s during the day. Have you ever tried “sugar on snow?” It is an amazing “culinary” experience and the whole experience of how those maple sugar farmers turn maple sap into maple syrup is well worth the trip to a local sugar house/shack to see for yourself.

And preparations for spring in Stowe and here at the Brass Lantern Inn are well underway. We plan to expand our wildflower meadow out back as the 8 pounds of flower seed mix has just arrived (now just waiting for the couple of feet of snow to melt…). Building Plans are being drawn up from retired architect, George, for a new deck off the dining room. We are looking forward to offering breakfast “al fresco” this summer with Mt. Mansfield as the perfect backdrop to that setting!

We hope you had a wonderful winter and if you haven’t had your fill of winter activities or perhaps you were too busy with life and just couldn’t fit us into your calendar this past season there is still time to enjoy it. The Stowe Mountain Resort is scheduled to be open for skiing and riding until April 20th. We know, great stuff, huh?

Mid-Winter Report from Stowe, Vermont

We have had quite the range of weather conditions here in Stowe so far this winter season. Starting out with several good dumps of snow in late November and early December, we were again skiing well before Thanksgiving 2013.

The season started out so promising and even with a few rainy weekends in late December, early January, our guests have certainly pulled a wonderful time out of each stay.

As one guest told us, “It’s never the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes.” We think that is a great motto to consider in northern Vermont, especially during the transition periods of each of our wonderful four seasons. With so many outdoor activities to choose from and some amazing scenery as your backdrop, and while we do everything we can to make your room a sanctuary, we recommend getting out and experiencing our unique location.

Downhill skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort has clearly benefited from the Mountain’s $8.5 million investment over the past two years in snowmaking equipment. We have experienced some wonderful ski days, everything from spring-like conditions to cover-all-exposed-skin-surfaces types of conditions and can report a great time was had by all with each trip to the mountain.

The Stowe Arena, our new, fully enclosed ice arena (that will also be used for “turf” sports in spring/summer) opened in December to rave reviews (locals and visitors). Hockey is huge here in northern Vermont and while you are sure to see lots of this activity in the new arena there are daily open ice skating sessions each day to allow our guests to get out on the ice.

With all that there is to do in Stowe, in any of our seasons, it’s important to also remember the benefits of Rest and Relaxation! Remember we do our best to provide that warm, inviting home away from home atmosphere in your guest room and our common areas. We understand if you just want to curl up in front of the fireplace and read a book, take a nap, and just relax. We get it!

Oh, and don’t forget to follow/Like us on the Brass Lantern Inn, Bed and Breakfast Facebook page as we keep you updated on the seasonal scenery and any last minute specials and packages.