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“Mismanaged Mountain with unrealized potential”

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Holiday Inn Club Vacations Mount Ascutney Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Brownsville
A TripAdvisor Member
“Mismanaged Mountain with unrealized potential”
Reviewed March 8, 2006

We opted to try the midweek $80/person/night which inc. lift tix. Great deal, right? Sorta.. you get what you pay for.

In hindsight, many things about Ascutney are, in a word, disappointing. The infrastructure is all there: slopeside condos, pool/gym, snowmaking capabilities, high speed lift... yet, overall it seems mismanaged.

The mountain itself has real potential. The grooming was adequate for the trails they had open and to be fair the snow reports reflected the actual snow conditions available at the mountain. Yet, despite 5-20F temps, no snowmaking to attempts to increase the base. We were able to use the higher speed quad, when enough people on the mountain warranted it to be open. Not enough natural snow to open many of the advanced trails (would have been interesting). Vt skiing means a fair share of ice/hard-pack. Yet, what was open was very well-groomed corduroy (Kudos to the groomers!). Only the Otter Slide was, in fact, an icy slide.

Lift operators weren't very friendly/welcoming (in fact, they looked aggravated to be working - also did not build up the offramps when skied off - as well as allowing the chair to bang into those being seated - minor points, i know, but somehow other mountains know to do this.)

The condos look great from the outside; but, inside the cheapest furnishings one could find. Chairs constantly broke as pulling out from the table, frig had improper seal, beds somewhat uncomfortable, toilet clogged twice, pullout bed to sofa didn't work. So it's cheap. Housecleaning (hc) is also a minimal effort. However, when hc showed up, I asked for floors to be vacuumed, new towels, etc and I was readily accomodated. But should I really have to ask?

Dinner at the main hotel's tavern was mediocre - nothing memorable.

As others have commented the tubing hill is tiny, the pool is not fantastic as they will have problem with a roof that appears leaky (tarps on ceiling) and the surrounding town although quaint does not offer much in the way of night-life.

It seems like a vicious circle, the mgt. doesn't have money to throw into updating or reappointing their condos with better furnishings, so no one shows up (lift lines were short) No paying customers means no money. Yet, I guess the plan is to throw up more condos and try to generate cash. But without the snowmaking or mother nature's help, the biggest draw - the mountain itself - will remain relatively unpopulated. Also, I imagine there are few return visitors with many other choice areas nearby. The mgt's inattention to services it can easily provide (lift attendants attitude, housecleaning, snowmaking) may be Ascutney's downfall; and if nothing changes they will be operating on a shoestring budget for some time to come.

Was it worth $80/person/night? - barely. I would have been highly irritated if we paid much more. I chalk it up to a lesson learned. I'll probably never ski Ascutney again unless there has been tons of natural snow, and would not stay at their condos again despite the convenience of ski in-ski out. It's a diamond in the rough - yet I don't feel the current management will be able to turn it around without a fundamental attitude change.

BTW: Just for kicks, we looked at a model floor plan for future condos they were selling. Nice layout, but same cheap furniture. I'd really have reservations due to the service quality reflected in the rest of the resort. With this quality of service, what would your maintenance fees actually pay for?

  • Stayed February 2006
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4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (80)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 3, 2006

I have stayed at th AMR last year and had a terrible time. At a friend of mines presistance I took another trip with my family and friend expecting the same dirty, unhappy, overall yucky experience. I was pleasantly suprised! They had re-done the entire resort. Someone told me that they had sunk over 2.5 million since Oct. 05. I don't know if that is true but it was certianly better. The front desk area and restaurant were much more charming and the food was great with pleasant entertainment! I asked about the chef we had experienced last year and they said they had renovated much of their staff including the terribly mean large blonde girl at the fitness center desk. The new chef was a asian culinary expert. Although some of the staff was still alittle unpleasant.
The fitness center still has the same early hours of closing but it has been completely renovated with some new equiptment and a beautiful spa; beware massage prices are very high you might be better of trying to find a local massuse.
I spoke to the new fitness center manager and he said they were working on new family programs and special events for families. The pool was a wonderful 88 degrees while the hot tub was a steaming 104 degrees. The hot tub is still the above ground type but definately gets the job done and is much much cleaner.
As for the sking, I was alright. It was hard to judge this year as it seems the whether has not been a skiers best friend this year so it was mainly the snowmakers product we skied on. I would definately say that there a few beginner trails out there and some of the other trails were a tad icy, but nothing like last year. All of the trails were well groomed and staffed. I had my son attend a class with a ski instuctor and he was obviously well informed and highly skilled. My son loved the instruction class!
Although there are still a few staff quirks, AMR has definately improved. It was really a wonderful vacation and was still reasonably priced.It seems they are moving up. My son wants to go again before the end of the season. It's surely worth a second look.

  • Stayed January 2006
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Helpful?
10 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2006

We drove up to Ascutney from Boston for a two night stay. We were pleased at the price of $129 per night but soon realised that you get what you pay for. The room was fine, but the staff were so joyless. There were no smiles, and in all cases where there was an option of saying 'Yes' or 'No', the latter won hands down. With only about 8 people in the dining room, the chef refused to make a plain omlette (omlette of the day had fillings we didn't like). The staff didn't seem to be informed about things and no one seemed to care about customer service. Strangely when we drove 8 miles for dinner, the service there was equally sullen and unfriendly. Is it a Brownsville area thing?? It's back to Mount Snow for us next time.

  • Stayed January 2006
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Helpful?
2 Thank TouristDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2005

Ascuteny is my favorite place to vacation. i have been going there for
many many years. i have never ever had a problem with the staff. they
have allways been more than helpful with my family and me. they always
come help as soon as we call down to the desk. they managed to keep our
room clean even with about 20 people including 4 little kids. we have a
large group of people that go in all different age ranges. everyone
always has a good time. we stay and ski for four days. the skiing is good.
it is a little challenging if you
are not a great skier but i have been able to do it fine since i was 6
or 7 as do most people. the sledding hill is a blast you go flying down the hill and over a little ice skating pond so
even when the hill is done you still go for a long time. it is a blast.
there are many activities to do there and the movies are always fun. my
family and i love the resteraunt. we love ascutney so much we also go
there in the summer. the place is very family oriented. there are
different activities to do everynight. i am now 16 and still enjoy it while my
little 3 and 6 year old cousins have a blast. also my parents and aunts
and uncles love it there too. i like it because it
isnt huge like okemo and is more for the family. i highly recomend that
everyone goes here. it had created many great memories for my family.
Ascutney is great for families and children of all ages.

  • Stayed December 2004
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Helpful?
10 Thank kelseyrg89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ramsey, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2005

I will never return to Ascutney Mountain again. It seems each year, the conditions and the staff get worse and worse. This past ski season was a fiasco - the quad did not open until mid January, the lift attendants did not speak English, the conditions on the mountain were some of the worse I've ever seen - no evidence of grooming or snowmaking for that matter, lots of ice and bare spots. The base lodge looks extremely unkept, always seems to have dirty equipment in it and not only is the food horrible, but some of the most overpriced ski lodge food in the area. The hotel rooms are a joke - no thermostats and unbearably hot, no remotes for TVs and extremely thin walls. And it does not help that each year, they seem to rely more on foreign workers who don't speak English and can't help you with anything or hire some of the rudest people I've ever encountered in New England - especially the hotel desk clerk and the mountain manager. I'll spend the extra money and go the extra miles and deal with Okemo or Killington. Finally, I appreciate their prices after trying to ski several seasons at Ascutney.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank sio07446
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 27, 2005

I just returned from staying at Ascutney (Feb 2005)

Based on their website, I thought this was a great place for me and my son, who is 13 years old and a beginner/intermediate skier.

Once getting there, I was impressed with layout of lodging and thought this was going to be great.

I chose this place based on a few factors.

1) Mountainside lodging
2) Their ski map showed green trails from top of mountain to the bottom.
2) Indoor swimming pool & Fitness center
3) Tubing Hill

My review of the 4 points:

1) Upon arriving, I felt the place is very nicely layed out, with a very nice looking lodge at the base of the mountain. (I was excited) The first thing I noticed was no lines at all for the lifts, actually very few people skiing. Initially I was thrilled to see, but hindsight, it should of been a warning. We arrived around 11:00 am and could not check into room until 5:00 pm. The rooms were extremely hot, with no heat control except opening a window. The room had a TV with no remote.


2) We went and rented ski's & boots and when attempted to buy half day lift tickets at 11:45 am, was told rudely, had to wait till 12:15 PM, I went back at 12:10, the kid looked at me and then the clock, then said "12:15".

The people at the rental placw was very pleasent and very accomadating in getting the right equipment for me and my son.

Once on the slopes, we took the chairlift which goes up 1/4 of the mountain. Both me and my son enjoyed it but it was a little icy.

We then took the lift that goes to the top, but got off at a halfway point to try that. We took the green trail and fould it extremely icy. In addition, there was one section that was clearly a "blue" section connecting the green trial we were on and the one we needed to get to. This was really icy and my son was freaking out. We got down, but my son at that point did not want to go up there again.

I went up the mountain to the top by myself to check out the green tail from the top. This trail was complete ice and I found it extremely unpleasent and knew there was no way my son would enjoy. Also, again I found at points, blue sections connecting the greens.

The rest of the day we only skiied on the 1/4 hill, because the rest of the mountain was all ice.

Even though they claim to have 95% snowmaking abilities, not once did I see any snowmaking going on. It was very clear also they did not groom the hills to help break up the ice.

3) After skiing, we rested in our room. At 6:30, we traveled 20 minutes to a nice Steak and Seafood resturant. Upon returning at 8:30, we inquired about the indoor swimming pool. We were told, sorry pool closes at 8:00 pm. I told them, that I never heard of a vacation lodge with a pool closing so early. I told her I was really hoping to use jacuzzi before bed. The girl at front desk said, "you don't expect us to keep the pool open late just for a few guest that might want it, do you?" in which I replied "Yes I Do." The following day, we went to the pool. Pool was OK, they had one jacuzzi, which was a 5 person, above ground. which is crowded with 4 people, especially if you do not know them. The locker room was very dirty and showers were disgusting.

4) Tubing hill. I asked the front desk were the tubing section was, which I was directed to slope side of the lodge where there was this very small hill with tubes at the bottom. When I say small, i mean the local hill at my sons school was bigger. This hill took 10 seconds to walk up. All the resorts I have gone too that offer tubing usually have a rope tow and hill is about 1000 feet long, not 20 feet (if that).

Other dissapointment: They claim to offer movies each day in their "theater" These were moving already released out on video and they charged $4.00 per person to enter. The brerakfast buffet was nothing special. When I requested toast or bread for toasting, I was told "what is on the buffet table is all they offer" The Begals were clearly a few days old.

The following day, we turned in our lift tickets and went into town and asked a few locals about skiing. They cringed when I told them I was at ascutney, then corrected me by saying you mean icescutney. They directed us to Okemo mountain, about 30 minutes away.

Wow, what a difference. 1 day skiing at Okemo, made up for the horrible stay at Askutney.

Askutney is Clearly a intermediate to advance skiing hill, and not for the beginner skiier.

This is a place I would never recommend or would I ever return to. I give alot of credit to their website designer, as they sure fooled me.

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 6, 2005

A descent place with good food; however, lots of deferred maintence. The place looks shabby in places. It is obvious that the condos were cheaply constructed. With these issues aside it is a low key family friendly mountain. Hopefully, they will put some money into taking care of all the little problems.

Helpful?
12 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Club Vacations Mount Ascutney Resort

Property: Holiday Inn Club Vacations Mount Ascutney Resort
Address: 485 Hotel Road, Brownsville, VT 05037
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Vermont > Brownsville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Brownsville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Club Vacations Mount Ascutney Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This vibrant resort is tucked away in the rolling New England countryside away from the bustle of daily life making it the perfect spot to truly get away from it all. Ascutney Mountain Resort is a year-round indoor and outdoor recreational playground for nature lovers and adventurers alike. Whether hitting the areas ski slopes, touring historic covered bridges, enjoying one of the nearby golf courses, or simply gazing upon the magnificent palette of crimson and gold of autumn in New England, you'll find activities for every taste. In winter we are located in the heart of more than 150 acres of groomed slopes and trails. Visitors will enjoy alpine and cross-country skiing, as well as snowboarding and snow tubing on a variety of trails offering more than 1,530 feet of vertical drop and 32 kilometers of freshly groomed cross-country trails. The resort also offers a learning center and ski camps to help skiers of all skill levels. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Club Vacations Ascutney Mountain Hotel Brownsville
Holiday Inn Brownsville
Brownsville Holiday Inn

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