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?
- 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
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