What’s the worst part of skiing? Waiting in lift lines and skiing runs where all the powder has been skidded off by too many skiers and the dreaded snowboarders. Last year we joined The Hermitage Club located at Haystack Mountain in southern Vermont, it’s the only private ski club on the East Coast. Think Yellowstone Club, but smaller, and within driving distance. They boast almost 100% snowmaking capabilities and promise no lift lines and first tracks at 3:00pm. Their tag line is “No Lift Lines, Really”. They don’t lie.
I was skeptical. I have skied my entire life and have resigned myself to lift lines, especially in Vermont, unless I hire a private instructor to skirt them. Yes, that’s a thing, it’s a trick I learned later in life. After skiing for a few months at the Hermitage Club I can tell you that I never stood in a line, except at the bar. This year they’ve just added a heated bubble chair (the mere invention of such a thing proves that God is real) so in addition to not waiting in lines, I won’t even be cold on the ride up.
What it’s like to ski at The Hermitage Club:
This video shows a day in the life of kids skiing at The Hermitage Club -it stars Keaton and Wilson-with cameo by mom. I wrote the script so there are plenty of shots of me enjoying “adult beverages”.
What You Need to Know About The Hermitage Club:
It is members only – hence no lift lines. But if you have a friend who’s a member you can ski there (hint).
The resort offers a total of 1,400 total acres over 45 runs. The mountain is 3,200 feet at peak elevation.
You can keep your snowmobile at the club, just text them and it will be gassed up and ready for you. Once the lifts close, the entire mountain is open for members to zoom around. Riding UP the runs as the sun sets is a ridiculous amount of fun.
300 s’mores made every weekend. The log cabin at the top of Barnstormer lift is always staffed with someone to make waffles, pour a drink and ensure the fire is roaring. I reviewed both the fire and the cocktails with club owner Jim Barnes.
The Clubhouse is the largest post and beam structure east of the Mississippi. In addition to gourmet restaurants and lockers, the Clubhouse has a private movie theatre (with 800 movies), game room, bowling, fitness area, indoor pool and world class spa. Oh yeah, and they store your skis too. Just leave them in the rack at the end of the day and they magically reappear the next morning for you.
Kids can tube and ice skate at the nearby Hermitage Inn, without parental help. In the video you can see me enjoying some apres ski time while the boys race down the hill on tubes. There is plenty of staff to help your children lace up their skates and make sure they are safe while tubing. They also have mini-snowmobiles for the four foot set.
Private Concerts at Hermitage Club
Perhaps my favorite part of being a member at The Hermitage Club is owner Jim Barnes’ taste in music. He has brought in some of my favorite bands, Hall and Oates, America, Train, and Counting Crows to name a few, for intimate shows in the clubhouse. I will not lie, I totally geeked out over Hall and Oates. I showed up with this shirt, I didn’t buy it there.
You can even get to the club by private plane, through a partnership they have with Hopscotch Air, We are still rolling in the SUV but maybe I’ll get to review the private plane options this winter. Trust me, you’ll be the first to know.
Membership at The Hermitage Club:
Membership works like most other private clubs. There are regular membership options and equity options. They even offer one year “Try it Before You Buy It” options. If you are interested in learning more, send me a note and I’d be happy to connect you with someone. Memberships start at $ 75,000 with annual dues of $ 6,500. Once all the memberships are sold, and they expect that to be this year, prospective members will be put on a wait list.
Learn more about The Hermitage Club on their website.