Stowe was the next stop up on my journey. It is one of the more (if not the most) popular ski towns in the east. Not only for its ski resort (Mt. Mansfield is the highest peak in Vermont), but for the actual town of Stowe itself which is and has always been a major draw. It definitely is the quintessential New England ski town and I can see why it attracts people from all over the world.
I was lucky enough to tour the area on a day with cloudless blue skies and 70 degree temperatures where big, happy, ear to ear grins were prevalent everywhere! Not unlike many of the ski areas in the Rocky Mountain West, six long months of winter is common there and can take its toll on even the most dedicated of skiers. A day in mid-April like this one had just about everyone outside and smiling. Moms with jogging strollers, bikers, hikers on the Stowe Recreation Path, and skiers heading uphill (6 miles) to the Stowe Mountain Resort for some late season skiing … all having a good time.
As far as the local economy, I learned from a couple of local residents that Stowe had an excellent season (in the tourist industry) which I am sure had something to do with the 374” of snow. On the way out, I read this article … Businesses wary, but no cliff in sight which provided some additional insight into their current state of affairs.
All in all, if you are looking for more of an equal balance between great skiing at your doorstep (in the east) and a great ski town (not just a ski area) … Stowe may be the way to go. Tomorrow … on to the Mad River Valley.