How does a private ski resort in the beautiful Vermont mountains sound? Picture
yourself skiing satiny powder with friends, enjoying fireside lunch and après ski in a
grand Clubhouse. The valet stores your skis and fetches your car, this concierge
confirms your Spa. Membership has its
privileges, and private powder on 45 ski trails at this 1,400-acre
playground in southern Vermont.
The Hermitage Club is The Yellowstone Club of the East, offering private powder
and cushy lifts to its fortunate closed community. Its pay to play, initial
membership is $75,000, and the play here is engaging and exclusive - from the
sizeable 195-acre ski area, to private rock concerts at the magnificent $30 mill Clubhouse
complete with a Spa, and a movie theatre, bowling alley, and game room for the kids.
If you think Hermitage Club sounds like ski snobbery, you might be surprised.
The member are more active than arrogant, they're
carving up corduroy or floating on fluffy untracked powder first thing in the
morning five lifts. You can keep your ski boots on for the grand buffet lunch served by the massive stone fireplace
in the Clubhouse - the largest timber frame lodge east of the Mississippi. Afternoon brings
snowshoeing, tubing, ice-skating, Clubhouse Spa treatments and après ski at the slope
view bar, kids activities in their own zone downstairs, followed by casually
dinners with entertainment. Far from stodgy, members here are social and stoked
for adventure, and the Club caters with snowmobiling on Haystack after the lifts
close, taking the snow cat “Catillac” up to the summit Cabin for
cocktails at 3,200’, or skinning up the mountain for a moonlight ski down.
Hermitage Club founder, Jim Barnes, invites top 70’s and 80’s bands to perform live
concerts in the Clubhouse (Cheap Trick, Hall & Oates, Kenny Logins, America) and
offers cat skiing and snowmobiling to members on Mondays when the lifts aren’t
running. Already 500 members have joined the Hermitage Club since its opening,
and The Club could reach its 1,500 member goal within the next year or two
according to Rees Pinney, VP Membership Development.
The 1964 Haystack ski area, next door to Mount Snow, struggled for years but now
thrives as a playground for wealthy ski families looking to escape from lift
lines and crowded base lodges, preferring to ski and socialize with a select
community that share an outdoor passion that's just more polished. The Vermont
scenery is gorgeous at the private club on Haystack Mountain, the mood is fun
and family oriented, from the familiar instructors that know the kids, to the endless activities - ice
skating, snow tubing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, yoga and exercise classes.
The Hermitage Hotel will offer luxury ownership units
for members to purchase, next to the grand Clubhouse. The business model of the Hermitage
Club is brilliant, and the benefits for active families that can afford it is
everything you love about skiing, with none of the hassle. You arrive and yours
skis, slopes, meals and lodging are prepped to perfection - the satiny snow
awaits. Next season members will be whisked up the mountain on a brand new
six-passenger heated-seat bubble-covered chairlift, a $7 million high-speed lift
like Okemo’s – for a small fraction of the skiers. There’s a heli-pad, and an airport, even a jet share program
for members from the City.
Jim Barnes fell in love with the place and his wife of 19 years during their
first "plutonic" snowmobiling date when they had lunch at the Hermitage Inn, the
country inn where guests, members and non-members alike, can stay and dine at
the base of the now private resort club.
“We are not a resort, we are a Club. We don’t’ want you to have a great day
here, we want you to have a great life," said VP of Membership Pinney. If you
have the opportunity to visit the Hermitage Club, you may fall in love with the
powder skiing privileges, the picture perfect setting, the service and the sense
Hermitage Club at Haystack Mountain Stats
Summit Elevation: 3,200′
Vertical Drop: 1,400′
Skiable Acres: 194
Glades: 28 acres
Number of Trails: 45
Number of Lifts: 5
Snowmaking: 90% coverage
Members-only skiing & riding Friday-Sunday & Holiday Weeks