We hadn’t skied Jay Peak in over a decade, just seen the news – for big snow,
big glade skiing, big EB5 investments including an immense waterpark and three
new slopeside hotels, and then a pretty big ski ponzi. So we decided to check
out the northern Vermont snow stash of Jay. Arriving at Jay Peak, we were blown away by the
dominate Hotel Jay all light up like a luxe alpine hotel, with
the gigantic glass waterpark attached. From the lobby to the 5th floor suites,
Hotel Jay is posh, playful and perfectly poised to the
Jay's legendary tram and lifts.
What hasn’t changed at Jay Peak is the terrain, two mountain areas, Stateside and Tramside, offer classic New England trail skiing on trademark runs
Ullr, and loads of low angle glades plus grittier tree skiing mid mountain. The
signature lift is the Tram, Vermont’s only aerial tram. Jay Peak has 2,153’
vertical, tram laps get you the full feel of the Peak and panoramic views as far
as Lake Champlain, while
the Bonaventure quad gains you the majority of the mountain and sweeping views on the monster
trail Can Am all the way to Canada. The Green Mountain Flyer is the longest
detach quad in the Northeast – perhaps that’s why its nicknamed the Freezer – a
long chilly ride right into the wind. From atop the Flyer, you access a few classic runs
JFK, Green Mountain Boys, Goat, plus bounteous glades to the west. While Jay’s
mid-mountain has some pitch to it, the lower third rolls out to mellow terrain,
either beautiful well-spaced glades or groomed contemplative boulevards.
Jay Peak certainly gets a lot of snow, often in what they call the Jay Cloud,
given its a northernmost location cross wind from Champlain and New York's
practically in Canada, and amid a strong contingent of Canadian skiers. Jay has
an international feel with trails like Kitzbuhel, UN, Montrealer and Jet, and a unique vibe
– down to earth liftees, punny signage, modern hotels at the base, even a Miso
Hungry noodle café out of a vintage Tram.
After gliding through Jay’s snow ghosted trees or carving groomers, you can ski
right to your hotel - three new hotels grace Jay’s base in recent years. Hotel
Jay is the biggest and most posh, with complimentary valet, floor to ceiling mountain view
windows from your suite, and your lift ticket is your room key – cool RFID technology. The piece
de la resistance, lots of Quebec French spoken here, is the Hotel’s direct
access to the Pump House Waterpark – 60,000-sq-ft of pools, wet and wild slides, a surf
rider, a lazy river, and hot tubs.
Hotel Jay makes our Top Ski Hotels in the East list!
Kids will love Jay Peak's awesome aqua park so much they might not want to ski,
I suppose you could dangle swimming as the carrot for après ski. Parents can
partake in surfing, La Luge water slide (cross your legs, arms and pray for your
flume and flip to be over), or soak in a hot tub then sip a beverage
overlooking the entire park from The Drink Bar (don't worry there are lifeguards
on duty to watch the kids).
Après ski at Jay Peak, you can dine on wood fired pizza or Vermont cheddar
burgers at Hotel Jay’s Foundry – with nice views of the mountain, plus burgers,
and local fare. Or you can walk to Tram Haus - another alpine themed hotel next
to the Tram, with the legendary Alice’s Table restaurant and Tower Bar popular
for après ski with slope views. The third and most affordable lodging, beside
plentiful condos, is Stateside Hotel at the base of the Jet Triple and
Bonaventure quad chairs, this is the most affordable lodging option where the
locals' bar Bullwheel is anchored.
Jay has an authentic vibe, an earthy even sarcastic sense of humor from the
marketing department to the liftees. Seasoned Jay Peak skiers wear fanny
protectors as the lift attendants don’t sweep the frequent snow off the chairs,
instead they just smile and wave you on.
Jay Peak is currently in receivership, following an SCC investigation
for misuse of EB5 funds here and at sister resort Burke
Mountain by owners Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros, a veritable ski ponzi scheme was unearthed with
millions of funds unallocated. At jay, its business as usual for skiers and snowboarders
however, with the bonus of new hotels, water and ice parks, and the classic ski
mountain with amazing Vermont view to Lake Champlain and Canada.
Go ski Jay Peak this winter, they get tons of snow and offer great ski and stay