Stowe, Vt.: Rank 3 East, 1998

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Stowe, with arguably the finest fall-line skiing east of Denver, is charming, distinctive, unique. And apparently destined to stay that way. Plans for additional lodging at the mountain were quashed. Meanwhile the ski area's parent company, insurance giant AIG, is reluctant to fund capital improvements. Stowe Mountain Resort, a still-lovely dowager, appears stuck in its glorious past. "The place holds fond memories and still offers as great a day's skiing as anywhere," remarks one reader. Mt. Mansfield's legendary runs¿Nose Dive, National, Starr and Goat¿remain unspoiled, keeping Stowe a mecca for experts. Some of the world's best ski teachers work their magic here. Snow conditions are enhanced by excellent grooming and snowmaking, but as one reader observes, "Stowe can be plagued by extremely cold weather." Reader perception that "food in the lodge cafeteria is 20 years out of date" is offset by a wealth of award-winning inns, pubs and restaurants in the area. Like Stowe's hospitality, the New England village downtown is genuine. "Stowe feels like a ski area ought to," one reader praises.

What's New The Octagon Web Cafe, off the Four Runner Quad, has computer terminals and a cappuccino bar.
A Good Deal Demos at SKI's Gold Medal Center at Pinnacle Ski and Sports, located on Mountain Road.
Medals Gold Terrain, Challenge, Lodging, Dining, Après-Ski, Off-Hill Activities; Silver Family, Scenery.
High/Low Ranks Dining (7); Value, Access (54).
Don't Miss A stroll through Stowe village, including the Blacksmith's shop, followed by a cozy refreshment at The Whip.
Reader Remarks "Best all-around resort in the East. " "Hard to get to. Expensive for a family."