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Bad economy? Poor winters? Jay doesn’t care. It’s spending freely and booking all-time-high visitor numbers. All you need to know: A federal program gives wealthy foreign- national families green cards in exchange for big investments in low-employment areas. Now Jay, former hippie powder enclave, has world-class amenities, booming year-round business, and a sudden appearance in the East top 10. It’s still a sweet spot for hardcore skiing: No. 1 for Snow, No. 2 for both Terrain Variety and Challenge. “If you like trees, go to Jay,” says a reader. Northernmost Vermont may be great for natural snow, but it’s still remote (No. 31 for Access). And naturally some purists bemoan the sudden crowds and gentrification. Tey can go to Burke for now, but Jay just bought that too.
Aprés Spot >> The Tower Bar in the Tram Haus Lodge had the feel of a classic ski bar the moment it opened in 2010.
Family Experience >> Even hard-skiing Jay families admit the massive indoor Pump House water park is ridiculously fun.
What’s New >> Heavy investment continues—$32 million this year for a new learning center and fixed-grip quad at Stateside, an additional parking deck, and a tram-top summit café.