2003 Number 19 Resort in the East: Windham Mountain, N.Y.


The Catskills aren't getting any taller, but last winter they witnessed the birth of a new mountain. Ski Windham, a compact but popular resort tucked into the range's northern hinterlands, decided to face the future-and the millions of snowboards it's riding on-by dropping its moniker of two decades in favor of the more democratic, more majestic and more year-round name: Windham Mountain. What hasn't changed are the attributes that lure legions of well-heeled skiers-er, visitors-from New York City and its environs: proximity (three hours from Manhattan), small scale, family programs and a general air of class. "Everyone who works at Windham has a smile on their face," says one reader. The terrain offers plenty down low to keep the youngest skiers and those who pay for their health care happy, while the upper reaches of the two-summit resort feature outstanding, varied avenues such as Upper and Lower Wolverine and Wheelchair. While the local dining scene is avirtual Ellis Island of ethnic fare-from fajitas and pasta to gyros and schnitzel-the town of Windhamisn't all that lively. And the weather can be cruel, requiring the talents of a grooming team as tightly choreographed as the Rockettes. "It's the East Coast, whatta ya want?" asks one respondent. But for a solid weekend of skiing-sorry, winter sports-Windham Mountain will do just fine. -Casey Seiler

WHAT'S NEW Expanded snowmaking reservoir (twice as big); conveyor lift on Wooly Bear novice hill; additional tubing lift.

A GOOD DEAL Throughout the season, Windham's website (skiwindham.com) offers deep last-minute discounts on getaway packages, two to three weeks out.

MEDALS SILVER Access, Family Programs.

HIGH/LOW RANK On-Mountain Food (35), Value (38), Terrain Parks (38);Terrain (53), Scenery (53), Lifts (55).

DON'T MISS Vines Bistro & Wine Bar, a newly opened showcase of vintages from New York and other regions (France, for instance) at the Windham Arms Hotel.

READER REMARKS (+) "Challenging for a relatively small mountain," "Excellent snowmaking and grooming." (-) "Too crowded on weekends," "One day is enough."