A day on the slopes with your family always sounds fun … until you feel like you've spent your entire ski weekend waiting in lift lines, looking for parking, and dodging thousands of stumbling skiers on a mountain that's often iced over a few hours in. Turns out there's actually an easy way to avoid all the annoying stuff: A private mountain. Seriously.
The Hermitage Club in Deerfield Valley, Vermont, offers limited memberships that will give you access to the members-only Haystack Mountain, a blissfully uncrowded ski resort that promises you'll never have to wait in a lift line. It also boasts that its members can take dozens of runs on "first tracks" conditions (ski lingo for fresh snow) all day long thanks to its nearly 100 percent snowmaking coverage. And membership comes with tons of perks beyond skiing: Members get to hang at a 90,000-square-foot clubhouse with a gazillion amenities including multiple restaurants, a bar, gym, spa, indoor pool, movie theater, and even a daycare facility. And the 1,400-acre enclave has plenty of activities beyond skiing – from golf to hiking to concerts (In fact, Huey Lewis and the News will be performing next week. #80smusicrules).
Alas, like all fancy things in life, it's going to cost you. Family memberships will set you back an initiation fee of $85,000 and $8,500 in annual dues. But, for us common folk who may not be joining just yet, there are six different inns associated with the Heritage Club that are open to the public and give you access to fun stuff like ice skating and snow tubing, and it's close to other ski mountains … lift lines and all.