Upgrades at Stowe

Stowe Mountain Resort, a 35-minute drive from Burlington International Airport in Vermont, is making a push to compete with Western high-end luxury destinations such as Beaver Creek and Deer Valley by investing $400 million in improvements over 10 years, with $40 million worth of on-mountain upgrades to be unveiled this season. Essential Links

The biggest news is the development of Spruce Peak at Stowe, which will feature a renovated spa and wellness center, 18-hole golf course designed by Bob Cupp, performing arts center, dining and retail esplanade, pool, ice skating rink and upgraded ski-in/ski-out residential and lodging options. These include homes for purchase and—most significantly—the "slopeside lodging and luxury living facility," Stowe Mountain Lodge, scheduled to open in fall 2007.

Jeff Wise, the resort's communications director, calls the property "totally unique," adding, "We're bringing a new level of service and amenities to the northeast; it will be in a class of its own." The 139-room lodge, managed by Destination Hotels & Resorts, will offer shared and whole ownership opportunities for two, three and four-bedroom units ranging between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet. Owners can put them into a rental pool, and agents can arrange rentals for clients. In addition to the golf course, the lodge will have a deluxe spa and wellness center, 10,000 square feet of meeting space, twice-daily housekeeping and 24-hour in-room dining. A rendering of the new Stowe Mountain Lodge

This December, Stowe will debut a much-anticipated inter-mountain transfer lift, a Poma 10-person standing gondola that will provide convenient transportation to and from the slopes at the bases of Spruce Peak and Mt. Mansfield (the highest peak in Vermont). Other new on-mountain amenities include state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment with 90 percent coverage, recently introduced high-speed lifts, new trails and a renovated Cliff House Restaurant on Mt. Mansfield.

Stowe has 13 lifts accessing 48 trails on 485 acres, with 2,360 feet of vertical, a full-service snowboard and ski school, the Stowe Toys Demo Center, childcare, night skiing, snowshoeing, terrain parks and a superpipe.

Book your clients in the Golden Eagle Resort. Its best rooms are the Premiere Mini-Suites, which have a private deck or patio. The resort's travel agent liason is Doug Kellogg (802-253-4811).