Stowe has an ever-changing landscape, and not just the rolling fields and majestic mountains. If you’re a frequent visitor or a first timer, you need to know what’s new in Stowe. Here’s an overview of some new and interesting ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, beginning with…
The nifty ice skating rink up at Spruce Peak. This lovely 9,000-square-foot Rockefeller-style outdoor rink is maintained to Nancy Kerrigan’s specifications (at least on New Year’s day, when she visited for the grand opening). It’s free and open to the public daily, noon-9pm. But you can’t get there from here since there’s no public parking at Spruce Peak. Instead, park near the base of the quad and take Easy Over, the gondola that connects Mount Mansfield to Spruce Peak. Bring your own skates or rent. Plenty of hot cocoa and other blood-warming beverages nearby.
Are you in Westchester County, NY, Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, or Nantucket? Or if you want to go to any of those places from Stowe? Yes? Then you’ll be happy to learn about the expansion at the Stowe-Morrisville State Airport, located about 5 miles north of Stowe. A $4.5 million Federal Aviation Administration grant was matched 10 percent by state money to upgrade the airport. The construction include rebuilding and lengthening the runway, installing a new lighting system and drainage structures, and reconfiguring the aircraft parking apron.
What this comes down to is more air traffic coming directly to Stowe, including flights provided by Tradewind Aviation. This private charter company has connections between Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, White Plains, and Stowe (and Caribbean, too!) and offers scheduled flights. You can buy a book of discounted tickets or charter the plane for you and a dozen of your closest friends.
Down the road, the 3,700-foot runway may be expanded to 5,000 feet to allow larger planes to fly in and out and new terminal building, designed by Cushman Design of Stowe (see photo above).
The Stowe Nordic Club supports and encourages Nordic skiing in Stowe. This year they took over grooming the Stowe Rec Path and are now grooming the Mayo Field for skating and classical skiing as well. Except for frozen ponds, the rec path and the field may be the only places you will find flat skiing in Vermont. Get updates on Facebook at Stowe-Nordic.
Openings & Closings–What’s New in Stowe Restaurants?
First, the good news. Several restaurants have opened in town and on the Mountain Road. From north to south:
Idletyme replaces Crop. Not a whole lot has changed since it was Crop, and before that, the infamous Shed. The interior looks the same and, believe it or not, the cow-hide couches in the main dining area are still there. For lunch (or dinner) the Pale Ale Battered Fish & Chips is perfect. Crisp on the outside, flakey on the inside. The beer list is from the Idletyme’s Brewery. Owned and operated by the folks who own Michael’s On the Hill in Waterbury. The menu at Idletyme is more pubbish than haute-ish.
Phoenix Table & Bistro closed rather abruptly. Sayonara.
Doc Ponds, another Waterbury offshoot–the owners also own Hen of the Wood in Waterbury–opened where Vermont Ale house (formerly Thai Basil) had a brief existence. Doc Ponds, is a major hit in town. Do try the Blue Balls.
Sauce is a small Italian Bistro-type setting on the Mountain Road, close to the village. Order take-out at the counter or sit down and eat. Anything Italian coming out of here is a good thing.
Cork Wine Bar and Market, another entity with a sidekick in Waterbury, is located on School Street in the former Blue Moon building. It’s a wine bar and retail wine shop. On the bar side you can sip and nibble on cheese & charcuterie, small plates, oysters shucked to order, soup, salad, & desserts.
In the Village, Grazers set a new record for “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.” A little Stowe History lesson: Grazers was formerly Mi Casa, which was formerly Frida’s, which replaced the iconic Swiss Pot, which opened circa 1973.
I hope to see you in Stowe, on the slopes, trails, or in town. And if you need a house, let me know. Stowe’s real estate market is constantly change, too.
This blog is dedicated to the memory of Dave Bowie, who knows all about ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.