Overview of Jay Peak, Vermont
Written by Greg and Heather Burke
We hadn’t skied Jay Peak in over a decade, just seen the news – for big snow, big glade skiing, big EB5 investments including an immense water park and three new slopeside hotels, and then a pretty big ski Ponzi. So we decided to check out the northern Vermont snow stash of Jay. Arriving at Jay Peak, we were blown away by the dominant Hotel Jay all light up like a luxe alpine hotel, with the gigantic glass water park attached. From the lobby to the 5th-floor suites, Hotel Jay is posh, playful and perfectly poised to Jay's legendary tram and lifts.
What hasn’t changed at Jay Peak is the terrain, two mountain areas, Stateside and Tramside, offer classic New England trail skiing on trademark runs Kitzbuhel, Ullr, and loads of low angle glades plus grittier tree skiing mid mountain. The signature lift is the Tram, Vermont’s only aerial tram. Jay Peak has 2,153’ vertical, tram laps get you the full feel of the Peak and panoramic views as far as Lake Champlain, while the Bonaventure quad gains you the majority of the mountain and sweeping views on the monster trail Can Am all the way to Canada. The Green Mountain Flyer is the longest detach quad in the Northeast – perhaps that’s why it's nicknamed the Freezer – a long chilly ride right into the wind. From atop the Flyer, you access a few classic runs JFK, Green Mountain Boys, Goat, plus bounteous glades to the west. While Jay’s mid-mountain has some pitch to it, the lower third rolls out to mellow terrain, either beautiful well-spaced glades or groomed contemplative boulevards.
Jay Peak certainly gets a lot of snow, often in what they call the Jay Cloud, given its a northernmost location cross wind from Champlain and New York's Adirondacks. You’re practically in Canada, and amid a strong contingent of Canadian skiers. Jay has an international feel with trails like Kitzbuhel, UN, Montrealer and Jet, and a unique vibe – down to earth liftees, punny signage, modern hotels at the base, even a Miso Hungry noodle café out of a vintage Tram.
After gliding through Jay’s snow ghosted trees or carving groomers, you can ski right to your hotel - three new hotels grace Jay’s base in recent years. Hotel Jay is the biggest and most posh, with complimentary valet, floor to ceiling mountain view windows from your suite, and your lift ticket is your room key – cool RFID technology. The piece de la resistance, lots of Quebec French spoken here, is the Hotel’s direct access to the Pump House Waterpark – 60,000-sq-ft of pools, wet and wild slides, a surf rider, a lazy river, and hot tubs. Hotel Jay makes our Top Ski Hotels in the East list!
Kids will love Jay Peak's awesome aqua park so much they might not want to ski, I suppose you could dangle swimming as the carrot for après ski. Parents can partake in surfing, La Luge water slide (cross your legs, arms and pray for your flume and flip to be over), or soak in a hot tub then sip a beverage overlooking the entire park from The Drink Bar (don't worry there are lifeguards on duty to watch the kids).
Après ski at Jay Peak, you can dine on wood fired pizza or Vermont cheddar burgers at Hotel Jay’s Foundry – with nice views of the mountain, plus burgers, and local fare. Or you can walk to Tram Haus - another alpine themed hotel next to the Tram, with the legendary Alice’s Table restaurant and Tower Bar popular for après ski with slope views. The third and most affordable lodging, besides plentiful condos, is Stateside Hotel at the base of the Jet Triple and Bonaventure quad chairs, this is the most affordable lodging option where the locals' bar Bullwheel is anchored.
Jay has an authentic vibe, an earthy even sarcastic sense of humor from the marketing department to the liftees. Seasoned Jay Peak skiers wear fanny protectors as the lift attendants don’t sweep the frequent snow off the chairs, instead they just smile and wave you on.
Jay Peak is currently in receivership, following an SCC investigation for misuse of EB5 funds here and at sister resort Burke Mountain by owners Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros, a veritable ski Ponzi scheme was unearthed with millions of funds unallocated. At Jay, it's business as usual for skiers and snowboarders, however, with the bonus of new hotels, water, and ice parks, and the classic ski mountain with amazing Vermont view to Lake Champlain and Canada.
Go ski Jay Peak this winter, they get tons of snow and offer great ski and stay deals.
Jay Peak is a great place to go to right after a big snow. Or even a little snow. The terrain at Jay Peak is amazing and the tram takes you to places you've never been before. Jay Peak is a great place for any intermediate or advanced skier or rider.
Kids enjoyed ski school and were even able to take a private lesson. by the end of the day he had the kids skiing in the woods