Opened late last year, the East Coast finally got its first exclusive, members-only, private ski resort in Southern Vermont. Located on a private mountain, The Hermitage Club hopes to provide the classic New England lifestyle with a sophisticated, understated vibe. Originally opened in the 1960s, Haystack Mountain ski area has evolved into an elegant, yet comfortable destination. In 2008, the resort was purchased by Jim Barnes and now focuses on a premium experience for elite clientele.
You won’t find long lines during ski season there, or the stuffiness of some other ski towns; what you will find is fine dining, luxury accommodations and year-round activities in a family-friendly environment. The mountain features 46 trails and five lifts, and unless you are part of the tight-knit community or are staying at the 15-room Hermitage Inn, you can’t access the private mountain.
One of the best points of the club is the ease to get to and from not only New York City, but the surrounding metropolitan areas. Most members drive to the club (3.5 hours from NYC), but an increasing number are flying in by private plane to the Deerfield Valley Airport, which was also purchased and remodeled by the founder in 2013. The club also has a helicopter-landing pad, which makes quick travel to the resort an easy selling point.
Most current members own property nearby, or have bought property from The Hermitage. Currently, they have nine townhouses and 20 homes located on the property itself. You can't buy property without being a member, but you can be a member without buying property.
Private mountain activities range from downhill and alpine skiing, snow boarding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. For the kids, the lower level of the lodge is the ultimate game room complete with Ping-Pong tables, air hockey, bowling alley and a 42-seat movie theater where weekly movies are shown. For some private parent time, a licensed day care center is available.
The spa is nearing completion, decked out with stone, wood and natural earth tones that complement the simplistic nature right outside. It will feature 14 private treatment rooms and offer massages, facials and more. An indoor lap pool and Jacuzzi are available year-round. In the summer months members can enjoy the 18-hole Desmoond Muirhead-designed golf course or get outdoors on a hike or biking excursion.
The cost to belong to The Hermitage Club is $65,000 per member, plus $5,150 in dues. Membership will be capped at 1,500 people.