Ski Club Houses in North Conway

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  1. #1

    Ski Club Houses in North Conway

    I would guess there are neary twenty ski club houses in North Conway and environs. I had the opportunity to stay at the Ski Wheelers house, just down the road from Cranmore. I also got a tour of two neighboring houses as well. The wheelers is the largest. It's a hotel from the 1800s. It is massive and holds way over 100. It's the largest in the valley.
    I'd be happy to share more about my experience later, but suffice to say the clubs are friendly, welcoming and extremely inexpensive. There is a club for everyone: Singles, singles/married, family, etc. The common thread is that the folks love to ski and love the outdoors in all seasons. It's an unwound version of what AMC offers, as it's owned by the members and they take care of it.
    The clubs belong to the EICSL ski council, and there is a party every weekend, in a different lodge. There is no end of people to ski with. Skill level and inclination is all over the map, so there is something for everyone.

    It's all about being social too. It's really refreshing to wake up at 5AM and already find people in the kitchen. By about 6:30am the place is hoppin'. By 7-7:30 the place clears out and everyone is slopeside, scattering in many directions. Back after the lifts close to change, or not, and relax, imbibing in a little liquid entertainment and snacks. The board is filled with notes scrawled about people's whereabouts that night, with an invitation to join. Or stay in the lodge, read a book by the wood stove, watch TV or play pool. All this for $28/night.



    On Saturday nights they cook a full blown meal for $12. This Saturday is was Thanksgiving dinner complete. I wasn't there, but I was told 40 people signed up for dinner.
    The cool thing is that you can talk to everyone about skiing from the time you wake up until the time you crash. I don't get to do that much!

    Wheelers:


    Ski Bees:


    Makusue:


    Inside Wheelers:


    Wheelers - Dining Area. They also have a huge commercial kitchen, which you can bring your own stuff, make your own meals.



    Wheelers - One of several sitting areas, and pool table beyond


    They welcome guests to spend the night and are always looking for new blood.
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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    North Shore MA
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    269
    Old top but wanted to say great post. Looking at possibly joining a club with a lodge for next year and nice to see the in depth pictures.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Chelmsford, MA
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    It amazes me that the clubs don't get more coverage here. They really are an amazing institution. It is by far the cheapest way to have a place to stay, and it comes with an instant circle of friends / people to ski with. I can't say enough good things about the clubs. It is hard for me to imagine life without them.

    I am a member at the Makusues and would be happy to host anyone. I encourage you to try a few out before joining. Most clubs require you to stay for a few weekends before joining too.
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  4. #4
    i've thought about this every summer for the past few years. my wife doesn't ski, my daughter skis but doesn't love it, my son is off at college. a club with a house could make a lot of sense for me to go up on my own or take daughter with me on occasion.
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  5. #5
    Edd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Newmarket, NH
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    I've driven past those ski houses probably 300 times (can be a shortcut around traffic in North Conway) and always wondered about them. I stay with friends in the area but this could be a good backup.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by gmcunni View Post
    i've thought about this every summer for the past few years. my wife doesn't ski, my daughter skis but doesn't love it, my son is off at college. a club with a house could make a lot of sense for me to go up on my own or take daughter with me on occasion.
    It's a great base for hiking, mountain biking and all the other distractions we need when the snow is gone.
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  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    North Shore MA
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    269
    Quote Originally Posted by yeggous View Post
    I am a member at the Makusues and would be happy to host anyone. I encourage you to try a few out before joining. Most clubs require you to stay for a few weekends before joining too.
    I couldn't find on your club's website, but is being single a club requirement? Many of the EICSL clubs with lodges only accept single members...

  8. #8
    Depends on the club, if you look on the EICSL club list there are a few listed as 'family clubs' those tend to not have a requirement of being single.

  9. #9
    There are only a few "family" clubs and they are all full, with long waiting lists.

    The reason the others are "single" is only because of how they are configured. Mens and Womens shared rooms setup as bunks or single beds. Even couples have to split up. There are only a few "couples" rooms and they are very coveted. I think it would be very difficult to accommodate children. Clubs were established as a way for lots of singles. As the demographic aged, many left the club because they got married and had kids. It's quite a challenge for the "singles" clubs to financially survive. The clubs have a party each weekend, hosted around by various clubs. I believe they have a bus to shuttle people around in.

    The EICSL clubs are almost all in Mt. Washington Valley, so most people frequent Wildcat, Cranmore, Black and Bretton Woods and Shawnee.

    There are several other clubs that have houses in VT. I am aware of clubs in VT, with people predominantly from CT, NY, NJ. I don't have any names off the top of my head. Use Google and you will find them.
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  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    North Shore of Boston
    Posts
    210
    I've been a member of the Ski Wheelers and the Ski Bees. The Wheelers take married couples. There are some rooms with double beds for conjugal visits at the Wheelers, available on a first-request-first-assigned basis.

    Some of the clubs that say they only take singles DO take married people whose spouses don't ski. You need to know it's bunk beds all the way, with bathroom down the hall, and the rooms tend to be male or female, but usually not both.

    The "family" clubs tend to be filled with families who have children and they bring them along. It's an extended family situation all winter long. The single clubs serve alcohol and don't allow kids in the lodge at all in most cases. That's basically the reason for the split between family clubs and singles clubs.

    EICSL runs a race league that's low in intensity also. You can join and race four times a season. You'll get coaching informally from your club's race members, and there is pay-as-you-go race training the Friday before each race that you can opt for as well.

    Any parties run in the clubs are exclusively open to ski club members and their official overnight guests only, for legal reasons. No children allowed.

    If you visit a club and choose to join, you'll find that you get to know lots of people in all the clubs. EISCL has an important social presence in North Conway.

    Oh, and of course there are discount lift tickets available to club members.

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