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A new hostel coming to Vermont?

BenedictGomez

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Exactly what Stowe needs!

It is? If you can afford to ski at Stowe, you're not apt to choose a hostel. Hell, I'm one of the cheapest skiers on this entire board, and even I wouldn't stay at a hostel. The hostel budget would do better to ski someplace with BOGOs, cheap college rates, or ample voucher opportunities IMO.
 

Huck_It_Baby

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It is? If you can afford to ski at Stowe, you're not apt to choose a hostel. Hell, I'm one of the cheapest skiers on this entire board, and even I wouldn't stay at a hostel. The hostel budget would do better to ski someplace with BOGOs, cheap college rates, or ample voucher opportunities IMO.

Yes. A hostel brings the overall cost of a ski weekend or trip down and helps offset the cost of tickets. It's not hard to ski Stowe on the cheap if you try( VT club card, ski Vermont 3-5 pack, ect). Stowe isn't this unattainable beast that ppl on this board make it out to be.

The fact that YOU wouldn't stay in a hostel doesn't mean it's a not good thing for Stowe.
 

steamboat1

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Yes. A hostel brings the overall cost of a ski weekend or trip down and helps offset the cost of tickets. It's not hard to ski Stowe on the cheap if you try( VT club card, ski Vermont 3-5 pack, ect). Stowe isn't this unattainable beast that ppl on this board make it out to be.

The fact that YOU wouldn't stay in a hostel doesn't mean it's a not good thing for Stowe.
Don't forget ski club/council appreciation days. I'm planning on skiing Stowe this Fri. using this discount. Club/council days are this Fri-Sun.
 

Tin

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It is? If you can afford to ski at Stowe, you're not apt to choose a hostel. Hell, I'm one of the cheapest skiers on this entire board, and even I wouldn't stay at a hostel. The hostel budget would do better to ski someplace with BOGOs, cheap college rates, or ample voucher opportunities IMO.

You just hate that European-commy crap.

For a college person like me who already has season passes to a local spot is awesome, especially when the GF can't come up because of work. I plan I taking advantage of the Hostel Tevere right down the street from Bush and MRG for $35 a night. Drive up, ski, sleep, ski, drive home.

Even if it is near Stowe, it makes Jay, Smuggs, Stowe, Burke and others easier for people who live far. An hour drive to Jay from a hostel near Stowe is better than 5+ drive.
 

BenedictGomez

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Yes. A hostel brings the overall cost of a ski weekend or trip down and helps offset the cost of tickets. It's not hard to ski Stowe on the cheap if you try( VT club card, ski Vermont 3-5 pack, ect). Stowe isn't this unattainable beast that ppl on this board make it out to be.

It's fairly close. Yes, you can ski an off day or two there reasonably with preparation, but in general, it really is very expensive with very few discounts and discount days relative to other mountains.

The fact that YOU wouldn't stay in a hostel doesn't mean it's a not good thing for Stowe

I'll do you one better than that.

I don't even understand how it's going to financially work as a long-term concern, unless State of Vermont gave them all sorts of tax incentives & subsidization to create a "low-cost" option. Hell, the real-estate alone in Stowe is very expensive. Is this thing really green-lighted?
 

deadheadskier

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The Round Hearth is a ski dorm / hostile for groups and has survived and thrived since the 40s. Back in the day it would host individuals, but the current owners have focused attention on groups for the past 25 years.

No doubt a similar no frills budget hostel will do just fine for hosting individual travelers. And let's not forget, plenty of people who travel to Stowe in the winter aren't buying those expensive lifts tickets. Tons of winter hikers looking to explore the notch / AT, huge CC ski network.
 
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Huck_It_Baby

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It's fairly close. Yes, you can ski an off day or two there reasonably with preparation, but in general, it really is very expensive with very few discounts and discount days relative to other mountains.



I'll do you one better than that.

I don't even understand how it's going to financially work as a long-term concern, unless State of Vermont gave them all sorts of tax incentives & subsidization to create a "low-cost" option. Hell, the real-estate alone in Stowe is very expensive. Is this thing really green-lighted?

The last 2 years I lived in VT I skied Stowe often using the VT club card. It came to $64-67...somewhere around there. Really not that bad considering.

Sugarbush is $84-91 depending on holiday/weekday and there is a hostel there. Killington about that same and has a hostel. Yes the cost of real estate is high in Stowe but what diff does that make to the weekend warrior who wants a cheap place to crash after skiing?

I have no idea if the project is actually going through but isn't the point of a cheap crash pad to bypass the rich folks and still get to participate in a sport that is expensive by nature?

I stand by my opinion but will make a correction, It's NOT good for stowe, it's good for the skiers, snowboarders, hikers, snowshoers and ice climbers coming up from Jersey/Boston/NY who aren't above a hostel. I could care less about the subsidization and tax incentives.
 

deadheadskier

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Also, where the North American Hockey Academy now stands; that used to be a budget lodge with some hostel style rooms back in the 90s. A buddy of mine used to cook breakfast there. The place was packed on the weekends. Owners retired and the hockey academy bought the place.
 

VTKilarney

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The website estimates the cost of construction at $4.4 million.

Let's make some wild and unfounded assumptions:
- Cost of land is $1 million.
- 80% is financed over 25 years
- 7% interest rate
- no cost overruns

With these assumptions, the mortgage payment would be $360,000 per year. Property taxes would be $103,701 per year, subject to increases. Insurance, staffing, maintenance, marketing, utilities, and other carrying costs need to be paid as well.

So let's (wildly) estimate that they need $800,000 per year just to break even. That's $2,191 per night on average just to keep the doors open. If they charge $30 per night, they will need to average 73 guests each and every night of the year - even during the slowest times of the year.

To repeat, these figures are about as speculative as one can imagine. But they at least give you an general idea of what is involved.

The biggest barrier that I see is that the model itself lends itself to a very narrow customer base. Take small groups and families, for example. I can't see them charging less than $25 per night. At that rate, a group of four would spend $100 per night. At $30 the cost would be $120 per night. While Stowe is far from cheap, there have got to be options in that price range if one looks hard enough (and perhaps drives a little bit). Likewise, adults that have put their hostel days behind them (and believe me, nearly every 30+ year old adult has) will be eliminated from their potential customer base. And in the summer they will be competing with camping. And unlike the European model, you can't hop on a train in a major metropolitan area and be dropped off in the village with no need for a car.

Of course, you wouldn't get a communal kitchen with the other hotel/motel options, and that can definitely help to save money.

I'd be very interested to see how the occupancy rates were at the state owned ski lodge before it closed. That will give you an indication about the demand level.
 

VTKilarney

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Also, where the North American Hockey Academy now stands; that used to be a budget lodge with some hostel style rooms back in the 90s. A buddy of mine used to cook breakfast there. The place was packed on the weekends. Owners retired and the hockey academy bought the place.
With all of the hockey tournaments up at Jay Peak, they could really chip into Jay's hotel business if something like was constructed.
 

catsup948

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Mount Mansfield and Smugglers Notch has a thriving backcountry ski scene as well. Very nice chutes with easy skin access. This could bring in people as well.
 

snoseek

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It appears that they left the murder room off the floor plan.


Nice!!!!


Yeah, this is great news for Stowe. Keeping it attainable for cheap single travelers. I wonder if it's going to be a hostel with motel room prices or a real hostel
 

BenedictGomez

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And let's not forget, plenty of people who travel to Stowe in the winter aren't buying those expensive lifts tickets. Tons of winter hikers looking to explore the notch / AT, huge CC ski network.

This is an excellent point. I'm still rather skeptical just from eyeballing the numbers on that website though. I just don't see it.

I could care less about the subsidization and tax incentives.

Couldn't. And (depending on your current age) you, and everyone else in America will one day. Sooner than you think.

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

They have 15 ski club/council days alone ($44 tickets). Not even counting the other discounts.

Of which, not many are on weekends IIRC?
 

jimk

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In some respects a hostel in Stowe makes great sense. There are a lot of avid folks who may splurge for a lift ticket, but not if they also have to splurge for a motel room. Even reasonably well-off solo skiers can be attracted to hostel pricing because it gives solos more of a break than most motels. I've stayed at a few hostel's in recent years and the locations I would most likely look for them are where the regular accommodations are expensive, for example much of Vermont.
A few good ones I've visited in the last 4 or 5 years:

Hostel Tevere near Sugarbush, except they don't have a kitchen for guests use. Nice beds. Also, I believe I read here that they are discontinuing food service this season. Is this a sign that they are facing some financial issues?

White Mtn Hostel in Conway, NH, may go under another name. Excellent kitchen, good common space.

TmaxNtopo Hostel in Lake Placid, NY, good kitchen, decent beds

Maine Roadhouse halfway between Sugarloaf and Saddleback, not open last season. Too bad, maybe it will reopen? Good kitchen, spacious party room. Huge dorm area, several private motel-like rooms too. Would have been a great place to take a like-minded group of avid skiing cheapskates.

I've also stayed at the Abominable Snowmansion near Taos and might spend some time this winter in one of the hostels in Breckenridge.
 
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