The two areas are planning for a connecting gondola.
Thursday, June 1, 2023, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Stowe-Smugglers Notch aerial
Smugglers Notch Resort and Stowe Mountain Resort are planning to connect their ski areas via a gondola lift, the News and Citizen reports.
According to the story published today, the project has been privately discussed since Vail Resorts acquired Stowe Mountain Resort in 2017.
The two ski areas have been informally connected by crossover trails for decades, however access from Stowe was hampered with the removal of the Big Spruce Double and the subsequent lower Sensation Quad top terminal location.
Stowe-Smugglers Notch gondola proposal map
According to the map released by the News and Citizen, the gondola would connect from near the top of the Spruce Peak complex at Stowe to near the top of the Sterling complex at Smugglers Notch, crossing the Long Trail but staying west of Sterling Pond.
Smugglers Notch six person chairlift proposal
In 2005, Smugglers Notch received a Vermont Act 250 permit to replace the Sterling double chairlift with a high speed six person chairlift. The permit was valid for three years. At present, Smugglers Notch's entire chairlift fleet is vintage Hall doubles.
Smugglers Notch Sterling chairlift
Neither resort has issued an official comment on the project, or the possibility that it could portend the acquisition of Smugglers Notch by Vail Resorts. Owned by Bill Stritlzer since 1996, Smugglers Notch is one of the last independent large resorts in New England.