Although the majority of North America's gay ski weeks take place in the West (think Aspen, Park City, Whistler), the charming and picturesque town of Stowe, Vermont has been hosting its own increasingly popular gay ski gathering for more than three decades. Winter Rendezvous takes place over five days in late January - the dates this year are Wednesday, January 17 through Sunday, January 22, 2017.
Note that each year there's at least one other well-attended gay ski weekend in New England, White Out Weekend at Sunday River in Maine - it's held in early February.
In addition to daily downhill skiing and snowboarding on Mt. Mansfield and Spruce Peak, the five-day festival features plenty of other outdoorsy activities, including snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at the Trapp Family Lodge Nordic Center and dog-sledding at Stoweflake Resort. Plus there are the social goings-on - typically, parties (a classic disco ball one night, a blow-out house party the next), "Sound of Music" singalongs at the Von Trapp Family Lodge (which is also hosting a wet-and-wild pool party one evening), social mixers and apres-ski gatherings, dances, a downhill drag costume fundraising competition, an ice-carving contest, and all sorts of fun entertainment. New for 2017 is an opening night party on January 17 at the retro-hip and cool new Stowebowl boutique bowling lounge, which has eight lanes of bowling but great food and drink options.
This year the hilarious comedian Julie Goldman is on stage at Spruce Peak Performing Arts on Thursday, January 20, and top DJs will be spinning the Blow Out Party, also on January 20. Also, on January 18, talented singer-songwriter Jimmy James is performing. You can register for Winter Rendezvous here and find links to purchasing lift tickets and other outdoor activities here.
A range of different types of ski weekend passes are available, from nonskier events passes good for parties and discounted lodging and starting at just $100 to full skier and events passes that get you discounted lift tickets and rentals and entry to all of the major events, including some VIP access. This costs $225. Check out the ski week passes page for more details and ordering information.
Stowe gay ski week's official host hotel is the stylish and contemporary Golden Eagle Resort, which is offering several different package options for two to five nights, occupancy from one to four guests. Other participating properties include the elegant Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, the famed Trapp Family Lodge, and Stowe Motel & Snowdrift Inn (an excellent value with nice room).
Also check out the complete guide to gay-friendly restaurants and bars in Burlington, Vermont, which is a relatively short drive from Stowe.
For general tourism information on Stowe, check out the website of the Stowe Chamber of Commerce