New England Tennis Holidays
By Roger Cox, Editor
Set in northern Vermont's Mad River Valley, Sugarbush made its name as a winter ski destination. That said, it has always had a seasonal flip side when the snow melts and attention focuses instead on tennis, golf, hiking, mountain biking, and other forms of mountain recreation, with a particular focus of luring families. Over the decades it has been the home to a series of summer tennis camps, and it experienced a renewed burst of tennis enthusiasm in 2010 when New England Tennis Holidays returned, this time setting up shop at the Health & Racquet Club up in Sugarbush Village. It is a marriage that has worked so well, that in the fall of 2011, NETH announced that it would now we offering tennis camps year round.
From late spring into early fall, New England Tennis Holidays runs a classic tennis camp, consisting of five hours a day of on-court instruction and drills supplemented by videotape analysis on packages that include the option of lodging and some meals. Founder Kurt Grabher personally oversees most of these high-season camps. Beginning in the fall of 2011, the program becomes year-round, though over the winter rather than offer five-hour-a-day programs the move indoors and the format changes to 1½-hour sessions offered morning, afternoon, or evening in order to accommodate those who also want to ski. Veteran pro Curt Johnson, whose has been with NETH for more that 11 years, will take charge of these winter camps as well as offering private lessons.
Courts & Fees. There are four Har-Tru and two hard court outdoors which cascade through the trees outside the Health & Racquet Club and another three hard courts indoors. Court fees: Free to guests and camp participants outdoors; $20/hour indoors.
Golf Courses. The resort has a one 18-hole championship course open from May into October.
Sugarbush Golf Club: Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed this 18-hole course. It has a classic mountain layout, notable for its great views and for punishing errant shots. Par: 72. Length: 5,231-6,464 yards. Open May to October.
Fitness Center. Located adjacent to the tennis courts, the Health Club has both indoor and outdoor swimming pools and Jacuzzis and a complete indoor fitness center offering a climbing wall, cardio equipment, free weights, circuit training, and squash and racquetball courts. They run over 25 hours of group fitness classes per week, yoga, Tae-kwon do, and aqua aerobics among them. The indoor facilities include saunas, a co-ed steam room, personal training, massage rooms, and the tennis pro shop.
And ... Hiking trails abound, including a scenic 11.5-mile stretch of the Long Trail along the crest of the Green Mountains. The region is also laced with back roads suitable for bikers, both mountain and road. There's also a zipline.
From late June to late August, the resort runs a variety of day camps for children ages 3 to 18. These include tennis, golf—or tennis and golf—mountain biking, adventure (biking, ziplining, hiking) camps.
Accommodations at Sugarbush comprise a variety of condo complexes, with units ranging in size from one to four bedrooms. The newest of these is the Clay Brook at Sugarbush at the new Lincoln Peak Villages at the base of the mountain. Its units range from studios to five-bedroom suites, all with full kitchens. The Sugarbush Inn, where I've frequently stayed, now closes for the summer but is evidently an option in winter. Finally, though not part of the resort, there is also the elegant Pitcher Inn, part of the Relais & Châteaux group, in Warren Village.
In summer, there are some half dozen choices, beginning with Timbers in the new Clay Brook. There are other choices along the access road or on into the nearby town of Warren itself.
If you want a mountain resort with children's programs, you should also look at:
- Bridges Family Resort & Tennis Club, Vermont
- Northstar California, California
- Stratton Mountain Resort, Vermont
- Wintergreen Resort, Virginia
Rates and Reservations
Sugarbush offers both accommodations at an inn and various types of condominium lodging.
1840 Sugarbush Access Road
Warren, VT 05674
New England Tennis Holidays at Sugarbush
New England Tennis Holidays uses the Clay Brook Hotel, whose 61 residences range from studios to five-bedroom suites, and Slopeside condominiums. Rates quoted below are per person/double occupancy. During summer and early fall, sessions include five hours a day of tennis, lodging, breakfast, lunch, and dinner (no dinner the first night), taxes and gratuities. Single occupancy rates also available as are tennis-only rates. In winter, camps run 1½ hours and are scheduled morning, afternoon, and evening.
May 17-June 20, 2013
2-days: $579/person. 3 days: $859/person. 5 days: $1,319/person
June 21-Oct. 11, 2013
2-days: $579-$609/person. 3 days: $859-$919/person. 5 days: $1,319-$1,369/person
Web Link: New England Tennis Holidays at Sugarbush
Seasons. The outdoor tennis season runs from mid May into early fall; however, the indoor courts allow play year-round.
Travel Instructions. The nearest airport is Burlington International, a 45-minute drive to the north.
General Tourist Information. Visit the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing website or contact them at 6 Baldwin Street, Drawer 33, Montpelier, VT 05633-1301; Phone 800-VERMONT (800-837-6668).