There was a time in New England oh, young ‘uns, when Patriots fans didn’t fear having to split their January weekends between the TV and the mountains.
Twenty years ago, the NFL postseason was an occasional occurrence in Foxboro, easily paving the way for full skiing weekends, all with a casual eye on which teams might be headed to the Super Bowl.
Then, Belichick and Brady came along and, well…
“Any Super Bowl is going to pull away from any outdoor activity,” said Greg Fisher, vice president of marketing for Peak Resorts. “But when the Patriots are in the game, it does make it more difficult as a marketer to convince that fan to visit our resorts.”
Thus, with the Patriots in yet another Super Bowl Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles, it might mean less of a chance that you find your way to the slopes in the hours prior to kickoff.
“The Super Bowl is essentially a holiday,” Fisher said. “One would argue that enough planning goes into a Super Bowl party as Christmas dinner. My sister doesn’t watch a lick of football but she goes to a Super Bowl party every year. It’s stories like this that will have all of us in some sort of outdoor activity seeing less people.”
Not that there aren’t incentives to do so. For instance, lift tickets only be $35 at Peak properties Attitash Mountain Resort and Wildcat Mountain in New Hampshire. At Crotched Mountain, also under the Peak umbrella, you can ski from 5 p.m. Saturday night until 3 a.m. (yes, with an ‘a’) Sunday morning for only $33 if you wear any item of Patriot logowear.
Some might even consider it one of the best days of the year, complete with uncrowded lift lines and the promise of watching the game après with fellow skiers, riders and Pats fans.
Wear your Patriots gear to Nashoba Valley on Sunday and you can purchase a lift or tubing ticket for only $25, good from 5p.m.-10 p.m. That leaves ample time to get a few runs in before and after the game, which you can catch at the Westford ski area’s Outlook Restaurant, complete with a free halftime buffet. Wachusett Mountain will also have discounted night lift tickets for $30, with clam chowder and Philly cheese steak specials in the Coppertop Lounge at game time.
Okemo Mountain Resort will have an early-release program Sunday, giving fans ample time to hit the road and get home in time for kickoff (8 a.m.-1:30 p.m., $82 adults, $69 young adults and seniors). If you decide to stick around though and — hopefully — celebrate a New England win on the slopes, your lift ticket price will be based on the total combined points scored in the Super Bowl (price will be capped at $65). So, if it’s 24-7, Pats, you have a $31 lift ticket in your Monday morning future. Of course, if it’s somehow a 7-0 Eagles final score, well, that’s a heck of a deal nobody really wants.
Magic Mountain will host a Super Bowl party from 3 p.m.-11 p.m. in its Black Line Tavern, featuring the game on a big-screen projector with dinner specials to boot. Stay the night, and spend part of the day at the ski area’s Super Monday brunch ($15, 9 a.m.-noon), and the remainder during an open day of skiing on the slopes.
In the northern end of the Green Mountain State, Burke Mountain Resort will also host a game-viewing party at its Tamarack Pub and Grill, with buy one, get one half-off appetizers, $5 beer specials, and 50-cent wings. In New Hampshire, it’s a two-fer at Cannon Mountain, where game day lift tickets will be two for $77. King Pine will be half-off its regular full-day rate.
No football next Sunday. Prime time for weekend warriors.