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SAM Magazine—Jeffersonville, Vt., June 2, 2023—The owners of Stowe Mountain Resort and Smugglers’ Notch Resort are in talks to install a connector gondola between the two properties.Untitled design 80 The proposed lift would link Spruce Peak at Stowe to Sterling Mountain at Smugglers’ Notch.

“Smugglers’ Notch Resort, with support from Stowe Mountain Resort, is currently in the early stages of exploring the feasibility of a connection between the resorts, which is something guests of both ski areas have long asked about,” Smugglers’ Notch communications manager Kelly Mohr told SAM

Stowe parent company Vail Resorts and Smugglers’ Notch owner Bill Stritlzer have reportedly been working on a plan for a connector lift for the past six years but sought to keep the proposal confidential. Details of the proposal were obtained by the Morrisville News & Citizen through a public records request. 

The proposal calls for a nine-tower, 2,600-foot gondola with 26 carriers and a 1,200 passenger per hour capacity. The trip from peak to peak would take approximately five minutes, and the lift would travel over a designated “natural area” that contains a section of the Long Trail, Elephants Head trail, and Sterling Pond. To offset the development, Smugglers’ Notch and Vail Resorts reportedly offered up a combined 164 acres of privately owned land for conservation.

“This concept is in its preliminary stages, and any actions will be subject to government approvals,” said Mohr, adding, “Should we move forward, we will be rooted in the guiding principles of cooperation and collaboration to ensure this is a win for guests, the environment and the community.” 

The proposal is still in the early stages of the project review process that “takes into account factors such as ecological impact, land management and public accessibility,” according to a statement given to the News & Citizen by the Vermont Forests, Parks, and Recreation department director Danielle Fitzko.