Let’s clarify something before we go too far and confuse the issue. There a a few definitions of “brown bagger”.
- brown bagger (n) in it’s broadest it refers to a ski area/resort so labeled because of it’s lodge and perhaps its patrons. REAL brown baggers do not merely allow, they accommodate the practice of “packing in”.
- brown bagger (adj) describes a lodge, room, cafeteria or deck where the public, especially penny-stinkers, can pack-in their own snacks and food, set-up and enjoy life as such without offending others, breaking the rules, or (heaven forbid) the law!
- Brown bagger (n) a lodge, room, cafeteria or deck as outlined above
- brown-bagger (n) someone who wraps his beverage, which he smuggled in, under the cover of a brown bag (starts to get a mite dicey, pushing the limits of public discussion)
So for this discussion let’s apply the first definition, fully cognizant “brown bagger” is fully a function of the second. But, the fourth is not up for study here, during normal business hours.
A brown- bagger is my kind of ski slope. It’s family friendly, it’s warm and welcoming. To me a brown-bagger is an area I’d term a “home away from home”. It’s a welcoming, receiving, accepting area where I immediately feel comfortable, like I belong.
It’s an area where children, parents and seniors blend in an area of fun. OK it is often a playpen, but playpens exude love and they’re always warm! Non-skiers enjoy brown-baggers as much as we devotees of “God’s” sport.
I have to emphasize there’s never been a brown-bagger I didn’t like. They’re immediately on my list ’cause my very neologism is a term of endearment. But wait! Note the term is subjective and consider this:
- I look for things you may not think important.
- Most of my visits are cursory, brief by local standards.
- All my visits and reviews are effected by to weather & snow.
- I seldom hit all the five critical periods: 1.pre AND 2.post lifts, + 3.lunch AND 4.dinner +5.evening.
That being said, I have some picks, some notables, my favorites: my recommendations of brown baggers:
Monarch has a designated room for picnickers with its, “own” entrance, restrooms, bins, and elevator up to the “watering hole”.
Elk Mt has “picnic Lodge” complete with fireplace, but it’s small and tucked away. You have to know where and get there early to secure a spot.
Killington has a neat cabin used on the hikers of the Long Trail in summer, but a neat spot for skiers when its warm enough.
Many or any area that maintains a southern facing broad deck is noteworthy. But most areas of the west excel under more frequent sunshine and the stronger UV rays of higher altitudes. And most “milk” this advantage with aromatic bar-b-cue and open fire fineries.
Two summit huts and warming cabins of note are those at Eagle Point and Sundance.
The “Sitz” lodge at the Buffalo Ski Club has to be singled out for its “total” atmosphere based around an elaborate calendar of BYO social events. Here the brown-bag is more like grocery bag or more appropriately a picnic basket. Save the grocery bag for garbage and be prepared to share with all. It is a festive party crew. Stop in when you’re in the neighborhood.
Come, Ski With Me!