Leisure travel need not stop after Labor Day, be restricted to only holidays or only to warm destinations. As winter approaches we all face some of the same problems: we still want to travel but the high cost of winter wardrobes, compounded by the lack of any remaining vacation time presents a real problem. The shortened cloudy days and frigid temperatures take their toll on the body’s energy supply; and thoughts of leisure travel are associated with elaborate, sunny long distance locations for two weeks or more.
We almost exclusively reserve our two days of rest during winter for chores, things we could not take care of during the work week, and if we can find the time, some relaxation. There are times though when we need to reverse this order and take Earth, Wind, and Fire’s advice, Getaway and just relax. In light of our first two problems this may seem somewhat ludicrous. But it’s really not if you disassociate your thoughts of traveling to far away places and apply them also to short trips to nearby locations.
The TriState area offers many year-round resorts, lodges, and hotels — top of the line and budget respectively. One such resort is just 52 miles from New York City — the Playboy Club Hotel at Great Gorge. This exciting luxury hotel offers top name entertainment in their Penthouse, dancing in their Discotheque, and all the services you’d expect. Winter’s weather need not confine you to the indoors here. They offer a variety of winter outdoor activities, and since it is situated in Vernon Valley, skiing is a must.
There is free shuttle bus service to the adjacent Vernon Valley-Great Gorge Ski Area. Trails here can challenge the novice as well as the more experienced skier and are open both day and night. The Playboy Hotel’s rates run up to $95 per person (deluxe double occupancy) for a weekend. This includes breakfast and dinner, one show, and two drinks per person.
If you’re getting the gist behind the idea of the short trip, try a double purpose destination place for relaxation and skiing. Though skiing is a cold weather activity, it need not be a chilling experience. Try a place like Hunter, NY, not as luxurious, but adequate and easily accessible to Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl are Howard Johnson’s at Saugerties (Exit 20, NY Thruway) and Ramada Inn at Kingston (Exit 19, NY Thruway). What you give up in luxury here you gain in dollars and cents. Rates average about $30 per room (double occupancy) per night without meals.
For a combination of economy, fun, relaxation, and skiing, try a nearby ski area that offers night skiing. It’s as easy as choosing an area (see ROUTES listing), reserving a nearby hotel for one night, driving from work on Friday an average of forty-five miles to a winter wonderland. Opting for this type trip has its own rewards: you’re able to start on the slopes as soon as you arrive, and equipment rental and lift tickets are less expensive that day (approx. $15).
Because commercial transportation costs can account for almost half of travel expenses, you’re already ahead of the game when you decide on a tristate “Getaway”. Traveling and sharing travel expenses (tolls, gas, etc.) with friends in a car helps cut individual expenses even more. An added bonus in traveling with friends is that getting there and back is part of the fun — “golden oldies” anyone?