The developer of the Waterville Valley ski resort at Waterville, N.H., was determined to create a perfect ski resort, and in his book, that meant restricting the architecture of the lodges built there to pure New England design.
Waterville owner and developer Tom Corcoran and his advisors decided that New England style included steep pitched roofs, standardised external materials, heavy use of wood and stone,
stained wood and muted colors.
Corcoran wrote his specification into convenants on the land sales, and into the zoning laws that were subsequently passed by Waterville, a town 60 miles north of Concord whose boundaries encompass nearly 46,500 acres of national forest and 500 acres controlled by Corcoran himself.
"I guess our architectural requirements were okay, because the architects never complained, and they all seem to have come up with something original," Corcoran said in an interview during a recent visit to Washington.
One of the lodges, the Snowy Owl, with its center atrium, won a design award from Ski Magazine for the best design of a mountain lodge a few years back.
The lower level is dominated by a stone fireplace and several large, shallow steps padded with carpeting and strewn with pillows where vacationers can sip drinks from the nearby bar.
Corcoran insists that although the resort is luxurious, it is not expensive. A condominium rents for $108-112 a person for five days (Monday through Friday), a price that includes daily lift tickets! Lodges cost between $85 and $127, depending on the lodge, and also include lift tickets.
The ski are remains in operation until mid-April, then closes until Memorial day, when it opens as a summer resort through October. During the summer months Waterville Valley runs a tennis camp program for adults and children. There are 18 tennis courts under the winter snows, a 9 hole golf course, 60 miles of hinking trails and lots of stocked streams. Skiing starts again the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Waterville Valley is a 2 1/2 hour drive from Boston. There is a shuttle limousine on Sundays and Fridays to and from the Boston airport, and next year Precision airways will begin regular service into Concord, N.H; an hour away by car.