Private Stash: The World's Best Exclusive Ski Resorts
CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 12/14/2017, 7:51 a.m.
By Rob Hodgetts, CNN
(CNN) -- Imagine a skiing experience with no lift lines where you can plunder pristine powder all day long.
You could splash out on remote heli-ski adventure, but that's not for everyone.
So the smart alternative is to become a member at an exclusive private ski resort, much like joining a golf club.
For a fee (not generally small), you can avoid the usual frenzy and bag fresh tracks with barely a soul around.
If your pockets are deep and you've chosen well, you can retire to your own luxury slopeside lodge and do it all over again the next day.
Here are nine of the best private ski resorts and semi-private ski destinations in the USA and beyond:
Yellowstone Club, Montana, USA
Who for: M. Moneybags esq., celeb spotters, Bill Gates
This is skiing the uber-rich way. Becoming a member at the Yellowstone Club in the Rockies of Montana means potentially riding the lifts with just Bill Gates or Justin Timberlake for company.
The limited-membership club charges an initial fee of $300,000 and an annual fee of $37,500, but that's just the small change.
To become a member you have to own property, which ranges from condos starting at $3 million to ranches north of $25 million.
But once you've splashed the cash, the skiing's epic, with 16 lifts, 60 runs and 2,700 vertical feet of downhill action centered on Pioneer Mountain. Plus, there's 300 inches annually of the white stuff.
There's everything in the 2,200 skiable acres from gentle beginner slopes to steep expert chutes. If that's not enough, Yellowstone Club backs onto the vast Big Sky resort. All that, and you can bag some runs with extreme ski legend Scot Schmidt, who is the club's resident ski pro.
Getting there: Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is only an hour's drive from Yellowstone Club with daily flights from across the United States. Transfers to and from the airport can be arranged by car or helicopter
Yellowstone Club, 1 Yellowstone Club Trail, Big Sky, MT 59716, USA; +1 406-995-4900
The Hermitage Club, Vermont, USA
Who for: East coast money, Wall Street weekend warriors
The Hermitage Club at Haystack Mountain is a private club in the Green Mountains of Southern Vermont.
The 194-acre ski area features five chairlifts and 46 tree-lined trails on the side of Haystack Mountain with 1,400 feet of vertical drop.
There is a member cap of 1,500 (which hasn't been reached yet), with no more than 1,000 skiers on the mountain at a time.
The damage? A cool $85,000 up front with $9,500 annually in dues.
Lodging is in one of six local inns, slopeside townhouses or condos with further development planned.
Getting there: It's a four-hour drive from New York or a 45-minute helicopter flight from Wall Street.
The Hermitage Club,183 Gatehouse Trl, Wilmington, VT 05363, USA; +1 802-464-7734
Cimarron Mountain Club, Colorado, USA
Who for: Those who REALLY hate lift lines