By Roger Cox, Editor
The Bridges is a year-round resort, situated just below the ski slopes at Sugarbush. It comprises 100 condominiums all within easy walking distance of a recreation center and a dozen clay courts—two of them red clay, two of them indoors. Those courts and a popular swimming pool are its principal amenities, and that, when coupled with excellent children's programs, accounts for the large number of families who own or rent.
With over 10 tennis programs, Topnotch is the premier Vermont tennis resort. Nestled into the mountains of Stowe, Vermont, this is the destination for experienced tennis aficionados or novices. With seasonal outdoor and indoor hard courts, and USPTA-certified international staff, spa and luxury accommodations, Topnotch is ranked one of the Top 25 U.S. Tennis Resorts by Tennis Magazine. For more information, visit Topnotch Resort
Pro Shop: 802-583-2922
The Bridges has a new tennis director heading into 2019: Maja Kazimieruk. A top junior in her native Poland, he came to the U.S. on a tennis scholarship at the University of Houston in Texas and after graduating in 2013 went on to teaching and managing position at the Houston Country Club. She joined the Bridges in November 2018.
Tennis Programs. Kazimieruk kicked off her winter season with Cardio tennis and what she calls "30/30 clinics." The latter consist of 30 minutes of high intensity drills and 30 minutes of point play with strategy. She also has a social clinic that encourage all levels of players to bring a friend for "a fun hour of tennis." For summer, she adds Wide Open Workouts (WOWs, that combine an energetic workout with drills and point playing). She'll also run clinics that, she says, "place great emphasis on helping new players build foundations and keeping seniors in the game." And also woven into the summer schedule are weekend exhibitions. two round robins weekly, a flex ladder to encourage challenges, and junior clinics for all levels of players. Courts & Fees. The courts at the Bridges occupy two locations. There are five Har-Tru courts at the recreation center: 2 indoors and 3 outdoors. Those outdoor courts nestle against a hillside inset with terraced wooden seating capable of holding up to 500 spectators. Across from the recreation center a pathway leads up a low hill to an additional 7 courts—2 red clay and 5 Har-Tru—grouped around a pavilion with umbrella-shaded picnic tables. Court Fees: Lodging guests get one hour of free court time daily; visitor fees are $40/hour outdoors and $60/hour indoors.
Spa & Fitness
Golf Courses. The Bridges does not have a golf course but guests can play at the nearby Sugarbush Golf Course, an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones design. It has a classic mountain layout, notable for its great views and for punishing errant shots. Par: 72. Length: 5,187-6,524 yards. Open May to October.
Fitness Center. There is a small, unattended fitness center in a mirrored room just off the indoor swimming pool. It contains an assortment of cardiovascular equipment, some Paramount weight-training stations, and some free weights. Aerobic classes are also available in a newly renovated fitness studio.
And ... The recreation center has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, saunas, hot tub, game room, and an outdoor playground.
The resort runs a half-day Kids Camp from Monday through Friday in summer. It's geared for kids ages 5-12 and focuses on tennis and swimming.
There are roughly 100 condos altogether at the Bridges, all of them built in two phases—one on the same level as the recreation center, the other on the bluff behind—beginning in 1973. furnished and decorated by the owners, they have 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms and come with a total of six floor plans. .
Faced with gray stucco or weathered wood, these units have fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, full decks, and barbecues. All come with televisions and DVD players. In multi-bath units one or more of baths will have shower only. Master bedroom in some has private entrance. Although bedrooms tend to be small, the condos as a whole are well laid out and inviting. All have a sleeper sofa and one-day supply of coffee on check in. Late arrivals can fill out shopping list and arrive to a condo stocked with what they need. WiFi is available in each unit as well as in the recreation center.
The singular dining option at The Bridges is Café 1-Love, a tennis themed eatery featuring a selection of homemade soups, salads, and local produce and a variety of hot and cold sandwiches for lunch. The dinner menu rotates weekly to feature seasonal local produce, cheeses, and meats. Otherwise, there are numerous restaurants in the valley.
For other unpretentious, child-friendly resorts in the mountains with tennis and condominium lodging, look at:
The Bridges Vermont Resort & Tennis Club
202 Bridges Circle
Seasons. Although the Bridges is open all year, with tennis available on its two indoor courts, the height of the tennis season runs from June to mid October.
Travel Instructions. By Air: The nearest major airport is Burlington, Vermont, 45 miles to the northwest. By Car: The resort is 140 miles from Montreal, 190 miles from Boston, and 300 miles from New York City.
General Tourist Information. Visit the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing website or contact them at 6 Baldwin Street, Drawer 33, Montpelier, VT 05633-1301; Phone 800-VERMONT (800-837-6668).