Pump Pain = Savvy Resorts’ Gain

1213113321So far, this Bostonista has been on the sidelines of the economic downturn. I don’t own a home and I don’t have kids. So what if my carton of Rice Dream costs a wee bit more than it used to? Without any of life’s major responsibilities, I figured I was recession-proof. Until, that is, I tried to get to New York last weekend.

First, I thought I’d drive—until my Jeep’s AC conked out and a quick trip to the pump left me holding a $75 receipt (up from $40 three years ago). I turned to my old standby, the trusty Amtrak. But whereas I used to train to NYC for under $100, now even the less desirable Regional route cost triple digits. The upscale Limoliner has jacked its fees as well—to $89 one-way—and I was too late to hop aboard the best deal around, the new BoltBus. Flying, with to- and from-airport fares, was out of the question.

I ended up with Amtrak, a wallet ache, and a pessimistic outlook on summer travel. But then I got to work on Monday morning and all was momentarily right again, thanks to new gas-conscious deals from two area resorts.

At the brand-new Stowe Mountain Lodge, opening this week, vacationers get a $25 “gas card” with a two night stay ($50 card for a three night stay, $100 for four, and so on). Also—pay attention, Prius drivers—hybrid rides park for free. Now granted, my sojourn to Stowe would cost upward of $150 in gas, but now that I’m penny-pinching, every dollar counts.

Down south, at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa, guests get a $40 “gas voucher” and $20 “meal voucher” for booking two nights. I know there’s no such thing as a free meal—especially considering a night at the posh Hyannis inn runs around $200 per night—but for some reason a voucher just feels like gratuitous cash.

I probably won’t be selling the SUV, buying a hybrid, and booking a five-night Stowe stay anytime soon. But, all things considered, I’d much rather now head to Vermont or the Cape than board some kickback-barren New York transportation.

Stowe Mountain Lodge, 7412 Mountain Rd., Stowe, 802-253-3560, stowemountainlodge.com;

The Cape Codder Resort & Spa, 1225 Iyannough Rd., Hyannis, 888-297-2200, capecodderresort.com.