Event Rental Frequently Asked Questions
We have prepared the following FAQs to guide you through our application process for renting out the Ascutney Outdoor Center (AOC) for private or public gatherings, as well as large and small events at Ascutney Outdoors (AO).
Once a date is confirmed, the next step is to start the application process. Ascutney Outdoors follows the policies and regulations of the Town of West Windsor, which classifies an “Event” as having more than 100 people.
Every Event requires an Event License Application from the Town of West Windsor, which is prepared by the Applicant with our assistance, as well as a simple Addendum from Ascutney Outdoors. The Town requires that AO be listed as a co-sponsor of the event. After completion, the signed Application is sent to the Town Administrator and will be reviewed by the Select Board of the Town.
A “Gathering” has expected attendance of less than 100 people and requires a short Gathering Application. It is reviewed by Ascutney Outdoors and may be approved outright. Your contact person will assist you in completing the application.
For Gatherings (less than 100 people), Ascutney Outdoors will review your Gathering Application and get back to you promptly with our approval. No deposit is required.
For Events (over 100 people), we will hold your date through the application process. There is a nominal filing fee with the Town of West Windsor (listed in the application); after your Application is approved, a $150 deposit to Ascutney Outdoors is required, unless waived.
There are times when we need to limit the number of outside events so that the facilities can be used for community activities. Your representative will work with you to find available times and options for your gathering. As an example, birthday “tubing parties” are popular in the winter, but we can’t rent out the AOC for exclusive use during busy weekends. As an alternative, small parties are welcome to take a table at the AOC.
Please note that the grounds and trails are typically open to the public during large events, but we are able to restrict access to certain areas and trails. In addition, the trails can be closed for conditions and are closed at certain times, such as hunting season.
The Ascutney Outdoors Center is available for $150 for a half day (4 hours) and $250 for a full day (8 hours). A cleaning fee included for normal cleaning and wear and tear, but not damage. Please see our User Fee Schedule for more details.
Fees for use of the mountain trails are $2.00 per person. For example, if you are planning a bike riding event and expect 100 participants, the fee would be $200.00 for use the trails. If you also are going to use the AOC for the day (for registration, access to the inside facilities) the fee would be $250. The total cost would be $450.00. Please see our Photo Gallery for trail and property maps.
We are permitted by local fire ordinance to have no more than 100 people inside the AOC. The covered deck on the side of the AOC has a gas grill and can accommodate about 30 people. The south (mountain) side of the AOC has a brick-paver patio that can accommodate even more people in appropriate weather. There also is space for a tent that works well for mingling and music. Please see our Photo Gallery for pictures of the Ascutney Outdoors Center.
Our experience is that live bands do best when the event is during milder weather and the doors can open to the outside. The use of a DJ is a good option for winter events when everyone is confined to the indoors. We are working to improve the inside acoustics by placing sound absorbing panels on the ceiling. We hope to address this issue during 2020.
There are two restrooms on the main floor of the Ascutney Outdoors Center and one rest room the ground floor. All are handicapped accessible. For large events, you will be responsible for bringing in Porta Potties, as described in the application.
BYOB is permitted in accordance with the guidelines in our BYOB Policy. This works well for small, casual gatherings where individuals carry in their own beer or wine (no hard liquor). It is the responsibility of the applicant to monitor their participants and clean up and carry away all bottles, cans, and related containers. Larger groups are encouraged and typically required to use a licensed server of beer or wine.
There is ample parking (900 cars) in the main lot, a short walk to the Ascutney Outdoors Center. Smaller parking areas are adjacent to the AOC for service providers and handicapped parking.
The Ascutney Outdoors Center has a small kitchen with a refrigerator, microwave, and sink. There are ample counters along the back wall with electric plugs to accommodate food service.
Ascutney Outdoors has a partnership with the nearby Brownsville Butcher & Pantry which can provide full-service catering and alcohol distribution and has lots of experience with our facility and local ordinances. If you prefer, you may choose your own caterer.
The Ascutney Outdoors Center and our property is a “carry in, carry out” facility, which means you are responsible for taking out anything you brought in – trash, recycling, decorations, materials, equipment – upon the completion of your event or gathering.
Weddings for over 100 people must file an Event permit with the Town of West Windsor. If the event requires a tent or other amenities, the cost is $500, which includes access to the building for the entire day and the day before for setting up. The Ascutney Outdoors Center is best suited for smaller weddings, especially a wedding with outside catering. For larger weddings, we suggest you contact the nearby resort, Holiday Inn Club Vacations – Mount Ascutney Resort. They provide full-service catering and a larger venue that can accommodate 250+ people.