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).
Send an email to Michelle DiStefano, our Event Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. He or another AO representative will get in touch with you to answer any questions and to discuss and confirm dates.
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. For a larger event with more than 100 people, the Town requires completion of a Public Event Application (available on the Town’s website). AO must be listed as a co-sponsor of the event, and we can assist you with preparation. After completion, please send the Application to Michelle DiStefano at email@example.com for final review and approval prior to submission it to the Town administrator. Ascutney Outdoors also requires a simple Addendum.
A “Gathering” has expected attendance of less than 100 people and requires only a short Gathering Application, which is reviewed by Ascutney Outdoors and can be approved outright.
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 deposit is required of one-half of the rental rate to Ascutney Outdoors, unless waived, with the balance due the day before the event. 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.
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. 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 a rental fee of $350 to $500 depending on the size and nature of the gathering. The fee for an evening meeting is $100. Please see our updated User Fee Schedule for more details. There are no additional clean up charges, but you are responsible for any damage. In addition, our policy is to leave the building “as you originally found it” and “pack out” all garbage. Please refer to Terms and Conditions for Private Event Rentals for more details.
The trail fee for an event that uses trails is $4.00 per person. For example, if you are planning a bike riding event and expect 100 participants, the fee would be $400.00 for use the trails. There is an addition charge if you also are going to use the AOC for the day (for registration, access to the inside facilities). 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.
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.
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.