Win's Word

First Snow and Mad River Glen Partnership

Monday, October 15, 2012

There is only one fitting word now: SNOW! We had our first snow of the year on the Sunday of Columbus Day weekend on the upper slopes and flurries have been seen since. It is also time to start using another word- Blustery. Hopefully in less than 20 days we will be making snow and perhaps Mother Nature will be giving us some natural snow too!

Many thanks to everyone who came to our Community Day celebration. It was a bit dreary and rainy on Saturday but it was nice to see so many people at our morning presentation and film in the afternoon. We had two beautiful weddings this weekend as well.

Even though it was only 37 degrees when I got to the top of Bravo on Sunday, it was worth the ride to see the magnificent autumn colors in the Valley. People are saying that it turned out to be one of the most spectacular years for foliage. Higher on the mountain, the leaves had already fallen. And the skies over the past week have been filled with geese migrating south. There is no question that winter is just around the corner.

I have written in past weeks about various signs of a good winter -- hornets building their nests high, big wooly caterpillars, The Farmers' Almanac prediction. Now I have another one. Rumble's energy level is soaring. Berners love the cold and the snow, so he seems to be sensing that it is going to be his kind of winter.

While the early-price deadline has come and gone for most passes, our College Pass deadline is not until November 7th. Our new Threesome College Pass is getting tremendous exposure on campus, so make sure to tell any undergraduate or graduate student you know about this pass. We are really excited about partnering with Mad River Glen this year and offering three different passes with them -- The Threesome, the “AddMad” option for For20s Passes, and Ski the Valley Plus. On Saturday, Jamey Wimble and Eric Friedman from MRG attended our Community Day presentation and Lili and I and Candice White joined them at their annual co-op meeting. We also held a joint press conference to announce our partnership. We all hope we can continue to build upon this new partnership between Sugarbush and Mad River Glen in the future and bring more people to this great place that has the best skiing terrain in the East.

Mad River and Sugarbush

As you may know, MRG was founded in 1949 (which happens to be the year of my birth). Nine years later, Damon Gadd recruited their manager, Jack Murphy, to join him in forming Sugarbush. Thus began a rivalry that has lasted decades. In past years, Mad River Glen teamed-up with Bolton and Jay to offer the Triple Major College Pass. But then one day this spring, a member of our marketing department, Patrick Brown, was skiing with Eric Friedman at Stowe and the topic of working together came up. Patrick skied a lot at MRG while in college and he is a great tele skier. The next day, Patrick came back to work and said, "This rivalry is silly." He said that we really need to figure out how to be partners and help each other get more people to enjoy this Valley. Great new ideas usually come from a young set of eyes.

At the Mad River Glen meeting on Saturday, Jamey and Eric presented us with one of their trail signs -- Paradise. It is most fitting for our new partnership. (You can find a Paradise trail at both Sugarbush and Mad River Glen.)

Of course, snowboarders are still not allowed at MRG, but they can find plenty of great terrain at Sugarbush as well as our park that Transworld Snowboarding magazine readers ranked among the top five in the East. This ranking is a wonderful tribute to what Tony Chiuchiolo and his team accomplished last year and what they expect to do again this year.

We are once again sponsoring the Eastern tour for Warren Miller's new film, Flow State, so I hope you can attend and get further stoked for the season.

Finally, I want to remind you that our SugarDirect card is on sale now through December 17, 2012. It is a perfect way of skiing affordably if you plan to ski or ride only two to eight days this year. And the direct-to-lift feature is a really convenient way to get on the mountain on those powder days.

Keep thinking snow!

About Win Smith
President & Owner

So what would you expect a former Executive Vice President of Merrill Lynch to do when he retires? Lay low in the islands? Nope. He moves north and works seven days a week right here at Sugarbush. Check out what he's been thinking.

Learn More about Win Smith >


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