Win's Word

Sugarbush & the Valley after Irene

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene dumped nearly six inches of rain on Warren, swelling the Mad River into a roaring torrent. Fortunately, the mountains, roads and buildings of Sugarbush as well as on-mountain homes and condominiums fared well and all our summer activities have resumed as of Tuesday, August 30th. On the golf course today, everything is open with the exception of holes 12, 13, 14 and 15, which are expected to reopen by the weekend. (The bridge between the back and front tees on 15 was damaged and needs repairing in order to cross it safely.) Timbers Restaurant, Castlerock Pub, Sunrise Cafe, and Hogan's Pub are operating as scheduled, but menu choices are temporarily limited until our food supply gets replenished, which we expect to happen today or tomorrow.

Unfortunately, the south wall of our snowmaking pond was breached and the Mad River has flowed into the pond filling it with debris and gravel. Fortunately, we have time to repair it before the onset of the winter season. This will be our top priority.

Our team here at Sugarbush did a remarkable job preparing for the worst. Waterbars on the mountain were checked and improved. Culverts around the resort were checked and cleared. And Mike Wing and his team prepared the golf course as much as possible.

We had a full weekend of weddings and, despite some interim power outages on Sunday, all the celebrations were held. Once again our lodging, food & beverage, and wedding teams worked extra hard to pull everything off nicely.

Many businesses and farms in the Valley sustained considerable damage and much of the local produce will have to be destroyed. Bridge Street in Waitsfield was particularly hard hit, including businesses like The Green Cup. The covered bridge remains standing but is not passable. Tracks downstairs at The Pitcher Inn had nearly five feet of water inside on Sunday, but the inn and upstairs restaurant should reopen soon. American Flatbread and Lareau Farm were also flooded, but they are working hard again today to clear out the silt and debris with plans to reopen Saturday.

It is amazing to see the many volunteers, including staff and students from GMVS, helping neighbors in need.

Many roads within the Valley and around the state have been damaged. German Flats Road is currently closed to through traffic and is expected to reopen sometime tomorrow. Route 100 at the intersection of Route 17 was compromised. But all along the valley floor, from Waitsfield to Warren, Route 100 is passable with just a few delays where repair work is underway. Route 100 south of Warren Village is closed. The covered bridge in Warren survived but is not passable. Granville is not accessible from either the north or south. Moretown also received tremendous damage and Route 100B will likely be closed for an extended period of time.

The best way to access Sugarbush today is to take Interstate 89 to Exit 10 in Waterbury and follow Route 100 south into the Valley. We are unsure of the status of Roxbury Gap, Route 12A from Randolph, and Exit 4, but we are hopeful that by the weekend the route over Roxbury Gap via Exit 4 or 5 will again provide access to the Valley. State and local crews are working round the clock.

Our thoughts are with the many businesses, homeowners, and community members -- both here in the Valley and around the state -- who suffered damage during this unbelievably powerful storm. Many have asked how to assist those in need. The Mad River Community Fund is a great way to help.

We will keep you posted as things progress.


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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