Win's Word

Summer in Portillo

Thursday, July 25, 2013

This summer, my son Win and I are going to escape to Chile to visit our good friends down in Portillo for a week. Sugarbush and Portillo have had a long history, dating back to when Sigi Grottendorfer ran the ski school at both mountains. (Following Sigi's tradition, our Ski & Ride Director, Russ Kauff, moves to New Zealand during Vermont's summer months.) Skiing Portillo has been on my bucket list for some time, so when my son suggested that this was the summer to do it, we made our plans.

Portillo is offering any Sugarbush passholder and Clay Brook or Rice Brook owner a free one-night stay at the Ritz Carlton in Santiago on arrival day, before heading up to the mountains. That is a great deal and I encourage you to take advantage of it.

It has been hazy, hot and humid here for quite awhile, and we are really sick of the persistent rain. However, an interesting unintended consequence of this weather is that Rumble has started to swim. Bernese Mountain Dogs do not have web paws and are not usually inclined to be swimmers, but recent temperatures have changed all that. The hot weather also seems to be driving reptiles like snapping turtles to seek cooler temperatures. This one was moving toward the ripples of Clay Brook near the 16th hole on our golf course. Fortunately, the hot weather broke yesterday and it looks like we are in for some really nice, sunny, and cooler days and nights. Both our golf course and the mountain should dry out nicely with the mountain breezes and low-humidity days.

If you have not tried our raw bar at the Castlerock Pub on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, you really are missing something. This is a new feature this summer and a pleasant way to enjoy an evening on the mountain. Speaking of food, the annual Taste of the Valley is coming up on Monday, August 5th, and we still have some tickets available. The Taste kicks off the month-long Festival of the Arts. Don't miss it. There are so many great things to do during the Festival, including a visit to The Skinner Barn to enjoy a performance of The Fantasticks.

Construction on our new Rice Brook homes is moving ahead and is on-schedule for completion this fall. Eight of the fifteen units are now under contract.

As I mentioned in an earlier message, this is the summer for repaving many roads in the Valley and at the resort. Come October, you should be pleased with the results. Inside, we are installing new carpeting in both the Valley House and Mt. Ellen lodges this week. Exterior and interior painting all around the resort is moving ahead now, as the weather improves.

Oh! I should also mention that campers spotted Murphy the Moose at the top of the Bravo lift a few days ago. Let's hope that this a good omen for another snowy winter.


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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