Thursday, September 8, 2011
Ten years ago on September 10, 2001, we signed the Purchase and Sale agreement with the American Skiing Corporation to purchase the assets of Sugarbush Resort. After six months of negotiation, we finally concluded the deal and expected that it would be big news the next day. Of course, everyone knows what 9/11 brought.
On that fateful day a decade ago, I was in Tokyo still working for Merrill Lynch, and I watched CNN in horror all night long and tried in vain to contact my colleagues only a block away from the World Trade Center Towers. I was able to return to my office and the devastation of lower Manhattan a week ago, and I will never forget the smell and the sight of the still smoldering rubble that was several stories high. But I will always remember the spirit of those whose lives were impacted forever and the communities that rallied to help those who had suffered so much that day.
Ten years later I celebrate a decade of owning Sugarbush. Indeed, I am thrilled to have made that investment a decade ago. Despite having a “100 year drought” dry up the Mad River snowmaking pond and a recession in our first year of ownership, we have managed to improve each year and this fiscal year which ended on July 31st we had our best year ever.
Then Irene hit us hard, and the devastation that hit many here in the Mad River Valley and our neighbors throughout Vermont reminded me of that day in New York City ten years earlier. The force of Irene came out of nowhere and when the sun shone the next morning the damage was unfathomable and as shocking as the rubble that followed 9/11.
Once again human spirit and goodness rose to the occasion and neighbors poured out to help our friends at the Pitcher Inn, at Bridge Street and in Moretown. Fortunately, not many lives were lost, but the monetary and the psychological cost of the floods are enormous. As I read the various blogs and see the goodness of the people in The Mad River Valley, I feel so lucky and proud to be part of this wonderful community.
As we look forward to our second decade of ownership, we do so with great optimism and a commitment to make Sugarbush an even better place in the future and a commitment to continue being a supportive member of this wonderful Valley.