Change is Good

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Change is good, change is hard, change is fun, change keeps you young, the only real constant in life is change.

My wife Eileen and I are putting a pin in the thirty-three years we’ve called the Valley home and my 13-year run at Sugarbush. We showed up here on a Labor Day weekend in 1986 with a 6-month baby in tow and no real plan. We had each other. We did agree on one thing: if we both weren’t happy here after 6 months we would be head back to the northwest corner of Connecticut. Clearly we were.

No need for a history lesson about the ups and downs of our lives. That’s what Facebook memories are for. Let me tell you about the future.

I see exciting things ahead for the Mad River Valley. The ski industry is vibrant, and our sleepy ridgeline remains proudly independent. The beer industry is booming and no one, no one (twice for emphasis) does a better job than Lawson’s. The Taproom is one of the most welcoming spots that also happens to serve arguably one of best selections of beer in the world. The Chamber has a new face who is truly a champion of the Valley in Eric Friedman. Mehuron’s is slowly changing guard with new faces and new products but the same friendly place. One of the things I will miss the most about the Valley is shopping at Mehuron’s: it’s more like visiting than shopping. Loved the old crew, love the new crew.

It’s our four-season trail network that will shine a spotlight on the towns going forward. Always known for our skiing and winter sports now the summer has an authentic grass roots movement. I’ve seen these trails grow up from old cross-country ski trails behind Tucker Hill Lodge, abandoned logging roads at Blueberry Lake and unauthorized misty trails at Camel’s Hump and Phen Basin into world class destination riding and hiking. These volunteer efforts are transforming the non-winter seasons. Trail systems improve the lives of residents, draw visitors to support our existing hospitality operations and creates a year-round economy.

I look forward to what’s next for me and my family as well as the future of our hometown, the Mad River Valley. Change is good.