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What happened to North?

12/13/2007

To The Editor:
 
To Win Smith and the management of Sugarbush, I ask: What happened to North?  When Summit Ventures purchased Sugarbush from ASC, it seemed like good days were ahead for Sugarbush. There were improvements to mountain facilities and lifts. Progress was made on the much needed maintenance that had been deferred by the previous management. It seemed like there was a new attitude at Sugarbush. 

Two years ago, I even remember Win attending the lift at North for a late spring day at the Glen House. That type of effort was appreciated. That day reminded me of past years with late spring days at North that featured live music at the Glen House and epic spring skiing at North. Mt. Ellen is the ultimate early season and late season mountain. It only takes a few trails and two lifts to get things going early and stay open late. FIS holds snow much later than any trail at South.  

Now, here we are in the first week of December and North is not even open yet. Much like what happened at the golf course seems to be happening on the mountain.  Squeeze out the local people and make room for the affluent visitors. I understand that Win needs to make money and real estate is the best way to make money in this industry.  

Don't get me wrong, I hope that Win Smith and Summit Ventures are successful with all current and future projects. But, when I see all that money spent on South and the lifts are not turning at North, I start to wonder what they were selling when I bought my North 'Plus' pass. I guess it could have been called the South 'minus' pass.  

I think that there may be a management perception that South is the premier mountain and North is just an overflow mountain. Not true. Many of the local people prefer to ski North. Purchasing a North season pass is not a sign of frugality. People want to ski North. Where else can someone park two rows from the lift on a weekday and catch a few runs without spending half the day walking past an empty luxury hotel? Please Win, open Club North. You can afford it. You have my money.

Mike Fiaschetti

Waitsfield

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