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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673
802-496-3928
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Positive focus

02/14/2008

To The Editor:

I would like to begin by thanking all of our friends and customers who were quick to call The Common Man and point out Christine Danser's letter to the editor in last week's paper. In her letter she mistakenly stated that we were "closed for the winter." Not only is The Common Man open, but we are alive and thriving.

The better news is we are not the only ones thriving. Right now The Valley is thriving! I personally know of many restaurants, retail shops, B&Bs, inns, and other businesses in The Valley that had a record December. And, if it keeps snowing like this, we are looking at a record winter (knock on wood).
 
In regard to "What Happened?" I have to agree with Mrs. Danser; it's very "concerning," "disappointing" and "disturbing" to see restaurants and other Valley businesses close. Especially when you truly are vested in this Valley, living here, working here, and seeing your fellow business owners close because they have to, not necessarily because they want to.
   
I would also have to agree with Mrs. Danser's grandson. Once the sun sets, it's tough being a teenager here. For a teenager, The Valley can definitely be "too darn relaxing." But, in 20 years, this may be one of the biggest reasons he decides to come back.

So to answer the question "What Happened?" My answer is . . . "I don't know."  What I do know is the days of "Mascara Mountain" are gone. The "horse show" is gone. "The Den" is gone. And, so is the "escargot" on the menu at The Common Man. But, has any of this really hurt The Valley?
 
We have two (actually three) of the best mountains in the Northeast for skiing and riding. Both have made significant upgrades and improvements in the past two years. Sure, maybe a few restaurants have closed, but there are some new restaurants that have opened. Did you know there are 21 restaurants in The Valley where you can go and sit down for dinner on the weekend? Aside from the numerous outdoor activities, we have two indoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a rock climbing wall, fitness centers, a movie theater, the Skatium, and unique retail shops. Is there really less to do here than there was 10 years ago? I think the answer is, "No."
 
Isn't it about time that we stop dwelling on "What Happened?" and focus on "What's Happening?" I, for one, am very proud to be a business owner in The Valley. I think it's time that we focus on the positive!
 
Keith Paxman

Owner of The Common Man Restaurant

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