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Local lodge owners whose properties are for sale responded to an article in last week’s issue of The Valley Reporter regarding the number of properties that are on the market.
Two inn/lodge owners reported that their businesses are not for sale due to poor economic conditions but rather due to other circumstances.
Joan Gorman, owner of the Millbrook Lodge in Fayston, ran the inn with her late husband Thom for 32 years. After he died two years ago, Joan Gorman ran the inn on her own for two years.
“In my case, Millbrook Inn is only for sale because Thom died and as much as I love the business, and I still do, after 32 years of successfully running the inn and restaurant together and after nearly two years of me running the inn alone, it is just time for me to move on and do something different,” Gorman reported.
She said, “There are many reasons for selling a business, many of which, at least in the case of the inns mentioned, have nothing to do with the economic situation in the country or The Valley.”
At the Sugartree Inn on the Sugarbush Access Road in Warren, owners Maxine Longmuir and Graham Hewison note that their inn is for sale because they are having trouble getting their visas renewed. (They are British.)
We love this Valley and our Inn and you know that if we were allowed to stay it would not be on the market. The sale is forced and has nothing whatsoever to do with an economic downturn; in fact, we are enjoying our best September ever,” Longmuir said.
Their attempts to renew their visas have been ongoing.
“We have to file for renewal of our visas – it's the only option open to us. Our lawyer says that our only chance is if we can prove that we are of economic importance to the area. Thus, we are currently soliciting letters of support from businesses that we and our guests support. We have great letters from the town of Warren, Sugarbush, Mad River Glen, Costco and Shaw’s. I am hoping to get a few from some of the restaurants (Flatbread, Terra Rossa, Big Picture, Common Man) and then when we have those I can take them to Governor Shumlin and request one from him, too. We hope to file on 1st October and get an interview (in London) sometime between November 1 and December 12, the day our visas run out,” she explained.
“The scary thing is that if we are denied, we will not be allowed to even come back and pack up and get our dog; anything left on the visa could be taken away too. It's an utterly insane system – how come we once qualified but now we don't when actually nothing has changed other than the fact that we are doing better than could be expected in this economic climate and contributing even more to the local economy?” she added.
And, finally, the white building on the corner of Bragg Hill and Route 100 (the former Troll Shop) was incorrectly identified as the Houseneeds building. Houseneeds marketing director Joshua Meyer reported that the company’s building is not for sale and that “it is worth a heck of a lot more than $335,000.”
One final note –missing from the list of commercial property for sale in last week’s story was the first Egan’s Big World Restaurant and Lodge on Route 100 between Waitsfield and Warren.