Year-Round Adaptive Sports Facility at Sugarbush Resort

New Permanent Home in Central Vermont, Sugarbush Resort, Warren/Waitsfield

In this next phase of Vermont Adaptive’s Home Sweet Home campaign, we are excited to capitalize on our experiences from building the Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge at Pico Mountain in 2013 — the first phase of the organization’s permanent homes campaign.

The new 4,000+ sq. ft. facility at Sugarbush Resort will be a permanent year-round hub serving people with disabilities in the greater Mad River Valley region. This $2M project is part of a much larger multi-year campaign that also includes building a new facility on the Burlington Waterfront and establishing an endowment.



Update as of May 28, 2020:
Vermont Adaptive Delays Build of New Adaptive Sports Center at Sugarbush until Spring 2021

Erin Fernandez, executive director of Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, has announced that the organization will postpone construction of its new $2 million adaptive sports facility at Mt. Ellen at Sugarbush until Spring 2021. Originally, construction was expected to begin this spring.

“I made the hard decision, with input from Sugarbush Resort officials and the support of the Vermont Adaptive Board of Directors, to delay the build of the facility at this time,” said Fernandez. “While it is disappointing to be delayed, I believe this is the right and prudent decision now, given the many variables and open-ended questions about our ever-changing environment during this Coronavirus pandemic.”

In early May, Win Smith and the Sugarbush Resort Leadership Team suggested a delay to Fernandez due to the CDC predictions that a second wave of COVID-19 could hit in the Fall, potentially shutting down construction projects indefinitely. The construction timeline is approximately seven months to completion.

In addition, because the new building includes renovations to the current Mt. Ellen base lodge, the construction must be completed, and a certificate of occupancy must be obtained, one month prior to opening day at Mt. Ellen next season. At this point, Fernandez said, that cannot be guaranteed in the event that the State of Vermont orders another shut down; there are just too many variables.

Fernandez remains optimistic. Permitting is nearly complete. If there is any appropriate site work that can be done without impacting a certificate of occupancy for Mt. Ellen, some small projects may be accomplished short-term. Vermont Adaptive is sourcing materials and contractors who will help with in kind donations.

“We look forward to keeping up the momentum because this is absolutely a necessity for our growing programs and will make a difference for all our participants and Vermont Adaptive Community,” said Fernandez.

The organization has raised approximately $1.5 million in cash and in-kind donations and will continue to raise funds for the facility and a sustainability fund.

Plans for the Sugarbush facility were designed by Jeff Dunham Architecture.

To donate or inquire about naming opportunities, contact Jenn Rand, Director of Development, at 802.786.4991 ext. 30 or For more information about the new adaptive sports facility at Sugarbush, visit





The new facility is specifically designed with the Vermont Adaptive participants, volunteers, staff, and community in mind in order to bring year-round accessible sports and recreation to the entire mountain community.

Main Level – The main level of the new facility will include 1,800 sq. ft. dedicated to our athletes, volunteers and staff. The program area serves as the gateway to checking in and prepping for the slopes, and includes accessible restrooms, space for working on and maintaining year-round equipment, participant cubbies, space for equipment storage and more. Summer camps, wellness programs and retreats, social events, training seminars and classwork will be offered through- out the year. This main level will have plenty of “room to breathe” for everyone to enjoy their entire recreational experience—whether in winter, spring, summer, or fall.

Upper Level – The upper level of the facility will include approximately 1,300 sq. ft. for volunteers to prepare and organize for their lessons, discuss client needs among teaching teams and prepare for the day’s schedule. Quiet space will be used for yoga classes and retreats, wellness programs and other indoor learning opportunities. Service animals will have a special place to relax or play while their “people” are out recreating. A quiet sensory room will offer a break from over-stimulation for those who need it. A lending library will be available with year-round teaching and training materials, teaching aids, and health and wellness resources specific to the medical needs of a variety of disabilities.  More storage is available on the upper level.

Lower Level – The lower level will include more space for equipment storage, locker-type storage and room for the mechanical equipment needed for the building itself.

All three levels will be connected by an access-for-all elevator. The main level will connect with the existing Mt. Ellen base lodge, providing complete access to the food court and main base lodge level. The Upper Level will connect to the Mt. Ellen third floor bar. The Lower Level will connect to the rental shop, lockers and Ski Patrol. Several handicap parking spots will be available at the main entrance to the facility as well as increased parking in the upper tier parking lot.

Giving and Naming Opportunities  – Gifts of all sizes are appreciated for Vermont Adaptive’s new facility, including gifts in-kind for services and materials or building endowment funds. Special recognition is available for significant gifts if you are interested in naming opportunities in your family’s name, to honor an individual or recognize a corporation.

Please contact Jenn Rand, Director of Development  at or 802.786.4991 ext. 30 for giving and naming and  Jeff Alexander, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Business Development at or 802.786.4991 ext. 29 for in-kind donations.

©Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports Site by: JEG DESIGN INC