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KILLINGTON, Vt. (Feb. 20, 2020) – Last week Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports officials filed an Act 250 permit application with the state of Vermont to build a new, $2 million adaptive sports facility at Sugarbush Resort’s Mt. Ellen. The application states that Vermont Adaptive is the applicant and Sugarbush Resort is the landowner. If approved, Vermont Adaptive’s Executive Director Erin Fernandez said the organization will break ground on the new facility in the spring.
“We’re in the final stages of our fundraising and are grateful for the continued support from Win Smith, Sugarbush, and its new owner, Alterra, to allow us to build our second adaptive sports facility in the state right here at our home at Mt. Ellen,” said Fernandez. “Friends and participants of Vermont Adaptive’s programs at Sugarbush have pledged a generous challenge to match every dollar up to $1 million for this Sugarbush facility. Sugarbush officials have granted a long term lease of the land necessary to build upon. We saw huge growth in our programs and the number of people who can participate in year-round sports when we built our first adaptive sports facility at Pico Mountain in 2013. We’re excited for the potential growth in the Mad River Valley with this next phase of our Home Sweet Home permanent homes campaign.”
Architectural plans, renderings and permitting began in Spring 2018 for the new 4,000-sq. ft. adaptive sports facility. Plans for the Sugarbush facility were designed by Jeff Dunham Architecture. Fernandez said that in addition to donations from individuals, the organization is seeking in-kind support in the form of building materials and more.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Vermont Adaptive in their efforts to build a new adaptive sports facility here at Mt. Ellen,” said Win Smith, president of Sugarbush Resort. “We believe in the great work of Vermont Adaptive and provide full support to realize their vision.”
Vermont Adaptive, nationally recognized for its year-round daily adaptive sports programs for people with any disability, has a total goal of $4 million to build, open and sustain this facility at Sugarbush, as well as to build a new permanent home on the Burlington Waterfront and Bike Path, and to create a sustainability fund to support these programs and facilities into the future.
“People with disabilities are more likely to have other health issues like heart disease, stroke, or diabetes which is why it is so important to provide programs for people to be active and live a healthy lifestyle,” said Fernandez. “This new facility allows us to grow and expand our existing programs and to serve more athletes with disabilities in the Mad River Valley and in Central Vermont, for those vacationing in Vermont, and beyond. More programs like wellness and environmental camps, plus retreats, social events, training seminars, and sport specific programs will be added to serve more people. Additional storage and maintenance spaces allow us to increase equipment capacity. The opportunities are limitless. In designing these facilities we thoughtfully consider and include features that focus on inclusion, adaptability and the participant’s overall experience. It’s a special and exciting time for us as we plant permanent roots in Central and Northern Vermont.”
The organization built and opened the Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge at Pico Mountain in November 2013 with the Pico Ski Education Foundation, marking the completion of the first phase of the Home Sweet Home campaign. This facility houses the organization’s headquarters and is the hub for year-round programming in southern Vermont and the greater Rutland/Killington region. It is one of the only year-round adaptive sports facilities in Vermont and New England.
Vermont Adaptive’s humble beginnings began on the ski trails at Mt. Ascutney more than 30 years ago in 1987. As the organization expanded throughout the state to meet the recreational needs of those with disabilities, it also began summer programs to eventually become a nationally recognized year-round organization.
To donate or inquire about naming opportunities, contact Jenn Rand at 802.786.4991 x. 30 or email@example.com; . Donors can give online at Vermont Adaptive’s website. For more information about the new adaptive sports facility at Sugarbush, visit www.vermontadaptive.org/permanent-homes.
About Vermont Adaptive
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is a nationally recognized organization that empowers people of all abilities through inclusive sports and recreational programming regardless of ability to pay. In addition to sports, year-round programming options integrate environmental, holistic wellness, and competitive training philosophies for people of all ages with cognitive, developmental, physical, and emotional/behavioral disabilities. Sports and recreational opportunities include alpine skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, cycling, mountain biking, sailing, rock climbing, horseback riding, Veterans programs and retreats, and more. More than 400 volunteers serve athletes from all over the world at three winter locations in Vermont – Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton, as well as statewide in a variety of locations including the Burlington waterfront during the summer and warmer months. For more information, visit www.vermontadaptive.org.
About Sugarbush: (updated January 2020) In 2001, Win Smith and a small group of minority investors created Summit Ventures NE LLC to purchase Sugarbush Resort from the American Skiing Company. Sugarbush was purchased by the Alterra Mountain Company on January 14, 2020. Alterra owns 15 ski resorts throughout the USA and Canada including Stratton and Mt. Tremblant in the East and Deer Valley, Steamboat, and Squaw Valley in the West. Win remains as President and COO of Sugarbush Resort along with his management team and continues to be very involved in the Mad River Valley community.
Sugarbush encompasses two mountain areas and offers multiple lodging options, an array of dining venues, an award-winning ski school, and a fully appointed Health and Recreation Center. The resort employs approximately 165 year round and close to 1,000 in the height of the winter season.