Many of the Ambassadors at Sugarbush have well over 15 years of volunteer service. The most experienced have over 22 years and counting! The length of average tenure of an Ambassador at Sugarbush is a huge testament to the Sugarbush, the Mad River Valley and most importantly the people. This was year one for me as an Ambassador. I had a great time wearing the Ambassador’s Red Jacket, making new friends, unlocking the secrets of Sugarbush and sharing my knowledge of the area with others.
The first thing we all realized was that the 2020-2021 ski season was going to be anything but normal. Many of us weren’t even sure there was going to a ski season. Luckily, the lifts did spin and I was fortunate enough to be able to winter in the Valley. I always wanted to work at Sugarbush, but never had the opportunity since the commute from Texas (my permanent home) is a bit problematic. I’ve skied Sugarbush for over 35 years so I figured being an Ambassador would be a great opportunity to share my experiences of the mountain and do what I could to help make for a successful ski season.
This years’ Ambassador duties were certainly unlike other other years. The playbook was literally written day to day as we all figured out out how to operate a ski resort in the midst of a pandemic. It’s astounding to think of all the operational decisions that had to be made to get ready for opening day: online food orders, mask regulations, chair & lift line logistics, room capacity monitoring, rentals, parking, bussing capacity. Every operation of the resort had to be re-thought, re-planned and communicated. The Ambassadors were many times the first line of communication ensuring our guests feel welcome, safe, and informed on the new COVID policies.
Aside from helping make sure our guests had a safe and enjoyable experience, being part of the Ambassador program itself has been a great experience. Ambassadors by nature are a group that like to teach and share their experiences with others. When you get a group of well travelled alpine skiers, snowboarders, AT skiers, racers, and free-heelers you pick up a whole lot of new and fun information. I’m amazed at how much I still have to learn about the Valley, even after 35 years exploring it’s secrets. The Ambassadors really are a big part of what makes Sugarbush special. I look forward to new friendships, trails, adventures, and the next 19 years of Ambassadoring!