18 years ago Tuesday, we signed a Purchase & Sales agreement to buy Sugarbush from the American Ski Corporation. A day later 9/11 occurred, and I watched all of this unfold on CNN from my hotel room in Tokyo. That is a day I will certainly never forget, and it was a day that changed the world in so many ways. As my Merrill Lynch office was at Ground Zero, I had a first hand look at the devastation down there. There were many heroes that day, and I hope our nation never forgets them.
While that was such a sad day for our nation, the day before 9/11 was also a day I will always remember. Most if not all of my former colleagues thought I was crazy to want to own a ski resort. Indeed, I may have been somewhat impulsive and naïve. But these past eighteen years have proven to be some of the most enjoyable of my life so far. Along with an incredible staff, we have turned an unprofitable operation into one that celebrated a record season this past year. And, one that is respected within our community and our industry.
The future will certainly bring us many new challenges with the changing nature of the competition, the consequences of climate change and other challenges of doing business in Vermont. All businesses need to continually adapt and innovate to remain competitive while not changing the culture and the values that have made them successful. With the team we have in place I am confident that we will do just that. We have many opportunities in front of us.
But for today, I ask you to remember those who lost their lives on 9/11 and who have protected us in the years that have followed. We still have many serving in harm’s way allowing us to pursue the lives that we have.