Last week was a very challenging week for our nation. For the past few months all of us have been impacted by COVID-19 in various ways. For some it has only created an inconvenience but for others it has created enormous stress, financial hardship, or worse.
Last week, we witnessed the shocking death of George Floyd in Minneapolis followed by the subsequent protests that have occurred through the United States. For the most part, these protests have been peaceful, though unfortunately, some took advantage of the situation with looting and arson in a number of cities. It is important to distinguish between these two groups.
Protesting has always been an important part of America’s history. 52 years ago, I witnessed something similar after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Here in our beautiful Mad River Valley it is sometimes difficult to understand what is happening and being felt in other communities. It can be easy to forget that we have it pretty nice in a place so beautiful and safe.
Growing up in a safe and beautiful environment I was not able to fully appreciate the frustration and anger that led to the protests and riots five decades ago. I have a much better awareness now. With two mixed-race grandchildren it all feels a lot closer to home. I now worry about how they will be treated. If they are stopped for a traffic violation will they feel like I do and act the same way? Will they fear in a way that I never did? Or will we as a country finally make strides towards dealing with the racism that is unfortunately still among us?
Black Lives do matter and even in our wonderful community here in the Mad River Valley we must recognize that, speak out, and take appropriate and meaningful action. It is not ok to be silent. We are so lucky to have a wonderful community here at Sugarbush and in the Valley, but we should work to improve communities everywhere. We can choose our own options. Give, speak up, join a protest, or vote. Step up and make your voice heard. That is what democracy is all about.
Spring has Arrived at Sugarbush
Up here we are finally moving from winter into spring. The leaves are green, the grass has been growing, and the lilacs have finally bloomed. With our golf course open, we have resumed some activity here at Sugarbush. Despite having tee times spaced 15 minutes apart, no practice range, no access to the Clubhouse, or the camaraderie of Hogan’s, we have still seen a lot of play. In fact, our rounds for the first two weeks exceeded both budget and last year’s rounds at this time. Plus, our season passes are up significantly over last year. This is encouraging especially since play is currently limited to Vermonters under the Governor’s mandatory quarantine restrictions. This week we opened the practice range and Roger King is once again offering his wonderful coaching with the appropriate social distancing.
Vermont has done a great job of flattening the COVID-19 curve, and the Governor is now proceeding with reopening the economy in a slow and methodical way. I even managed to get a haircut (and as you may have seen on social media I also shaved). The one thing we are awaiting is a lifting of the mandatory 14-day quarantine for one coming into Vermont from out of state. As soon as we see the curve flattening in areas within a few hours of Vermont, we expect that the quarantine will ease, and we cannot wait to welcome everyone back to the Valley this summer. This will also hopefully allow us to understand what other summer activities can resume. Personally, it will also be great to visit my newest granddaughter in Connecticut and not have to quarantine upon my return to Vermont.
Pass Holder Benefits
This week Ikon Pass announced further enhancements to next year’s Ikon Passes. The deadline for spring pricing has been extended to June 16th. There are also additions to the Adventure Assurance program. It is a bit complicated, but I will summarize it by saying that you will be able to roll a 2020/21 pass forward to the 2021/22 season if it is unused by April 11, 2021 and there will also be credits if we are shut down for significant days due to a resurgence of COVID-19. This will apply to our local passes as well. The new program will help to reduce the risk in purchasing a pass now at the lowest rates. You can learn more here. You can also call us or Ikon Pass with any questions that you might have.
Until next time, stay well, look out for others, and let us all do our part to make this a better world for all.