A former ski area will finally be reused for something that will be being a hub for the community. The Brattleboro Reformer reports that the District 2 Environmental Commission gave approval for the new owners of Ski Maple Valley in Vermont to turn the old base lodge into a brewery and distillery with a tasting room that can fit 100 people. Unfortunately, their proposal to host 24 events and an oveflow parking lot across the street got rejected. The events were rejected due to noise concerns, and the overflow parking lot due to it being too close to a river.
Thomas Fitzgerald, the chairman of the District 2 Commission, explained their reasoning for rejecting concerts and events around the distillery:
“[Sugar Mountain] has tried and failed to convince us that the rock concerts or other proposed [events] for this location will hardly be noticeable because of the traffic on Route 30. The traffic on Route 30 will reliably drown out the music 36 seconds of each hour.
Just because someone lives on a state highway, doesn’t mean that living next to 24 rock concerts per year isn’t shocking or offensive. It certainly would be to the average person. This activity has not been in character with this location for over 20 years.”
This dude sounds like he came straight out of the town that Footloose was set in. Vermont has struggled for years to recruit people to live there, especially individuals among the younger demographic. I imagine these events weren’t going to be all night raves, and rather classic Vermont concert experiences that would only happen in the early evenings during the summer. While I like Vermont’s environmental and sustainability mission, I think it also holds it back from being a more popular state for a larger outdoorsy population. I get that Dummerston is a very small town, but having large events would be a big boost for the area.
Maple Valley operated as a ski area from 1963 to the 1999-2000 season. It featured sixteen trails, night skiing on eight trails, three lifts(two chairlifts and a t-bar), and snow tubing. The ski resort faced bankruptcy multiple times, and couldn’t keep up with local rivals. You can learn more about Ski Maple Valley on New England Ski History here.