First, thank you. Thank you for reading, for your comments and for being loyal. We had a our best year ever this past season, growing both in print pages and in our digital reach.
Second, we know how hard this is for all of you and, especially, for the businesses that rely on skiers and riders. Vermont has nearly 4 million skier/rider visits a year. For a state with a population of 620,000, that’s a significant impact.
At Vermont Ski + Ride, we cater to those 4 million, both locals and visitors. We strive to present objective journalism, to share stories and voices from around our community of people who love to ski, ride and spend time in the Green Mountains.
We try to do good where we can (the morning we head that 14 lift operators at Sugarbush had all their gear stolen, we set up this GoFundMe page). We are also sharing a Skier/Rider Code of Conduct during the COVID-19 crisis that we hope people will sign on to.
We’ve shared the guidelines on how to act during this pandemic and thoughts from other skiers, ski areas, and our Governor. What we are not going to do, is wag fingers and tell you what do do.
As the editor of this publication, I’ve had people assume that some of the stories we have shared are my personal viewpoints. Some people think we are endorsing skiing, others think we are doing the opposite — and they are equally mad at us.
Each situation, each location is different. Skiing out your backdoor where you will see no one, get some fresh air and some exercise is far different than driving across a state line to park in a crowded lot and follow a skin track of people up.
We are not here to tell you what to do: Use your best judgment.
I can only tell you what I have been doing.
March 14 was my last day skiing. The next day I drove to Connecticut to pick up my aging mother who lives alone. Other than stops for gas, we did not stop. We have been self-quarantined since then here in Vermont. I shop once a week, with gloves on. I run and hike on dirt roads from my house by myself or with my husband.
I am getting my garden ready and cleaning up the yard. I am working from home.
I have an Airbnb property and in mid-March I had a chance to rent it for two months. It would have brought in more money that it has the rest of the year, combined. I turned it down, as the Governor asked in his Executive Order.
I’d like to ski but I am not. It makes it easier that the snow has been horrendous and it’s raining now.
Instead, I am working on the summer issue of VT SKI + RIDE, highlighting the things we are looking forward to: gravel riding and mountain biking, swimming in clear lakes, hiking, trail running.
Snow will come again.
And we will be back at it soon.
Hang in there,