A Letter to our Community
June 4th, 2018
To the Sunapee Community,
As many of you have recently learned, our family has made the decision to sell the operating lease of Mount Sunapee Resort to Vail Resorts, along with Okemo Mountain and Crested Butte Mountain Resort. While we realize this announcement is unexpected for most of you, we want you all to know this was a very hard decision. We started in the resort business in 1972 and then moved into the ski resort business at Okemo in 1982. The ski industry has created a foundation for our entire lives, as well as our children’s lives.
Since we arrived at Mount Sunapee 20 years ago, we have developed many friendships with people at work and within this community. There are so many stories and too many memories to count. Because we have always been passionate about what we do, we have poured our hearts into making the best skiing and riding experiences possible in the three places we have called home for so long, Okemo, the Lake Sunapee Region and Crested Butte. We are so proud of the accolades we have achieved with our team at Mount Sunapee. With the best snow in the east, this little mountain sure has become mighty.
We have seen an amazing amount of change in the ski industry over the years. Much of the evolution has been good: improved technologies around ski gear; the onset of snowboarding; grooming equipment; energy efficient snowmaking; and probably the most heartening is how many more people ski and ride or simply come to the mountains now versus three decades ago.
Our business model has always been somewhat unique in this industry; operating large, successful ski resorts that are family owned. It is something we have always enjoyed, been proud of, and worked hard to preserve. Another reason this decision has been incredibly difficult for our family.
When approached by Vail Resorts all of these thoughts, memories and realities stirred through our heads. What does this mean for us? For our teams? What does this mean for our communities? What does this mean for the mountains that we have poured decades of energy into? We were not naïve in understanding this would mean changes in the future. We spent a lot of time contemplating all of this, and ultimately decided that moving forward with the sale was in the best interest of each of our stakeholders. Although we cannot perfectly predict the future, we ultimately felt this would be a positive move. We realize the idea of a large company like Vail Resorts overseeing operations at each of our unique resorts may feel unsettling. However, the reality is they are mountain operators and run some of the best and most successful resorts in the industry. Putting Mount Sunapee in their hands will ensure a good future for the ski area and will therefore help support a good future for the entire Lake Sunapee Region. They are great operators and good people, and they will invest in the mountain and community.
Please know we have entered into this transaction with the best intentions for the ski area, our fellow employees, and the community. If we did not think this was going to bring more opportunity for the resort in the years to come, we would not have pursued this sale. Our goal has never been to make Mount Sunapee the biggest, but to make it the best and we feel Vail Resorts is poised to continue Sunapee’s excellence. We hope you will be open to their approach and give them the opportunity to prove their good intentions.
It has been the greatest pleasure of our lives operating this awesome ski area for the last 20 years for the State of New Hampshire. Thank you for sharing it with us.
With mountains of gratitude,
Tim, Diane, Ethan & Erica Mueller
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