What do Ben and Jerrys and Sugarbush ski resort have in common? They were both independent and iconic Vermont brands that were bought out by large corporations. Similar to a large movement to consolidation that is happening in other industries such as health care and journalism, independent ski areas are being purchased by large corporations. On November 13th, 2019, Win Smith announced that Summit Ventures NE LLC agreed to sell the majority of its assets to Alterra Mountain Company.
Sugarbush is a cornerstone of the Mad River Valley community and has been independently owned since its beginning in 1958. According to Win Smith it is challenging for a dependent resort to stay competitive due to the challenges associated with climate change and strong competition from multi-resort season passes. A larger corporation will have the capital that’s necessary to keep the resort sustainable. Time will tell if the new owners of Sugarbush will maintain the same connections and commitment to the community.