If Mount Snow considers Haystack a competitor, it is misguided. The development of the Haystack/Hermitage Club is complementary, indeed beneficial to Mount Snow. Mount Snow may not be responsible for the economic development of the valley, but it is largely dependent on it.
I have been I have a regular at Mount Snow since the winter of ‘78-79, and am now a full-time resident Over those 30-plus years I have seen the fortunes of Mount Snow and the Deerfield Valley wax and wane time and again. The only significant good news over the past few years has been the arrival of Peak Resorts and now Jim Barnes and the Hermitage Club. I shudder to think what might have happened to the valley had Peak Resorts not taken over Mount Snow. The decline might have become inexorable.
I believe that one of the impediments to Mount Snow attracting visitors is the lack of amenities and vibrancy in the valley. Beyond skiing there are few shopping, dining, or other opportunities available to attract visitors. The shuttered restaurants with others “for sale,” the empty retail stores, and the plethora of homes for sale can all be depressing. Few go on vacation to be depressed.
The paucity of attractions arises from, and is caused by, the lack of visitors: a vicious cycle. There is not sufficient volume to sustain a business and the lack of business is a deterrent to attracting visitors. To the extent that the Hermitage Club can attract more volume to businesses in the valley, all, including Mount Snow, will benefit. I fail to see how several thousand upscale customers and dozens of expensive homes and condominiums on or around Haystack, with all the employment and business that comes from that, will do anything other than enhance the valley and its attractiveness to new and repeat visitors.
When Peak Resorts acquired Mount Snow, I wrote a letter to The Deerfield Valley News suggesting that the economic development committee go to the chairman of Peak Resorts and ask: “Mr. Boyd, what can we do to help?”
Perhaps now would be a good time for Mount Snow to make just such a call to Mr. Barnes.