I am writing in support of the Hermitage Club in response to what I take to be unjust and unwarranted attacks on the club.
As both a full-time Dover resident and club member, I am alarmed by the frequent criticism of Jim Barnes from those who don’t actually know him, and the nasty rumors circulating about the Hermitage Club.
First off, I think it irresponsible to focus only on the negative, without at least acknowledging all the good the club has done for the area. While Wilmington may grumble about a tax payment plan, which the town itself agreed to, what would the revenue be without the club’s existence? And beyond the club’s own property, numerous members have purchased homes in the area and begun paying taxes to local towns, having been attracted to this area as a direct result of the Club.
In the five-plus years of the Hermitage Club’s existence, we have seen local employment rates climb, a rise in our property values, dormant real estate projects revitalized. We have a growing food scene that even The Wall Street Journal has covered. I believe that there is a direct correlation between our improving local economy and the advent of this private ski resort. And with each member drawn by it to the Deerfield Valley, that direct correlation has a continuing, positive effect.
Instead of continuing to criticize and complain, perhaps we acknowledge what an asset the Hermitage Club truly is for our towns. Jim Barnes has worked hard to be a good friend to this wonderful valley. It’s time we recognize the positive impact he has made here.