I’ve known Hermitage Club founder Jim Barnes for 24 years and before he started any of his businesses. When he started his first company in 1995 I rarely saw him for a five-year stretch skiing or snowmobiling as he worked nonstop six to seven days a week building his company. But I could always count on him when needed, like the time he helped build the Stumpjumpers first trail grooming drag. When the company stabilized he bought a ski house in the valley and then in 2007 the long-vacant Hermitage Inn. That was when he hired me to project manage the reconstruction. This grew into seven homes at the Hermitage and then the purchase of the ski mountain in 2011 which had been closed for almost eight years.
I have been coming to the valley since 1971 and moved here in 1978 and I can attest that the property values were flat or in fact slid negative at times until the investment Jim made started to encourage others to do the same. I can’t imagine what would have happened to the valley especially after the flood if Jim hadn’t decided to reinvest his hard earned money into it and continue as he does today to work tirelessly to make it successful. Many businesses and contractors have told me if they didn’t have the Hermitage job during that time it would have been a rough go.
Any great company that is built for the long-term is going to have speed bumps to work through. I’m reminded of when the politicians ask you are you better off today then you were 10 years ago? That’s an easy one.
Punta Gorda, FL