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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673
802-496-3928
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Can I afford to play here?

04/05/2007

To The Editor:

It is with great sadness that I write this letter. I received my golf course membership application and noted a 300 percent increase in dues. Can I and my fellow local golfers afford to play here?

I have been a longtime employee, customer and champion of Sugarbush Resort. I began my adventure flipping burgers at the Valley House cafeteria. Playing golf, supporting Hogan's Pub and enjoying my time with my friends has been an integral part of my experience in The Valley. I purchased a home on Golf Course Road. My dream was to live and play at the resort for the remainder of my life.

The golf course maintenance was neglected for many years. Great strides have been made to bring the course back to its Robert Trent Jones Sr. glory. "Full memberships" were offered to help facilitate this process. A 20 percent discount on member dues is a strong selling point. Bringing the course back will take years and lots of money. I expect to pay more for my membership as the course improves.

I love the slogan for Sugarbush Golf Course this season - "Give More." Give more what?

As a longtime member of the Sugarbush Golf Course, the limited scope of passes this season seems unreasonable. Add the incredible hike in rates and we have quite a mess. Golf carts, two bags of balls and the goal of a nicer course and a new clubhouse are also included. A very unique business plan! Should I apply this concept to my business? How about a $20 cheesesteak with the hope of a nicer store someday?

What was once the pride and joy of local golfers, business owners and summer residents will become a playground for the wealthy. The rest of us will drive by the course and reminisce about the good times we had. As I ponder why, I wonder what's next? As a local business owner and proud supporter of The Valley, I am disappointed by the enormous price increases. How can I continue to invest in The Valley if the amenities that make the Mad River Valley so special are taken away?

Terry Kernan
Warren

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