VASS delays new adaptive sports center until 2021

Vermont Adaptive is delaying construction of its new adaptive sports facility at Sugarbush's Mount Ellen until next spring. Construction was originally slated to begin this spring.

Erin Fernandez, executive director of Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, announced the postponement of the $2 million adaptive sports facility this week.

“I made the hard decision, with input from Sugarbush Resort officials and the support of the Vermont Adaptive board of directors, to delay the build of the facility at this time,” said Fernandez. “While it is disappointing to be delayed, I believe this is the right and prudent decision now, given the many variables and open-ended questions about our ever-changing environment during this coronavirus pandemic.”

In early May, Win Smith and the Sugarbush Resort leadership team suggested a delay to Fernandez due to the CDC predictions that a second wave of COVID-19 could hit in the fall, potentially shutting down construction projects indefinitely. The construction timeline is approximately seven months to completion.

In addition, because the new building includes renovations to the current Mt. Ellen base lodge, the construction must be completed and a certificate of occupancy must be obtained one month prior to opening day at Mt. Ellen next season. At this point, Fernandez said, that cannot be guaranteed in the event that the state of Vermont orders another shutdown; there are just too many variables.



Fernandez remains optimistic. Permitting is nearly complete. If there is any appropriate site work that can be done without impacting a certificate of occupancy for Mt. Ellen, some small projects may be accomplished short-term. Vermont Adaptive is sourcing materials and contractors who will help with in-kind donations.

“We look forward to keeping up the momentum because this is absolutely a necessity for our growing programs and will make a difference for all our participants and the Vermont Adaptive Community,” said Fernandez.

The organization has raised approximately $1.5 million in cash and in-kind donations and will continue to raise funds for the facility and a sustainability fund.

Plans for the Sugarbush facility were designed by Jeff Dunham Architecture.

To donate or inquire about naming opportunities, contact Jenn Rand, director of development, at 802-786-4991, ext. 30 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information about the new adaptive sports facility at Sugarbush, visit