As part of its focus on expanding year-round activities, Sugarbush has hired a new resort fitness director. Tom Murray, Waitsfield, has more than 15 years of health and fitness experience and was named to the position earlier this month.Murray began his career as a personal trainer and later became the manager of the Sugarbush Health and Racquet Club in 1994. He left the post in 2001 when Jake Burton, founder of Burton Snowboards, asked him to open and then be the director of the Swimming Hole in Stowe. While there, the 39-year-old Murray oversaw a multi-million-dollar renovation that transformed the facility from a simple community pool into a state-of-the-art fitness complex. But that cutting-edge experience didn't change Murray's basic philosophy.
"At the end of the day, fitness is simple," says Murray. "Improving your overall fitness level isn't easy, but you don't need a whole lot to improve your body. You just need commitment."
The avid mountain biker believes today's media environment has skewed people's perception about what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle.
"Everybody's got some freaky diet or get-thin-quick plan that they want to sell you. But 'getting in shape' comes down to portion control and incorporating health and fitness into your daily life," he said.
To that end, Murray and his team will be introducing new programs that fuse workout routines with people's other athletic pursuits.
Murray believes people wind up seeing the gym as intimidating or irrelevant to their life, so they don't go. Show them how it can improve their golf and tennis games, their skiing, their paddling, or even their ability to walk up a flight of steps, and they'll make time for it, says Murray.
"Tom is a very innovative guy. We've asked him to design a menu of programs around the common threads that run through our guests' lives and all of the activities available here," said John Egan, Sugarbush's head of recreational services. "And based on his experience and expertise, we are really excited to see what he creates."
Added Sugarbush's president Win Smith, "We are committed to helping our guests excel at what they love doing. Tom knows how to help people live better and healthier lives, and we are delighted to have him rejoin our team."