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Posts tagged with "Vermont"

For months, we’ve been posting snowy photos and videos of North American territories. Just about everyone on the West Coast got dumped on in September. Then, recently, the Pacific North West in particular saw a massive storm. Even way back in July, Jackson Hole got a summer dusting.

But, now, it’s the East Coast’s turn. Below, browse through a collection of media that gives us hope for a powder-filled season at some of our favorite resorts. From Vermont to New Hampshire to Maine to New York to Virginia, winter has begun.


Mount Snow


Mount Snow

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As a senior at Amherst College, Win Smith and a few of his fraternity brothers decided to grab some season passes, rent a house, and hit up the ski slopes in Vermont’s Mad River Glen.

The season came to a close and Smith didn’t ski again for almost 14 years.

After graduating from Amherst, Smith went to Wharton for graduate school and later landed a job in New York at Merrill Lynch — a company his father once helped lead.

He started out as an entry-level investment banking associate and ended up working for there for 28 years, rising to the role of executive vice president. In 2014, he wrote a book, “Catching Lightning in a Bottle,” which chronicled the rise and fall of the firm.

He hadn’t given skiing much thought over the years until a serendipitous gathering drew Smith back to the slopes in 1984.

He took his family to Vermont for a reunion with his fraternity brothers and his children became hooked on the sport. Smith bought a house in Warren, Vermont, in 1994, and started spending most winter weekends up there skiing at a resort called Sugarbush.

Then, in early 2001, he got a call from a two businessmen based in the Mad River Valley saying that Sugarbush was teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. They asked Smith if he was interested in buying and resurrecting it.

Smith then approached Joe Riemer — a Merrill Lynch colleague and good friend — to gauge his interest, and together they decided to give it a shot. (Riemer died of cancer a few months later.)

When the four of them bought the resort in September of 2001, Smith intended for it to be a “passive investment,” so he kept his day job in Manhattan.

A month later, Smith got a new boss at Merrill Lynch.

“He made me an offer to stay as vice chairman but I was really concerned about his direction and I was really distressed that he didn’t seem to appreciate the culture or the history of the firm.”

So Smith left Merrill and went into private equity.

He did that until 2004, when he realized that things at Sugarbush weren’t much better than they had been prior to the sale. He knew if he wanted to see the resort come back to life, he’d have to get more involved.

JEB Sugarbush 2014  054Win Smith at Sugarbush Resort. Win Smith

He was 55 at the time and “was up for the challenge” of making a major career change.

“I don’t believe one should ever ‘retire,'” he says, “I think you just go on to different things.”

Smith’s family was supportive of his decision. However, he says that not everyone understood why he was making such a big career change.

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