The new Burke Hotel and Conference Center is open 365 days a year. Photo by Adam Lukowski.

The new Burke: A mountain on the move

Correspondent
Burke Mountain Ski Resort boasts some legendary terrain and a bodacious glade system. Many of the country’s best competitors sharpened their skills on the mountain, which is home to Burke Mountain Academy. This leading ski academy graduated 33 Olympians and 138 national team athletes, including Mikaela Shiffrin, the 2014 Olympic gold medalist in slalom and current Women’s World Cup overall title leader. But for all the ski resort’s pluses — 2,011-foot vertical, diversity of trails, high-speed lifts, separate novice and learning areas, location near interstates 91 and 93 — Burke has remained something of an undiscovered jewel. That may be changing, thanks to the new Burke Hotel and Conference Center and to Burke recently being designated as an official U.S. Ski Team Development Site, the nation’s first.

Vicky Tebbetts

Tebbetts steps into Travel and Recreation leadership role

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“We all have a bit of tourist in us, and enjoy being hosts and sharing that passion for where we live.”
Vicky Tebbetts, Travel and Recreation chairwoman
The Vermont Travel and Recreation Council recently turned to longtime member Vicky Tebbetts as its new chairwoman. A resident of Cabot, Tebbetts brings about eight years of experience with the council, as well as professional experience as an attorney, writer, marketing and communications specialist and entrepreneur. Tebbetts said she is looking forward to supporting economic development through promotion of the Vermont brand. “The Vermont brand is the backbone of our economy,” Tebbetts said. “It’s existed and been very robust for decades now.

Gov. Phil Scott is flanked by Bourne's Energy President Peter Bourne (left) and Renewable Energy Vermont Executive Director Olivia Campbell Andersen at a ribbon-cutting to dedicate a 50-ton bulk wood-pellet silo at the company's North Hyde Park premises. Courtesy photo

Full circle: Renewable energy pays dividends

HYDE PARK — What goes around, comes around. The old adage is true of efforts by northern Vermont energy suppliers Bourne’s Energy to invest in sustainable energy. It is also true of early connections between the company and Gov. Phil Scott, who renewed old acquaintances when he visited the North Hyde Park company Monday. Scott was the guest of honor at a ribbon-cutting at the energy company, dedicating a 50-ton bulk wood-pellet silo that will greatly increase access in northern Vermont to an affordable, sustainable fuel source expected to help lower Vermont’s carbon footprint. It was also the chance for Scott to celebrate old ties with a company where he worked as a delivery driver 30 years ago.

LPCTV public access expands its reach

LUDLOW — LPCTV, the community access television station and media center for the Okemo Valley, is pleased to announce that its two TV channels can now be found on VTel’s VTelevision. The programming can be seen across the VTelevision network throughout the VTel service area in southern Vermont. This includes subscribers in the towns which LPCTV is designated to serve: Mount Holly, Plymouth, Andover and Reading. Programming includes coverage of community events, “gavel-to-gavel” coverage of local government meetings, performances from local artists and programming produced for and by the local schools. Sharon Combes-Farr, president of the LPCTV board of directors said, “LPCTV has proudly served the Okemo Valley region for more than 15 years.

Julianna Baggott

Author to lead VCFA writing faculty

MONTPELIER — Vermont College of Fine Arts has appointed critically acclaimed author Julianna Baggott as faculty director of the college’s residential Master of Fine Arts in writing and publishing program. Baggott is also an experienced educator. “I’m thrilled to have Julianna join us as faculty director for our MFA in writing and publishing program,” said VCFA President Tom Greene. “Many of us in the writing community have been in awe of Julianna for her incredible range and singular talent as an author. She is not only an amazing novelist who writes for adults and children, but is also an accomplished essayist and poet.”
Baggott has written and published more than 20 books under her own name, as well as the pen names Bridget Asher and N.E. Bode.

Conference celebrates Vermont’s Arbor Day

MONTPELIER — The annual Vermont Arbor Day Conference, May 4 in Montpelier, will feature talks on tree health, pruning basics, soil restoration, “green” streets and other topics of interest to arborists, foresters, tree wardens and other stewards of Vermont’s forests. The Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program will hold the event at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Lunch is included in the $40 registration fee. Students may attend for $15. The deadline for registration is May 2.

CVMC’s Choate named chief nursing officer

BERLIN — Matthew Choate was recently named chief nursing officer for the University of Vermont Health Network — Central Vermont Medical Center. Choate had served as interim CNO since December 2016. Choate cited recognition for nurses, fiscal management and staff engagement as priorities. “I look forward to bringing an increased business focus to nursing, educating our staff and developing our nursing leadership team, and using data in combination with empowered nursing leaders to make the best decisions about how we deliver nursing care in our organization,” he said. Choate earned his Master’s of Business Administration, with dual specialization in finance and health care management from Northeastern University, in Boston.

Family announces sale of campground

ARLINGTON — The Pratt family of Arlington has announced the sale of Camping on the Battenkill to Neil Krawczyk and his wife, Leanne Silber. In January 2016, the Pratts put their campground of 55 years up for sale. “There comes a time in a family business when you need to decide that the time is right to let it go” said Lesley P. Nase, who has run the business with her brother, Peter Pratt. “If the damage left by Tropical Storm Irene hadn’t been so extensive and costly to rebuild, it may have been a different story,” she added. Nase said she looked for a buyer who wanted to keep the campground a campground; people who would appreciate what was envisioned years ago by her father, Lawrence Pratt, and run by her mother, Mary.

Phil Young and Chris Perry fill bottles and growlers at Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff File Photo

Vermont’s craft beer boom maturing

Correspondent
Vermont has become well known not only on a national level, but on an international level for its artisan craft beer. Craft breweries are growing, and the industry contributes approximately $199 million to the Vermont economy annually. Vermont is ranked number one in the nation for breweries per capita based on population and is recognized as a leader in this thriving trend. Yet, some predict this big beer boom may be losing its fizz. “The craft beer industry is calming down from 15 to 18 percent growth in previous years to 9 to 11 percent for this past year,” said Gregory Dunkling, program director of UVM’s Business of Craft Beer Program.

Small businesses’ hiring freeze begins to thaw

By JOYCE M. ROSENBERG
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — The hiring freeze at small businesses looks like it’s finally thawing. Recruiting is picking up after being dormant at many companies even years after the recession. The factors behind companies’ decisions to hire vary, with some anticipating a big revenue kick from the Trump administration’s spending plans for defense and infrastructure. Others are responding to trends such as consumers’ shift to online shopping, which means more jobs at internet retailers. And some hires are at companies whose customers are suffering from anxiety in the early days of the new administration.