Sugarbush's 60th Anniversary | Pitcher Inn
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Sugarbush’s 60th Anniversary

The Pitcher Inn provides awesome access to world-class Vermont skiing, what with our close proximity to two truly fabled and long-running resorts: Mad River Glen and Sugarbush. Today we’re celebrating a festive anniversary the latter resort observed on Christmas Day: 60 years in the business!

An Anniversary Worth Celebrating

Sugarbush today ranks among the biggest ski resorts in all of New England, but it’s still independently owned and operated as it was on opening day: December 25th, 1958. Damon Gadd, Sara Gadd, and Jack Murphy launched the resort that Christmas. Murphy had been general manager of Mad River Glen, where he and Damon Gadd met. Sensing a burgeoning American downhill scene, they were eager to open a new ski area in the Green Mountain State and did a lot of searching to identify the most propitious sites.

“After examining more than fifty potential locations,” writes Candice White in a history of the resort published in the latest edition of Sugarbush Magazine, “they concluded that Lincoln Mountain, practically in their own backyard, was the most promising choice: a northeast-facing, wind-protected bowl with near ledge-less terrain located in a mass of high mountains that would receive greater snow than isolated peaks, all within the northern Vermont snowbelt.”

Top European ski instructors came to teach at the Sugarbush ski school run by Peter Estin, among them ace Austrian ski racer Paul Reutzler. The resort’s clientele included such luminaries as Ethel and Joan Kennedy, Rosemary Clooney, and Kim Novak. The glamorous and Alps-influenced atmosphere at Sugarbush extended to the base lodge’s bar: the first of any ski resort in the country. In White’s article, Chan Weller, who worked Sugarbush ski patrol part-time in the early 1960s while attending Norwich University, said, “The crowd had class, money, and friendship. And they partied until the doors dropped off the hinges.”

Across the decades, Sugarbush has of course evolved, and today—in White’s words—it fulfills “an identity that blends the fame of the past with the authentic and independent values of the present.” As it marks its 60th anniversary, it justly enjoys one of the best reputations of any Northeastern ski destination: In 2018, USA Today declared it the best ski resort in the East (just a year after Ski magazine deemed it the second-best).

Ski the Hallowed Slopes of Sugarbush on a Pitcher Inn Getaway

You can read more about skiing at Sugarbush as well as Mad River Glen in our “A Tale of Two Mountains” blogpost. Once you’re suitably inspired, take advantage of our Ski for Free package, which gives you complimentary tickets for Sugarbush Resort for both midweek or weekend stays through April 1st, 2019.

Here at the Pitcher Inn, we’re toasting our neighbors at Sugarbush on their 60th anniversary—and welcoming you to stay at our Mad River Valley resort for front-row seats to those legendary slopes!