Covid's Effect on Ski Industry

Burke - The covid-19 pandemic has paralyzed the entire world for over a year now, shutting down businesses left and right. In Vermont, one business affected was the ski industry. At the beginning of the pandemic, ski resorts were forced to shut down to abide by the Vermont guidelines. Hundreds of workers were furloughed throughout the start of the pandemic and were forced to seek unemployment. 


 

However, not everything about the pandemic has been a negative for Burke's ski resort. Unforseen positives have come from it. One challenge that came about this year was making sure all the guests and staff were following the mask mandate and practicing social distance across all aspects of the operation. Jessica Selcher, Director of marketing stated "Keeping staff and guests safe was our number one prority and the challenge of installing signage was certainly a big one early on". On a positive note, Jessica stated that this year they saw a growth in their season passholder as well as day tickets. "We saw an uptick in pass purchases with new skiers and riders deciding to give Buke a try as well as returning passholders we havent seen in three or four years" Jessica said.  

This year, besides social distancing and mask wearing, the resort hasn't done anything too new. Their biggest addition this year was launching their new ecommerce platform which allowed online sales of tickets, rentals, and lessons. Jessica said "This was a key component and covid requirenment to ensure proper contact tracing for some resorts, allowing them to accurately manage the number of guests on property at any given time". For Burke, this was also a way to manage lessons and rentals in advance to keep up with inventory. 

Throughout the season Burke didn't limit the amount of ticket sales at the resort but they did ensure mask wearing and proper social distancing. Now, with spring here, Burke mountain is getting ready for their end of the season. On April 4th, they will begin to shut down the lower mountain and beginner zones and the summit terrain by April 11th. Last week Burke made more snow to try to extend the season on open slope around the lower Warren's way area and the summit terrain which according to Jessica, are the most vulnerable areas for early snow melt. 

 

T Intersection For Bikers

EAST BURKE-For the project that has been going on for two years now, it's finally found its bidder to invest in the much needed improvements to the start of Darling Hill Road.

Read more: T Intersection For Bikers

Kingdom-Trails-Looks-To-Expand

VERMONT'S-Green Mountain State is known for it's beautiful landscapes, wonderful lakes, hiking trails, rail trails, and biking trails. The Kingdom Trails is an all year round tourist attraction in the Northeast Kingdom. Each year, the popularity of the trails seems to grow more and more.

Read more: Kingdom-Trails-Looks-To-Expand

West Burke Revitalization Plans

WEST BURKE-On Tuesday May 26th, the West Burke Revitalization Steering Committee met on Zoom to discuss the future, and plan on how they can develop their town further. 

Read more: West Burke Revitalization Plans

Burke Mountain Academy named Alpine Club of the Year 2020

EAST BURKE - Burke Mountain Academy has been named the 2020 Apline Club of the year. Even in light of COVID-19, the Academy is still trying to honor and celebrate this award.  

Read more: Burke Mountain Academy named Alpine Club of the Year 2020

Burke Mountain Academy on Activities Post COVID

EAST BURKE - Ski resorts and, ski academy's were especially hit hard during COVID-19-but Burke Mountain Academy has its sights set on re-opening safely as soon as the state allows them to. 

Read more: Burke Mountain Academy on Activities Post COVID

Burke Mtn. Academy New Dorm

BURKE - Burke Mountain Academy has resumed construction on their new dormitory after a month long waiting period due to Governor Phil Scott's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order.

The existing barn that was purchased in 2019 is being transformed into a new building, a large portion of the building being a dormitory for students. 


 The orginial completion date for the project was set for August 15th of this year, but it is now scheduled for mid-September.

Head of School, Willy Booker says the new building is something the school has needed for a long time.

"This is a critical project for our school and addresses a number of urgent strategic need. Specifically, the project will increase faculty housing, improve the quality of the undergraduate housing and secure long term housing for the e-term post grad. Further, this project will help us improve campus safety significantly".

The project was funded by a community of parents, trustees, alumni and anonoymous foundations. The dormitory will house 14 students in time for next fall, but if the school must resort to online instuction Director of Donor and Alumni Relations, Jenny Bruell Fisher says the building will not be in use.

"In the event that students do not return as anticipated in the fall, the dormitory portion of the building will be vacant, awaiting students' return to campus; However, the building strcuture includes two staff apartments and it is expected that those will be occupied," said Fisher

The companies hired for this project, Black River Design Architects and Dana Young Construction are taking necessary precautions in the work place in wake of COVID-19.

"They are strictly following all protocols and requriements in place by the state of Vermont to ensure safety. Examples of this include but are not limited to; the requirement to wear masks . limiting the number of people allowed to work inside the building and limiting the number of people allowed to work on the exterior," said Fisher.

Burke Mountain Academy and the surrounding community will celebrate the addition of the new dorm by "cutting the ribbon" this Fall.

For more info on the project visit the school webiste, http://burkemtnacademy.org/

 

 

 

 

New Principal at Burke Town School

BURKE - The Superintendent of schools Jennifer Botzojorns announced Wednesday that Megan Jones would fill the principal position at Burke Town School which is part of the Kingdom East school district. Stacy Rice who is still the current principal has accepted a new job as the Director Of Student Services for the Kingdom East Scool District.

Read more: New Principal at Burke Town School

Burke Mountain Done for Season

BurkeMountainBURKE- The Burke Mountain resort has chosen to close down all operations in wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, a virus that is forcing many businesses to come to a halt.

Read more: Burke Mountain Done for Season

Warm Temperatures Impact Burke

BURKE - While many of us have been enjoying the unseasonable temperatures, local ski resorts aren't too happy about springs early arrival.

With plenty of sunshine early in the week and temperatures near sixty degrees on Monday, Burke Mountain in East Burke was dealing with slushy conditions and growing patches of grass.

Read more: Warm Temperatures Impact Burke

3rd Annual Hempfest at Burke Mountain

ZuccermanHempFestEAST BURKE- Sponsored by Heady Vermont, Vermonts third annual Hempfest was held earlier this month at Burke Mountain Resort. Drawing big names from not just Vermont, but nationally too. Working alongside the late Billy Mays, English producer and pitchman, Anthony Sullivan, has stakes in the hemp industry here in the Northeast Kingdom. Sullivan founded the Plainfield based company “Montkush”, after seeing his 8 year old daughter Devon benefit from CBD treatments as opposed to the old medication she was on which Sullivan says “ stripped her of her personality”. 

Read more: 3rd Annual Hempfest at Burke Mountain

Kingdom Trails Long Winter Season Effects Felt More Than Just On the Trails

KingdomTrailsEAST BURKE- It's been a long winter here in the Northeast Kingdom, and for some local businesses, that has not been a bad thing.

Read more: Kingdom Trails Long Winter Season Effects Felt More Than Just On the Trails

Kingdom Trails Closed For Winter Season

KT ClosingEAST BURKE- After what was one of the longest winter seasons that the Northeast Kingdom has seen in recent years, The Kingdom Trails have officially ended their winter season.

Read more: Kingdom Trails Closed For Winter Season

Burke Mountains 31st Annual Pond Skim

POND SKIMEAST BURKE- It was all smiles here at Burke Mountain. Bluebird skies, good music, good food and good skiing. All combining for a perfect day for the 31st annual pond skim. This years theme was "Surfs Up" Over two hundred attendees were reported to have attended, and parking stretched about a half a mile down Mountain Road about to where the Burke Mountain Academy begins.

Read more: Burke Mountains 31st Annual Pond Skim

Land For Sale? Tickets For Sale

burke prepBURKE - The federal receiver for the Burke Mountain Resort, Michael Goldberg is looking to speak before the Burke Development Review Board in April to sell at 3.29 acre parcel of land that is part of the resort's planned unit development. Because the property is part of a planned unit development program through the town, Goldberg cannot move forward without the board's consent, however the Zoning Administrator to the town, Michael Harris, doesn't think there will be an issue.

Read more: Land For Sale? Tickets For Sale

Ian Muller Rail Jam

RailJamBURKE- It was all smiles at the Ian Muller Rail Jam at Burke Mountain Saturday. The Rail Jam is a fundraiser that is put on through the cooperation of a couple of clubs over at Northern Vermont University - Lyndon(NVU).

 

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Men's GS Nor-Am Cup Finals Day 1

NOR-AMEAST BURKE-  Round one of the Men's Giant Solemn (GS) North American Cup Finals took place Tuesday afternoon up on the Dipper Trails at Burke Mountain. Racers from all across the world are competing over the next 4 days in Giant Solemn and Solemn races.

Read more: Men's GS Nor-Am Cup Finals Day 1

Burke Town Clerk Named Master Municipal Clerk

burketownclerkWest Burke- Priscilla Aldrich has been working for the town of burke for just over 25 years and has been awarded the title "Master Municipal Clerk" by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. Founded in 1947, the International Institute of Municipal clerks is made up of 14,000 members nationally and internationally with 15 other countries.

Read more: Burke Town Clerk Named Master Municipal Clerk

Sanderson's Wooden Bowl Shop Preps For Holidays

sandersons bowlsBURKE- Sandersons Wooden Bowls in East Burke is prepping for the upcoming holiday season. Since around 2005, the Sandersons have been selling their wooden products. Owner Sam Sanderson describes the process their family went through in order to start their business. According to him, they started out by doing some logging for a furniture store, and then wanted to try it themselves.

Read more: Sanderson's Wooden Bowl Shop Preps For Holidays

Making an Impact on a New Community

abbylongEAST BURKE- Executive Director of Kingdom Trails, Abigail Long, has been named one of Vermont Business Magazine's Rising Stars. The list of recipients is composed of 40 individuals under the age of 40, all of whom are recognized for their commitment to business growth, professionalism, and involvement in their communities.

Read more: Making an Impact on a New Community

West Burke Ski Shop Opens for Season

ski shop west burkeWEST BURKE - The West Burke Ski Shop opened for the season this past Saturday. Despite the fact that the ski and snowboard season isn't fully here, they would still like to make sure people are prepared for the upcoming season.

Read more: West Burke Ski Shop Opens for Season

East Burke Businesses in the Fall

east burkeEAST BURKE - The fall months are always quiet for businesses in East Burke, rather they fall silent due to customers; of course, the businesses have things to keep themselves busy, just not with sales. While the summer is known as the pinnacle business period for the area, the fall season is when many stores see a lull in sales, and take that time to prepare for the upcoming winter. 

Read more: East Burke Businesses in the Fall

Burke Town School Teacher Awarded

Burke Town SchoolBURKE- Morgan Moore of the Burke Town School was recently awarded the Humanities Educator of The Year. This is now her 4th year teaching at the school and she has never received something like this.

Read more: Burke Town School Teacher Awarded

Burke Mountain and the 18-19 Winter Season

burke mountainBURKE - The Burke Mountain Resort has begun serious preliminary preparations for the 2018-19 Winter sports season. The 'serious' aspect ties in with snow blower maintenance, trail review, and the evaluations of equipment to stock the rental shop.

Read more: Burke Mountain and the 18-19 Winter Season

CircumBurke Challenge Is Coming to Burke

circumburkeBURKE-Kingdom Trails is getting ready to host the Circumbukre trail challenge next weekend. The 9th annual challenge is a 26 or 52 mile run or trail run. The challenge is a fundraiser for trail building and maintenance and is being held on Burke area's trifecta of trail networks, including Kingdom Trails, Victory Hill Sector, and Burke Mountain Bike Park.

Read more: CircumBurke Challenge Is Coming to Burke