Click on the “About” page on the website for Sugarbush Resort and the story begins in 2001, when Win Smith and three partners purchased the central Vermont resort. That’s understandable, since Smith and Summit Ventures are still the majority owners. But, with all due respect, the story of this legendary resort is much bigger than Smith or his partners, and it dates back well before 2001.
In fact, Sugarbush, and especially Glen Ellen, was one of the formative ski areas of my impressionable youth. I grew up in northeastern New Jersey, during the 1960s and early ’70s, and was hopelessly enamored with the glamour boys of ski racing — larger-than-life characters like Jean-Claude Killy, Billy Kidd and Toni Sailer. At the time, skiing held such unbridled promise.
Glen Ellen and Sugarloaf represented my first foray into “big time” alpine skiing. As kids, my siblings and I got to dabble in smaller hills in Jersey, like Great Gorge, and New York. Finally, Mom and Dad loaded us and all our gear into our cavernous Ford Country Squire and pointed it north toward Vermont. We were joined by our neighbors, Karen and Jim Agura, and their kids, Eddie and Vivian.
Mrs. and Mr. Agura were Austrian, which meant that, to us, they were the epitome of skiing know-how. They loved Vermont, and specifically the neighboring resorts of Glen Ellen and Sugarbush. That affection never waned, and never went unrequited.