After years of coexisting as somewhat competitors, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen are teaming up to attract more younger skiers to the area.
"I think after a long time we figured out we have a lot more to gain by working together than we do by not," said Eric Friedman with Mad River Glen.
But they are two very different mountains. Mad River Glen is a coop owned by about 2-thousand members. The mountain relies on natural snow, and does not allow snowboarding. Sugarbush makes snow, has luxury accommodations and is privately owned. The majority owner is Win Smith.
"For years there has been a bit of a rivalry between us but we realize that is one valley and a great sport and after four decades of not cooperating, now is the time to do it, Smith said.
The goal is to attract younger skiers, because the industry believes they are the key to the future of the sport.
"We are really focusing on the youth, with new products. We are doing that with a college pass called threesome and also four 20's product which is for folks under 30 to get people here," Smith said.
Both passes include admission to both mountains. But what is good for the mountains, is also good for the entire Mad River Valley. While the Yellow Farm Inn is not on the mountain road, owner Mark Anastos told us that news that both mountains are marketing together is very good news for his business.
"I think how it will help the most -- it's going to make it a unique destination, having three mountains as one. It is an attraction not many other places can offer, so by having that up here we have a unique offer to our guests," Anastos said.
Susan Klein with the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce agrees. "I think that is the key right there -- marketing the destination and destination experience vs. making a single business or single opportunity. I think the Mad River Valley is a bigger experience than just skiing at Mad River or Sugarbush," she said.
But even with this new collaboration, one thing will not change. "I don't think we are going to see snowboarding here anytime soon," said Mad River's Eric Friedman.
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