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Haystack Club receives a judges order to cease all construction immediately!

drjeff

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http://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121221/NEWS02/712219973/1003

No permits = BIG problems, especially when the US Forest service is invloved

There was a related issue earlier this week where the US Forest Service annouced an immediate closing of the Haystack Ridge trail (basically links the the summits of Haystack and Mount Snow) to all motorized traffic (it's a popular snowmobiling trail and ATV's also use it in the summer) because of some unpermitted excavation near the top of Haystack
 

jaytrem

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http://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121221/NEWS02/712219973/1003

No permits = BIG problems, especially when the US Forest service is invloved

There was a related issue earlier this week where the US Forest Service annouced an immediate closing of the Haystack Ridge trail (basically links the the summits of Haystack and Mount Snow) to all motorized traffic (it's a popular snowmobiling trail and ATV's also use it in the summer) because of some unpermitted excavation near the top of Haystack

That's some crazy stuff. I knew the conenctor trail they built last year wasn't permitted and up to spec, but wow, pretty much everything???
 

thetrailboss

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"Permits? We don't need no stinkin' permits!"

 

slatham

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Wow, I was very enthusiastic about revitalizing Haystack and had thought of staying at the Hermitage to sample the skiing, and maybe get more involved if got going. No more - arrogant wealthy businessmen who think they can rape and pillage to get their way have no place in VT or skiing.
 

mlctvt

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Maybe he didn't want to wait the 250 years needed to get a permit through ACT250 ;-)

After witnessing the 5+ year BS that Mount Snow is going through for their Westlake project perhaps someone made the decision to see what would happen if they didn't get permits?

I consider myself very environmentally concerned but the permitting needed to do anything in Vermont is absolutely ridicules.
 

drjeff

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Maybe he didn't want to wait the 250 years needed to get a permit through ACT250 ;-)

After witnessing the 5+ year BS that Mount Snow is going through for their Westlake project perhaps someone made the decision to see what would happen if they didn't get permits?

I consider myself very environmentally concerned but the permitting needed to do anything in Vermont is absolutely ridicules.

Agreed! And I think that many a Vermonter got a taste of what safe, environmentally friendly, EFFICIENT, more cost effective construction, can be like in the weeks and months after Irene hit last year and the state rebuilt and recovered quickly. And now the reality and BS that often is associated with ACT 250 is back in full force again

While i'm sure underneath it all, as a successful businessman, Mr. Barnes wants to make money on this project (but also realizes that it might take a decade plus for this to happen), he also i'm guessing wants to do things in an environmentally friendly way, a way that i'm sure that many of his current and future club members want too. Heck in the promotional literature that keeps finding it's way into my mailbox a few times a year, the pristine natural wonder that is the Green Mountains is one of the main selling points of the club

The real loosers in this though, especially if it drags on for an extended period of time in the courts, will be all the local contractors and potential employees of the Haystack Club (the "little guys") who won't be having those jobs anymore. Even if he's forced to abandon the whole project via the courts, this won't be a significant financial hit in the big scheme of things to Mr. Barnes
 

jaytrem

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While i'm sure underneath it all, as a successful businessman, Mr. Barnes wants to make money on this project (but also realizes that it might take a decade plus for this to happen), he also i'm guessing wants to do things in an environmentally friendly way, a way that i'm sure that many of his current and future club members want too.

This is sarcasm, correct? If not, it should be.
 

drjeff

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This is sarcasm, correct? If not, it should be.

No sarcasm meant. And I think that there's far more truth in my statement than many might believe.

Him and his wife and kids (one of whom is the same age as my son, and has been in kids ski programs at Mount Snow with up until last year when skiing started back up at Haystack) moved up to VT because of their love of the area, not to develop a real estate project. That real estate side of things came after they had been there and he saw a unique opportunity to create something that the family would be proud of, based on what was there. I highly doubt that from day 1 the intention was, or ever will be to rape and pillage the environment to make a buck. If he was looking to make a quick buck, then this would likely be the last project he'd invest his own money in, especially at this time. My guess is that the arduous and often ludicris regulations and red tape that are impossed seemingly ad naseum in the state of VT pushed him over the edge, as getting the ski area, and base lodge up and running and built always has been the centerpiece of the club.

Vermont, and many other states too really need to take a serious look at their regulations with respect to development and realize that environmentally responsible development is quite easy today, and that the job benefits that are often associated with it, especially in this economy should be something to look towards attracting, not preventing. Unfortunately it seems that "profit" these days is often viewed as a bad thing, rather than something that happens more often than not as a result of succesful planning and implementation of strategies and plans.

Personally, from my perspective, i'm torn. Rules were broken apparently. There are consequences to that. I'm all for a robust and THRIVING economy in the Deerfield Valley, it will directly benefit me and my family in many ways from added stores and restaurants and likely more job opportunities for many good friends of mine that are residents of the area. But on the flipside, if Haystack does fail, then the biggest plus for me selfishly, is my home mountain of Mount Snow will have more snowmaking water available until they can wait out the same arduous ACT 250 process that appears to have gotten Haystack in trouble
 

jaytrem

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No sarcasm meant.

Hmmm, I didn't realize your head cheerleading duties extended all the way down the ridge. :)

Assuming he's really guilty of the accusaions. Yeah, VT can be a pain in the ass, I sure agree with you on that. However, it's one thing to do what you want on your own property, but once you start messing around with public land that he's not even leasing, c'mon. It's bad enough he's making unapproved changes to public land he is leasing. And the whole airport business. He reminds me of a team owner trying to get a stadium built on the taxpayer dime. I don't know, I'm not real convinced he's such a great guy.
 

drjeff

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The airport move is BS for sure! Totally agree!

Messing with the USFS land- wrong *but* I also feel that the USFS is also wrong with how ridiculously resyrictive they are with requests to do things to/on USFS land- it is the peoples land and sometimes there needs to be some changes to it to allow MORE people to use it IMHO !

Chearleader wise- i'm never going to apologize for being a cheerleader for ANYONE who has a strong entrepreneurial spirit that is having to overcome far too many regulations that can, and often do profoundly inhibit busibess growth which ultimately tends to benefit many
 

mister moose

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Assuming he's really guilty of the accusaions. Yeah, VT can be a pain in the ass, I sure agree with you on that. However, it's one thing to do what you want on your own property, but once you start messing around with public land that he's not even leasing, c'mon. It's bad enough he's making unapproved changes to public land he is leasing. And the whole airport business. He reminds me of a team owner trying to get a stadium built on the taxpayer dime. I don't know, I'm not real convinced he's such a great guy.

Airports bring economic benefit to the region. The article doesn't say how much he's asking for the town to chip in, but likely the upgrade is to extend the runway to 3,000 feet and make it a fully certified instrument approach. It would be used by more than just clients of the Hermitage. There can be a symbiotic relationship there. Sure, no poor people own airplanes, but their vacation homes will pay a lot of property taxes.

Chances are the environmental damage isn't that great, it isn't unheard of for officials to exaggerate to reel in a non permitted activity. If the erosion was really that bad, would they have waited/taken 2 months to get a court order?


This is a great way to get a lot of people mad at you, people who have a hand in deciding your permit. On one hand, I'd like to think this is a cowboy with vision that is going to change the obstructionist jungle that faces ski resort operators, but on the other hand City Hall usually wins. Someone is playing high stakes poker, and someone else just called the bet. Never a dull moment.
 

Euler

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From what's been reported in the papers, VT's strict environmental laws are not the issue here. The disregard for environmental stewardship shown by the manner in which the trail was being enlarged seems pretty egregious. It's pretty hard to see your point of view here Jeff. These guys really seem to be acting in ways that put expedience and $$ far ahead of protecting the forest and mountains that make VT so special.
 

skimagic

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Chearleader wise- i'm never going to apologize for being a cheerleader for ANYONE who has a strong entrepreneurial spirit that is having to overcome far too many regulations that can, and often do profoundly inhibit busibess growth which ultimately tends to benefit many

I have no sympathy for a businessperson who does not do proper research as to what the permit process would be. Follow the rules or don't do the project. Its pretty simple.
 

drjeff

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Haystack's response....

http://hermitageclub.com/news.php?id=106

This morning for the 1st time this year for me atleast, while riding up the Nitro Express over at Carinthia, it was plainly evident if you looked to your left near the top of the lift that Haystack was making a bunch of snow. I also just so happened when I stopped in at one of the local ski shops in the Mount Snow area to do a little last minute Christmas shopping on my way home, happened to run into Mr. Barnes who was there doing the same thing that I was, and as he was talking with one of the owners, his account was that the way the article was written, made things seem far worse than they actually are.

For the sake of those that live full time in the greater Deerfield Valley, who will derrive economic benefit from not just the tax dollars and added business that this project will bring, but also from the added number of jobs, I sincerely hope that this grand visions for Haystack will become a reality
 

Newpylong

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Weird. I had no idea they were going forward with the Inn's connector lift so soon. I would have thought there were plenty of other things that needed attending to before that "nice to have" was done.
 
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