Before I moved to Killington in 1970, I spent several weekends a year skiing here as well as at other ski areas. I will never forget what happened on one occasion when leaving Killington when I saw a banner over the Access Road that said, “If you lived here you would be home now.” It hit me right in the head as I thought what I could do to make a change. The opportunities appeared to be limited if one wanted to earn a living.
Enjoying the outdoors and the skiing, I decided to make the move and that was 46 years ago. At that time a lift ticket at Killington was $7.50. Inflation has taken care of Vermont’s future.
So, I write this short memo asking a few questions: If Vermont is losing students, approximately 25,000 in the past 12 years, it must also be losing parents, workers, and taxpayers. Fewer taxpayers means less revenue to the state of Vermont and less revenue to the state means bigger budget deficits.
Perhaps Vermont and Killington in particular should put that sign up again.
Summer business seems to be picking up and skier days average 700,000 in Killington alone. Who are these people? Well, they come from New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. From what I understand a lot of these visitors make a lot more money than in Vermont and many own their own businesses or work from home.
Bringing talented people to Vermont requires more effort and that is currently not being done. Such people who want to have a better lifestyle for themselves and their children should be encouraged to think about their future. Opening a business in Vermont will provide more jobs, more taxes to the town and the state, and more students to fill our empty schools.
Let us think about some things that could be done. We could open a Google location or a credit card information center or a digital help center and a
data-based back-up location. Innovation in Vermont is one of its strengths and its hard working people are hungry to earn a higher wage.
Edwin J. Fowler,