Local News

Phish frontman aims to open addiction treatment center in Ludlow

Courtesy of Trey Anastasio/Divided Sky Foundation
Phish frontman Trey Anastasio’s Divided Sky Foundation has purchased the former Fox Run at Okemo property in Ludlow with hopes of converting it into an addiction treatment center.

By Kevin O’Connor/VTDigger

Phish guitarist and lead vocalist Trey Anastasio and his Divided Sky Foundation have bought an Okemo Mountain property they hope to convert into a treatment center for people facing alcoholism and drug addiction.

“Like so many people in America and so many in Vermont, I became addicted to opiates,” the 14-years-sober frontman for the Burlington-born rock band said in a statement Thursday. “I was extremely lucky to have access to care, and I know how important it is to be part of a recovery community. I’m grateful that we can help provide that opportunity for others.”

Anastasio’s foundation, recently launched to support caring and compassionate treatment for substance use disorders, has purchased the 18-acre Fox Run at Okemo property, which includes a 20-room lodge with a commercial kitchen, meeting space and an exercise facility.

The musician raised money for the foundation during an eight-week residency last fall at New York City’s historic Beacon Theatre. “The Beacon Jams” — performed in a largely empty venue for an online audience — drew both raves for the way Anastasio reimagined music from his three-decade career as well as more than $1.2 million in donations.

“Substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life, and the problem is intimately linked with isolation — whether that’s isolation due to the pandemic or for any other reason,” Anastasio said in a statement. “The Beacon Jams helped us find a way to connect people and get this project off the ground,” he said. “To be able to do that together during this difficult year touches my heart.”

Anastasio moved to the Green Mountain State to attend the University of Vermont and then Goddard College and still owns a recording studio in Westford, but he has for years lived in New York City.

The as yet unnamed Ludlow center — aiming to serve people of all incomes with recovery, job training and workforce reintegration — would be run by Ascension Recovery Services, which has similar programs in 23 states.

“This moment would not have been possible if it wasn’t for all the support we received,” said Anastasio, who earlier in the pandemic raised $750,000 for Phish’s Waterwheel Foundation work on such issues as hunger, health, social justice and the environment. “It means so much to me, and it’s going to mean so much to the families that will benefit.

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