Congratulations to Chris Francis of Stowe!

Stowe, VT (April 9, 2009) On Wednesday, April 7th Chris Francis, owner of Ye Olde England Inn, was named the 2010 Vermont Travel Person of the Year at the Vermont Travel Industry Conference held at the Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa in Stowe, Vermont.

Chris Francis

Francis began his career in the travel industry the summer of 1983, when he purchased the Ye Olde England Inn while on vacation with his wife Lynn. They had traveled to the states from England to catch the Americas Cup Races in Newport, Rhode Island. After, Chris and Lynn made their way up to Stowe, Vermont. It was during this visit that Chris decided he would like to own an inn and pub there, was interested in the lodging property San Souci and made an offer using his credit card. On the way back to England, he was notified that the offer was accepted and on November 4th, 1983 the Ye Olde England Inn officially opened.

Francis' devotion and dedication to both Stowe and Vermont has kept him actively involved in the community. He has been on the board of the Stowe Area Association for 25 years and its president for 8 of those years. Francis is also the force behind many of Stowe's car shows including The British Invasion. This event attracts hundreds of British cars and thousands of visitors to Stowe and to the state of Vermont each summer. Francis is known for his wit, negotiating skills and peacemaking and most importantly his strong advocacy for Vermont and the town of Stowe.

The Vermont Travel Person of the Year exemplifies an ongoing dedication to what makes Vermont such a special place to visit. The award is presented to an individual who contributes significantly to Vermont's travel and tourism Industry.

Source: Stowe Area Association

Personal Note: Ye Olde England Inn: Best and biggest beer selection you've ever seen, and great pub food!

Stowe Mountain Resort is now "Officially" for Sale

Is this a surprise? It shouldn't be. After all, AIG was clear, last year, about divesting itself of all non-core businesses. The inference to be drawn from the timing of this announcement and scope of coverage, is, I think, that the Resort is fairly close to be being sold. And, hopefully, to a deep-pocketed and experienced ski-resort operator — and on-mountain real-estate developer. AIG has received a surprising number of unsolicited bids from qualified buyers, spokesman Peter Tulupman said. He declined to state who the potential buyers are or if any are from Vermont. Vail Resorts, perhaps? Last September, RockResorts quietly bought into Stowe with the announcement that it was expanding its luxury property collection to the "heart of the Northeast" with the addition of The Mansfield Inn at Stowe, which "... will be a charming, luxury property that embraces its stunning alpine backdrop." It serves as the perfect entry back into the Northeast for RockResorts." Bet you didn't know that RockResorts, a resort hotel company headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc.

Why "quietly?" Well, a "rockresorts stowe" Google search returns this as the first organic result, a simple press release dated last September 22nd:

RockResorts Returns to the Northeast with the... Sep 22, 2008 ... "We are pleased to be working with RockResorts," said Jeffrey Toporek, principal of Stonewater Partners, Inc. "The Mansfield Inn at Stowe ...

rockresorts.com/info/pressreleases/pressreleases.20080922.release.asp - 36k - Cached Similar pages

I wonder why when you click on the headline, the result is, "RockResorts - Page Not Found." And you won't find it if you navigate to the Press Room either. But, if you click on "Cached" – there it is! Are they coming out the back door — and right up the Mountain Road? Vail Resorts perhaps?

Frida's is Here!

Cinco de Mayo -- This evening, Frida's, the long awaited new Stowe restaurant will have its soft opening for friends and family, and those who just happen to pop in! The official opening is tomorrow. I now have a menu, and will append items from it to this posting later today. I arrived this morning, just as the new sign was going up: Frida's Taqueria + Grill in Stowe, Vermont

Frida's Taqueria + Grill sign goes up on Main Street in Stowe, VT

Then I ducked inside to say hi to Josh Bard (l) and Jack Pickett (r). Wait 'till you see this place!

Frida's co-owners Josh Bard + Jack Pickett

A selection of menu items (1 from each category) :

  • side dishes: Ensalada de repollo (cabbage slaw)
  • desserts: Torta tres leches (cake with three milks)
  • appetizers: Queso flameado (flame broiled Chihauhua cheese with fire roasted poblano chiles and grilled onions
  • salads: Nopales con lechugas estacionales (fresh cacus paddles with seasonal greens, Jerez sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil)
  • tacos: Pescado (crisp fried Atlantic cod with cabbage slaw and a roased jalapeno shallot sauce)
  • small plates: Relleno (poblano pepper fire roasted and stuffed with mushrooms, spinach and Hoja Santo goat cheese with sauce ranchera
  • large plates: Pato ahumado con mole (lightly smoked duck breast with rich mole sauce

Inland Northwest Resorts To Postpone Openings - Warm And Wet

Warm and wet and then dry weather throughout November thwarted many resorts in Montana, Idaho, and inland British Columbia in preparing for this winter's season. Unseasonably warm temperatures precluded resorts from firing up their snowmaking guns as scheduled.

The Industry Report For the mountain resort industry

Forget the Northwest - Come to Stowe this winter.