Before speaking with Brett Long, I was not aware that there
is a QLLA (Quechee Lakes Landowners’ Association) Winter Sports/Platform Tennis
Committee. There is! He is the Chair and a natural for the position. Here’s
what I learned about what the Committee does, and about Long and his family.
As many Quechee Times readers probably know, the QLLA Board of Trustees appoints a Trustee Chair and members of some operating committees as per the QLLA By-Laws (available on the website, www.quecheeclub.com or at Member Services). The Winter Sports/Platform Tennis Committee advises the Club’s General Manager about winter sports including downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing and platform tennis. Committee members – Sandy Pomeroy, Michael Hefferman, Mike O’Neil, Renee Cook, Chris Bunnell, Martha Roiter, Michael Burke and Eric Godes – also work closely with Ken Lallier, QLLA Property Manager. The principal focus areas of the committee are skiing and platform tennis. Given the different issues related to maximizing member value for these activities, each has a sub-committee to address them.
Beth and Brett
The big news in skiing is that the use of the ski hill is now included in the base annual fee. Members no longer purchase a ski pass to use the facility – it is an included amenity – along with the health club, pools, tennis courts, cross country ski trails, etc. That’s pretty exciting news for skiers – and potential skiers – out there.
Long explains that
the Quechee Ski Hill “fits a specific niche. It is great for learning to ski,
great for kids to ski on their own and for racing. You see lots of grandparents
and grandchildren on the slopes. It’s also one of the few ski areas in Vermont
that faces south. This placement can be a challenge from a maintenance
perspective, but it makes for a wonderful ski experience. It’s also great for
any skier to just get out and take a few runs on a beautiful day!” says Long.
The Quechee Alpine Ski Club, Inc. (aka The Quechee Ski Team) is a significant draw to the hill with over 100 participants ranging in ages from 7 to 18. The ski team includes QLLA landowners, local Upper Valley residents and others who travel each weekend to train and race from states throughout New England. Part of the Mid-Vermont Racing Association, the ski team, will host four races this season with teams coming from Killington, Okemo, Suicide Six, Middlebury and Pico. On Friday afternoons during the month of February, you’ll find a number of elementary children from The Ottauquechee School participating in a learn-to-ski program.
sub-committee also discusses, Ken Kramberg’s Ski School, Henderson Ski &
Snowboard and Henderson’s Ski Rental program, Base Lodge operations, and
cross-country trails, but a principal concern is, of course, snowmaking. There
are capital improvements planned that will increase snowmaking capacity. Use of
the ski hill is expected to increase with the inclusion of skiing as a base
Also this year, the Platform Tennis Subcommittee reviewed access by members and non-members. They reported that the courts are fully booked each weekend during the winter and as Long explains, “The idea is to be as member-focused as possible. Non-members can use the Quechee Platform Tennis Courts, but must include at least one Quechee member in their game. It’s a win/win for the Quechee players, and for their colleagues.” Quechee is a member of the American Platform Tennis Association, and co-hosts the Green Mountain Open Platform Tennis Tournament with the Norwich Club each year.
The Long Family
Now to the Long family. Long, his wife, Beth, and sons, Garrett 26, who lives in Connecticut, and, Jack, 23, who lives in Quechee, are avid skiers and play platform tennis. Long knows his winter sports. He tells me that he and Beth enjoy cross-country skiing with their dogs and that he is a telemark skier. He likes to go “skinning” at the Quechee Hill. Skinning involves “walking uphill on skis with a climbing skin on them – like a fur covering – and then skiing down.” Talk about good exercise!
The Long family kind of “tripped into Quechee.” In 2012, they were looking for a weekend place – mostly for winter sports – around Killington, VT. They drove through Quechee and saw an open house sign, stopped, learned about the Quechee Club and bought a house! After full careers and owning a small business mostly in Connecticut, they moved to Quechee full-time in 2015. The Longs enjoyed retirement for about a year and then ended up finding interesting jobs here. Long is the executive director of International Trade and Business Support for the Vermont Department of Economic Development and spends time enticing businesses to locate in Vermont. Beth is the chief financial officer of Twin Pines Housing Trust, an Upper Valley non-profit housing developer of affordable housing.
The Long family has truly embraced Quechee, the Upper Valley and living in Vermont. And we are fortunate that Long is now a QLLA Trustee. If you see someone going the wrong way on the ski hill, tell him, “hi and thanks!”