Blog :: 01-2014

The Vermont Experience from the Other Side

Burlington's Hotel Vermont

Every once in a while it is good to step out of the box and look at what we see from the perspective of someone else. As a real estate broker, it's always interesting to get a clients reaction to an experience here in Vermont that is common to us who reside here but new to them. Conversely it is important and prudent for me to see Vermont through the eyes of a visitor.

Such was the case this weekend when we traveled to Burlington to attend the Banff Mountain Film Festival, an annual event that is well worth the trip. As has been our custom, we head up Friday afternoon, get a room for the night, have an early dinner and attend the festival. This year I decided to try the newest of Burlington's hostelries, the Hotel Vermont. The Hotel Vermont is locally owned and opened for business in April 2013. The theme is distinctly Vermont oriented from the construction, decor, amenities and the personnel. The basic premise could definitely be an easy setup for a cheese ball experience. Fortunately it has been pulled off exquisitely.

After checking into our room with it's great view of #Lake Champlain, we headed the Hotels restaurant, Hen of the Wood. This proved to be one of the best dining experiences we have had in a very long time. Locally sourced farm to table ingredients combined into imaginative dishes that were delightful. Once again, #Vermont themed decor and an outstanding staff. The next morning, we chose to have breakfast at Juniper, the hotels bar/restaurant. Once again we were treated to an exceptional meal.

I don't usually gush about such experiences, but I was greatly impressed by all that I saw of the Hotel Vermont. This is definitely a high recommendation for my clients visiting the Burlington area. Once they have experienced this, they will not want to leave. Can't help but boost business. And all you Vermonters, you owe it to yourself to reaffirm why Vermont is so special.

Posted by Wade I. Treadway

Back To The Land - 2014 Style

Organic-GardenOne of the obvious offshoots of the current localvore movement in Vermont is that individuals wishing to participate in this wonderful trend need land. And not just any land. The land must be fertile, well drained with good exposure and orientation. No small measure for a state that has more than it's share of north facing slopes, shallow soils and wetlands.

The vast majority of people contacting me about real estate are expressing a need for the property they buy to be able to support at least some agricultural activities including raising animals, growing crops, woodland management all within communities that are similarly engaged. To no small degree am I reminded of the Back to the Land Movement of the 1970's. For I was one of those who was looking to create a self reliant lifestyle by living off the land. In honesty, I had a dream but not much of a plan.

Todays Back to the Land movement is an entirely different landscape. Todays farmers in Vermont have a framework of Sustainable Agriculture which has been developed and marketed to the envy of all other states. A fascinating study of how we got here and where we are now is well documented in "Greening Vermont, The Search for a Sustainable State" by Elizabeth Courtney and Eric Zencey.

Many of Vermont's long abandoned farms are seeing renewed viability by the trend of speciality foods and products. Everything from grass fed beef, pork and lamb to artisan cheeses to natural fiber production. And through such interest, the Vermont hill farm is again a very desirable commodity not just for the beauty and serenity it offers but for it's ability to provide for itself and it's stewards.