'Stay to Stay' ski weekend launched for 2020

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BENNINGTON — A state program intended to entice tourists to relocate to Vermont will return to the Shires in February.

The region will welcome out-of-staters from Feb. 21 through 24 for a "Stay to Stay" ski weekend, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing recently announced.

The event will include a reception at Bromley Mountain Resort and opportunities to meet with realtors and potential employers. Participants will receive free lift tickets to Bromley, according to the program's website, though they must cover their own lodgings and transportation.

At an "employer reception," participants will meet representatives of the healthcare, manufacturing, start-up, hospitality, finance and nonprofit sectors, according to an online itinerary.

More than 200 people participated this year in the Stay to Stay program, according to a news release. Fifteen participants, to date, have moved to Vermont, and dozens more "are actively job and house hunting in the state."

Bennington County has hosted the weekend events, billed as "exploratory vacations," since 2018, the program's inaugural year. Other participating places have included the Burlington, Brattleboro and Rutland areas.

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"Expanding our workforce is one of the most impactful things we can do to grow our economy, make Vermont more affordable and protect the most vulnerable, and that's why it's a top priority of my administration," Gov. Phil Scott said in the release. "There is no one solution to our workforce challenge, but innovative programs like Stay to Stay are making a difference."

Matt Harrington, executive director of the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, a partner in the program, said he personally reaches out to people who sign up for the weekends and works to customize their experiences.

More information about the Bennington event is available at vermontvacation.com/stay-to-stay/the-shires-of-vermont.

The Brattleboro, Newport and Rutland areas will also host upcoming ski weekends through the same program.

Heather Pelham, acting commissioner of the state tourism agency, said the weekends "are a great partnership between state, local, and private entities all working in tandem to welcome visitors interested in making Vermont their home."

"The weekends are a unique way to draw attention to Vermont's outstanding quality of life and the wide variety of outdoor recreation and employment options available," she continued. "Vermont cities, towns, and businesses are stepping up to demonstrate to potential new residents the benefits of living and working in our vibrant downtowns and rural communities."

Contact Luke Nathan at lnathan@benningtonbanner.com.


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