Mad River Valley Economic Summit and Community Picnic: June 4

The Mad River Valley Economic Summit andphoto2 Community Picnic was held yesterday, June 4, at the Lareau Farm Inn in Waitsfield. The event, hosted by the Mad River Valley Planning District (MRVPD) and the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce, drew over 200 community members from the district’s three municipalities and beyond. Attendees enjoyed a delicious spread of food donated by local vendors and a presentation, moderated by Noelle Mackay, that highlighted findings from two economic studies recently conducted in the Valley—the Mad River Valley Economic Study and the Vermont Downtown Action Team (V-DAT) Reports for Waitsfield and Warren Villages.

photo6The Mad River Valley Economic Study was funded by a Municipal Planning Grant from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and a contribution from the Chamber of Commerce. Consultants from the SE Group, Birchline Planning, LLC, and Doug Kennedy Advisors aimed to understand and quantify the Valley’s economic profile and health by analyzing relevant data, conducting interviews, identifying key industry sectors, and exploring prospects to support the future of the Valley. To view the full report, please click here.

V-DAT, in conjunction with the Vermont Downtown Program, worked with Warren and Waitsfield last year to develop long-term economic development plans and strategies based on strengthening place-based identity, economic vitality, and resilience. Lead consultant on the project, Tripp Muldrow, presented the results. The full reports will be available in August, 2014.

The Summit focused on an economic history of the Valleyphoto7 over the past three decades, as well as more recent trends, opportunities, and challenges that will play a role in the future. Attendees were given the opportunity to provide input on a variety of different sectors (i.e. Agriculture, Food Systems, Tourism and Recreation, Manufacturing, etc.) and their potential roles in the economic future, vitality, and resilience of the Valley using a dot exercise. To provide additional input on the Valley’s economy, please take this quick survey. Input will be accepted until August 1, 2014. A follow-up event will occur in the Fall in order to further identify the Valley’s potential and strategies to make the community’s vision a reality.

For more information, visit, e-mail, or call (802) 496-7173.