WEST DOVER — The Matterhorn Inn has made way for Mount Snow Academy.
"Welcome to the new MSA campus here. Isn't it wonderful?" Shawn Byron, MSA board chairman, said during an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday. "The facility is unbelievable; 15,000 square feet, 30 rooms. We have four acres and tons of outdoor space for training. And hopefully, we will have a gym and a jumping center one day."
The former inn on Route 100 in West Dover was sold to the school on Sept. 23. The announcement of a purchase sale agreement was made at the academy's annual gala held on Feb. 2.
Joe and his wife Wanda Kruszewski, who have owned the inn for the last 12 years, plan on sticking around. They purchased property nearby.
"We love the (Deerfield) Valley," Joe Kruszewski told the Reformer on Sunday, showing off a poster for the Dew Tour. Names of gold medalists on the poster who stayed at the inn when the tour stopped at Mount Snow were circled with ink.
The plan, Byron said, is to turn the inn into the academy's campus so there is room to grow. The goal is to nearly double the number of students, jumping from about 30 to 50 or 60.
The academy offers five months of training at Mount Snow. Coaches and faculty members are part of the staff. Students return to their families and schools in their home state once the winter ends.
"Wow, this is really cool," said Todd Ormiston, head of school. "(The building) will occupy our residential, dining and common spaces for an amazing school community. I am proud to be part of this. I feel lucky to be part of this."
The academy is still raising funds to achieve its vision. The "Edge of Evolution Campaign" seeks $1.5 million in donations.
Lynn Sullivan started the academy 36 years ago in a 24-by-24 foot building on Mount Snow.
"It was amazing," she said.
MSA had rented houses for students to stay in but then bought what came to be known as the "Academy House" in 1996. Space also was shared with the Mount Snow Ski Club at the resort.
Only alpine skiing was offered at the academy until 1994, when freestyle skiing was added. Soon after, snowboarding instruction was available.
"We couldn't exist without Mount Snow," Sullivan said while also mentioning the academy's partnership with the Hermitage Club, which opens trails at its private ski resort on Haystack Mountain to the academy's alpine students a couple days each week.
Kelly Pawlak, general manager at Mount Snow, was an employee of the academy in its early days.
"I'm very excited about your future," Pawlak told students gathered at the ceremony. "Please, have the time of your life. Get good grades. Be excellent examples of what a good ski racer or snowboarder or freestyler should be out on the mountain. Because what you may not realize is the other kids on the mountain are looking up to you, because you are Mount Snow Academy athletes."
Call Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273.