Betsy Pratt, Mad River Glen’s long-time owner and ski industry visionary passed today, just a few days after her 95th birthday and fittingly, after one of the biggest snow storms in memory. The MRV has lost a true legend and we wish her family and the Mad River Glen community our most sincere condolences.
Betsy Pratt had been called a maverick by some and that’s probably true, but she had far more depth than that. She was a lone woman-owner amidst an uber-male dominated industry. She successfully guided the mountain for over two decades and then had the vision and drive to chart a new path for Mad River Glen’s future. It was Betsy who came up with the concept of selling the mountain to Mad River’s loyal skiers. Nearly 30 years later we look back and see with 20/20 hindsight how much of a visionary she truly was.
Betsy’s vision of Mad River Glen was consistent with founder Roland Palmedo’s. She considered herself a steward of the mountain and dedicated herself to maintaining Roland’s vision. She always saw Mad River as a place that offered a challenging, outdoor adventure in a pristine, natural setting. A place with an ethos that developed organically with a firm foundation based on the fact that love for the sport outweighed financial considerations. She was always concerned about keeping Mad River in its natural state as much as possible.
Betsy wasn’t only a steward of the land she also cared deeply about her staff that she treated very much like family. She considered them essential members of the mountain community, a legacy that lives to this today.
The Mad River Glen faithful, the Mad River Valley community and skiers everywhere owe a tremendous debt to Betsy for her commitment, conviction and belief in all the facets of the Mad River Glen experience that combine to create the incredible sense of place that it exudes. Thank you Betsy for all you did for the Mad River Valley. You have left a tremendous legacy. Rest in Peace we will think of you every time we ride the Single Chair and glide down the trails of General Stark Mountain