Dear New Life Friends,
In the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.”
This update is not an absolute ending, but it is an ending of how things have been done in the past.
It has been an interesting 15 ½ months to get to where we are now. Just a few weeks ago, on June 15, 2021, Governor Phil Scott lifted the Vermont Covid-19 restrictions. We also have word that the Ethan Allen Express, connecting Rutland to New York City, will resume later this month on July 19.
Many of our past guests are wondering if there is any chance we could be opening at all for a shortened 2021 season. The recent news of returning to normalcy has most likely created renewed interest in coming to New Life Hiking Spa.
New Life Hiking Spa has been a seasonal vacation getaway since 1978. Typically, we are open for approximately five months a year. May through September, we have operated New Life in Vermont while doing the marketing and reservations all winter long from our winter home in a warmer climate. Additionally, we have run week-long retreats in the winter from other countries. Still, the mainstay of the business has been the five consecutive months we were open in Killington, Vermont.
When we closed for the 2020 season, we were confident that by the time the beautiful fall foliage arrived on the trees in Vermont, we would have our dates set for 2021. However, the restrictions lingered, and we saw a definite change in many of the vendors and partners we use to run a successful wellness vacation retreat. As fall turned to winter, the uncertainty lingered. As winter turned to spring, there was hope on the horizon regarding vaccines and eventually reopening. As spring turned to summer, reality started to set in that so many things had changed for New Life in Killington that we would not even be able to offer the same program.
We have surveyed all of our guests while we have been shut down. We know that the reason our guests return is because of our programming and pricing. Due to the numerous changes in partners and vendors we count on to open our seasonal business, we have realized that in addition to not opening the 2021 season, we will not be opening for the 5 consecutive months in Killington, Vermont any longer. With the number of changes, from new owners of our hotel to increased pricing from our vendors due to labor shortages and many other issues that go along with running a seasonal business, we are having to shut down our Killington operations permanently.
We are currently in the process of revamping our website to provide information on New Life Wellness Consulting, information on hiking, recommendations on spas and retreats, and providing specific information on wellness for those in the 50+ category. Let’s face it, after running New Life Hiking Spa since 1978 and having a 45% return guest ratio, most of us “New Lifers” are over fifty now (and over 60…and over 70)! Our new website will be found at www.Wellness50Plus.com but will also be accessed at www.NewLifeHikingSpa.com, which is the domain name we have had since the Internet was invented. Yes, Wellness50Plus is the next step.
We are currently in the process of selling our Vermont home and making a move to live in our Florida home year-round. We have plans of returning to Vermont at some point and even run a few of the one-week retreats similar to the Tortola and Nicaragua retreats we have run in the past.
If you have been a guest of New Life, we thank you for all of your support over the years. The staff and repeat guests have become like a second family. As we make this transition, we have silenced our social media accounts, and the website is undergoing a complete overhaul. We will be in touch this fall when we are settled in Florida, the new website is uploaded, and our social media accounts are active again.
As the LeSage family enters this new chapter, you could say we are going to be experiencing a “New Life”! It’s been an incredible ride, and thanks for the great memories in Vermont! We feel truly blessed.
This isn’t a total goodbye, just a significant change. We do hope to see you again!
Jimmy & Kathleen LeSage