Rose, Thorn, & Bud: An Interview with Rachel Vandenberg

We decided it was about time to check-in with one of the owners of Sun & Ski Inn and Suites, Rachel van den Berg. Keep reading to learn more about Rachel’s “Rose, Thorn & Bud”; Rose being something beautiful or wonderful that has happened, Thorn being something not-so-great, and Bud being something that Rachel is looking forward to.   

The last few years have been tricky as a business owner and a parent, but what do you believe has stood out to you as something beautiful, wonderful, or something that you have been grateful for? In other words, what has been your Rose?  

From Rachel: 

Owning your own business affords a lot of opportunity for growth and learning. I love that business can also be an outlet for creation and creativity and that I have the ability to take things in the direction I envision in cooperation with our family. Owning this business also allows us to live in a pretty remarkable place with a wonderful community. As my own boss I can give direction to my schedule including being there for my kids when they need me. 

The last two years have also given us the chance to see things from a new perspective. The world has changed which also has given us the opportunity to do things differently and make changes that might not have otherwise been possible. 

Everyone has experienced the last couple of years differently depending on so many factors. For you, what were your toughest moments? How did you manage to work through it, and who helped support you through those times? In other words, what has been your thorn? 

From Rachel: 

Owning any medium size business is an all-in affair, especially when you are open 24 hours a day 365 days per year. One of the hardest parts is that our schedule is not your typical 9-5 with holidays off. That means that there are definitely some sacrifices for our family. The last two years have been difficult because we went from not knowing if our business would survive to being busier than we ever have with a fraction of our regular staff size.  

The toughest moments in between have circled around feeling a lack of control, helplessness and uncertainty. I’ve worked through it with the support of family and friends and leaning in to the opportunity for personal growth. 

It’s spring in Stowe and the future’s looking bright. What are you most looking forward to this year, and where do you find your inspiration and motivation? In other words, what is your bud?

It doesn’t quite feel like spring with the recent snowfall we’ve had but we are heading in the right direction. I’m looking forward to continuing the re-growth of our team, new improvements to our property and getting outside more on the trails.  

Finding peace in the outdoors is crucial to my motivation. I’m inspired every day by the relationships around me with our guests, employees, family, friends and our very wise children, who are always teaching us something new. 

More About Rachel:  

About 10 years ago we took over the management of our hotel from my parents. I grew up in the hotel business but moving back to my hometown and becoming the owner/operator is a completely new experience. My husband and I share management responsibilities and we have different strengths and interests in the business so we compliment each other very well. I’m passionate about leadership and community and bring it into everything I do. When I’m not working I’m there for our 3 kids or spending time in the outdoor paradise that we live in. I love to mountain bike, hike, paddleboard, and ski.