Vermont airport revitalized

Private dollars make Deer Valley a destination

September 11, 2013

A new runway surface and spruced-up buildings at 4V8 in Dover, Vt. Photo courtesy of The Hermitage Club at Haystack Mountain

Jim Barnes saw potential in a run-down airport in southern Vermont, and decided to do something about it. In July, 4V8, known for decades as Mount Snow Airport, officially reopened with a resurfaced runway and fully renovated buildings, including an FBO building transformed into a regional welcome center.

“In about 30 days we really just revamped the entire thing,” said Barnes, who estimates $400,000 has been spent on the facility—so far. He has more plans in store.

The airport, rechristened as Deerfield Valley Airport, is operated by The Hermitage Club at Haystack Mountain, a private ski and golf resort being built nearby. The restaurant, 18-hole golf course, and inn are up and running, with a new, 80,000-square-foot base lodge soon to follow, along with up to 400 luxury homes. Barnes said the public is welcome at the inn and restaurant, and pilots should contact the club for landing clearance and a free ride to the dining, lodging, or golf facilities. (Barnes said prior permission is required to land at 4V8, though various online databases list the facility as public use.)

Jim Barnes. (Contributed photo)

Barnes is working with a charter company to set up regular runs to and from Westchester, N.Y., and possibly a Long Island airport as well.

Barnes plans to seek renewal of permits awarded long ago, but never acted on, to extend the runway to 4,400 feet from the current 2,650 feet. Assuming the 1988 permits are again approved, that work could begin in the spring, Barnes said.

Meanwhile, trees have been cut back from the runway approaches, and visitors are dropping by who once shied away from an airport in need of repair.

“It’s really taking off,” Barnes said.

Owner Jim Barnes spent $400,000 renovating the airport. Photo courtesy of The Hermitage Club at Haystack Mountain