50 Plus & Baby Boomers EXPO

January 11, 2011  
Filed under Things to do

Sat., Jan. 29 – 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Burlington

Exhibition Hall Schedule

9 a.m. on    50/50 Raffle
9 a.m. on    Exhibitors
9 a.m. on    Casino Trip for Two Giveaway
9:30 am    Laughter Yoga
10 a.m.    Art Workshop: Relief Printing
11 a.m.    Jon Gailmor in concert
11:30 a.m.    Art Workshop: Walnut Ink
1:30 p.m.    Laughter Yoga
1:30 p.m.    Art Workshop: Paint Sticks

Emerald Ballroom Schedule

9 a.m. on    Exhibitors
9 a.m.    Silent Auction (until 2 p.m.)
11 a.m.    Fashion Show & “Host with the Most Contest”
1 p.m.    Lyric Theatre presents “Broadway Today!”
2:15p.m.    Dance Party with DJ Charlie Rice
3:50 p.m.    Trip & 50/50 Raffle Winner Announced

Seminars in the University Amphitheater

9:15 a.m.    Health Coverage After Retirement, Blue Cross and Blue Shield
10:15 a.m.    Not So Hard Being Green, Wake Robin
11:15 a.m.    BISHCA & Insurance Considerationfor Baby Boomers & Seniors, BISCHA
12:15 p.m.    Sleep Well and Lose Weight for a Balanced Life, Vermont Sleep Disorders Center
1:15 p.m.    Aging Gracefully, Fletcher Allen – Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery
2:15 p.m.    The Finer Points of Cruising, Vermont’s Green Mountain Tours
3:15 p.m.    Understanding the Controversy Surrounding the Recommendations for Breast Cancer    Screening,Fletcher Allen – Mammography & Breast Imaging

Workshops in the Diamond Ballroom

10 a.m.     A Lighthearted Look at Serious Stuff
11 a.m.    Makeup and Skincare in Your Daily Routine
12 p.m.    Fundamentals of Owning & Maintaining Power Equipment
1 p.m.    Preparing Raw Vegan Foods for a Healthier Lifestyle
2 p.m.    Dating 101 in 2011

2011 EXPO Exhibitors

AAA Northern New England
AARP Vermont
Adirondack Audiology
Aging in Place Vermont
Alzheimer’s Association, Vermont Chapter
Armistead Caregiver Services
Artists’ Mediums Inc.
Babies to Boomers
Bankers Life & Casualty
Bayada Nurses
Beltone Hearing Aid Centers
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont
Cathedral Square Corporation
Champlain Senior Center
Community of Vermont Elders-COVE
Coombs & Davis
Cornerstone Physical Therapy
Costco Wholesale
Cruise Planners/American Express
Diabetes Research Center
Ethan Allen Residence
Family First Chiropractic
Fletcher Allen-Community Health Improvement
Fletcher Allen-Mammography & Breast Imaging
Fletcher Allen-Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery
Franklin County Rehab/Holiday House
Geni’s Raw Vegan Foods
Greater Burlington YMCA
Griswold Special Care, Vermont
Heineberg Senior & Community Center
Helen Porter Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center
High Performance Modular
Home Care Assistance of Vermont
Home Instead Senior Care
Keene Medical Products
Keys to Fun
Kindred Healthcare
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Living Well Residential Care Home
Loretto Home
Lyric Theatre Co.
Michaud Memorial Manor
Mirror Mirror
New World Coin & Jewelry
Northern Meridian
Nowak & Nowak Financial Services
Office of Senator Bernie Sanders
PACE Vermont, Inc.
Peace Corps
People’s Trust
Philips Lifeline
Pillsbury Manor
Pines Senior Living Community
Residential Care Homes-Vermont Catholic Charities
Revera Health Systems
Roy’s Home Siding & Patio Rooms
S.R. Smith Real Estate
Shelburne Fine Woodworking
Silver Leaf In-Home Care
St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged
St. Joseph’s Kervick Home
The Busy Chef
The Sculpted Tree
The Silver Olive
The Small Engine Co., Inc.
The Vermont Agency
TLC Nursing Associates, LLC
United Way of Chittenden County
UnitedHealthcare Medicare Solutions
UVM College of Medicine
UVM Continuing Education
Vermont Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired
Vermont Kin As Parents
Vermont Public Television
Vermont Relay
Vermont’s Green Mountain Tours, LLC
Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden & Grand Isle Counties
VT Assembly of Home Health Agencies
VT Medical Sleep Disorders Center
Wake Robin Continuing Care Retirement Community
… and more!

Admission, Directions & Parking

Admission is $5 per person payable at the door. You can save $1 per ticket by buying prior to January 29 at the University Mall Customer Service Desk, Dorset St. off Williston Road in South Burlington or by calling 872-9000 x19 to purchase your tickets by phone.

Admission price includes access to ALL seminars, workshops, entertainment, and exhibitor areas. Paid food concessions are available.

A portion of proceeds from the EXPO will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association, Vermont Chapter. Tickets are nonrefundable. EXPO will be held regardless of weather.

Directions & Parking
The EXPO will be held at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center, located at 870 Williston Road in South Burlington across from Staples Plaza. (Take Exit 14W off Interstate 89).

The EXPO is held on two floors: downstairs in the Lake Champlain Exhibition Hall and the Amphitheatre, and upstairs in the Emerald and Diamond ballrooms. There is a handicapped accessible elevator near the ticket booth.

When entering the Sheraton lot, look for the signs indicating the Conference Center parking area, which is located around the back of the building. The parking lot is located directly across from the entrance to the EXPO. Parking is free. Additional parking will be available in the lower lot as well. Look for the courtesy van from SSTA to drive you right to the door!

Casino Trip Giveaway

Sponsored by Vermont’s Green Mountain Tours. Visit their booth at the EXPO!

Discover five spacious casinos, magnificent hotels, delicious dining, live entertainment every night, shopping and an indoor pool. Foxwood’s stands apart as one of the world’s great resort casino experiences. Then travel to Mohegan Sun with two of the world’s largest, most astounding casinos.

What’s Included:
Two nights’ lodging at Great Cedar Resort at Foxwood’s
•    Baggage handling for one suitcase per person
•    Two $10 Food Credits or Full Buffet
•    $5 Food Credit or Full Breakfast Buffet
•    $20 Keno coupon
•    $5 Pull tab
•    20% Discount at any Foxwood’s Gift Shop with a purchase of $25 or more up to $1000.
•    Foxwood’s souvenir
•    $2 off Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center Admission
Mohegan Sun Casino
•    First Day, $10 Meal Voucher and $10 Free Bet
•    Last Day, $10 Meal Voucher and $10 Free Bet
•    Luxury Premier Coach transportation

Dance Party with Host DJ Charlie Rice

2:15 p.m. – Emerald Ballroom

Always a hit, the annual EXPO dance party will be hosted by DJ Charlie Rice of C-Note Entertainment. Charlie will be spinning tunes with selections from a variety of eras and your favorite genres. Rice, a well-known entertainer, singer, and performer for nearly three decades, was part of Downpour, one of Northern New England’s premier dance bands. He is currently entertainment director at Smuggler’s Notch Resort. Come join the fun!

Food Concessions

8 a.m. ‑ 3:30 p.m.
Exhibition Hall

In addition to all the great events and exhibitors at the EXPO, there will be a food concession area downstairs in the Exhibition Hall.

The Sheraton, which runs the concession, has a breakfast menu that includes items such as muffins and danishes.The lunch menu features soups, sandwiches, salads, and more. There will be desserts and an assortment of beverages on hand.

The concession area will be open from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m.


Jon Gailmor in Concert
11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Conference Center Stage

Jon Gailmor, proud Baby Boomer, has been performing in schools, colleges, resorts, restaurants and folk clubs throughout the country for almost 40 years, serenading at child care and senior centers, singing at prisons, hospitals, conferences, corporate and private parties, delivering unorthodox high school commencement addresses and talking to students far and wide about alternative career choices.  Jon presents songwriting residencies and workshops for students in pre-school through college, and helps companies and other organizations create their own masterpieces.

He has been honored as an “Extraordinary Vermonter” by the governor, received the Mayor’s Peace Prize in Burlington and was awarded a Silver Citation by the Vermont Arts Council.  He sang as Vermont’s representative at the 25th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and, in 1996, was chosen to carry the Olympic Torch through Brattleboro, on its way to Atlanta.  He has toured with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, has released six solo albums and lives with his family and other mammals in Elmore, Vermont.

His music can be found online at the I-tunes Web site. Go to the i-tunes store and search on
“Jon Gailmor”.

For this year’s EXPO, Jon will be singing songs we can all relate to, remember and relish. His original tunes are about parenthood, childhood, grandparenthood and all the humor, emotions and quirky situations therein.  They are apolitical, political, absurd and poignant, fraught with laughter and hope. He will also cover our beloved Beatles, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Beach Boys and countless other artists we grew up or failed to grow up on.  Nothing conjures up the most important parts of our lives like music, OUR music.  Jon Gailmor is full of it, so to speak.  Don’t miss him, from 11 to 1 on Saturday!

‘Broadway On the Radio’ by the Lyric Theatre Company
1 p.m. – Emerald Ballroom

Lyric Theatre Company presents “Broadway On the Radio!” Syndi Zook directs an ensemble of singers as they bring to life some of the tunes that have gone from the stages of Broadway onto the radio waves. You won’t want to miss New England’s premiere musical theater group as they delight you with their rendition of show tunes that have become radio hits. You will want to sing along!

Laughter Yoga
9:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. Conference Center Stage

You may find Instructor Justin Martucci wandering up to you and making you laugh throughout the day!
Laughter Yoga is a new gentle exercise program incorporating yogic breathing exercises and playful laughter. Based on medical evidence that shows that laughter reduces stress, aids in circulation, strengthens the immune system, and can raise the heartbeat as much as jogging, Laughter Yoga is not only good exercise, it is fun for people of all ages!

Instructor Justin Martucci is an experienced Laughter Yoga leader. His presentations will explain how laughter provides exercise and good health, and provide EXPO-goers with a fun-filled and hilarious experience!

Fashion Show Offers the Latest Looks…and you could be a star in the ‘Host With the Most’ Contest!
11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Emerald Ballroom

Here is the STAR of University Mall’s 50-Plus and Baby Boomer Fashion Show…..IT’S YOU, the audience!  With University Mall’s “Host with the Most” contest, audience members can host the show, alongside the emcee team of Kimberly Dubrul and Tim Kavanaugh. Be sure to practice your skills because University Mall will give away valuable gift cards to the best “Hosts,”based on applause.

University Mall makes it easy to look your best with the latest styles from all your favorite stores including JCPenney, Christopher & Banks, Kohl’s, The Bon-Ton, Olympia Sports, CJ Banks, Sears and more. The show will feature trendy models provided by Fusion Management Group as well as music from Charlie Rice of C-Note Entertainment. Be sure to grab your note card so you may easily remember which stores have the outfits YOU want to buy! Coupons to various stores will also be available following the show.

Silent Auction to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, Vermont Chapter

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the Promenade
(upstairs HALLWAY NEXT TO THE Emerald Ballroom)

This year’s silent auction at the EXPO is really worth checking out! Are you looking for a weekend get a way? What about jewelry for you? The auction includes beautiful items from stores such as Fremeau Jewelers. Also up for bidding: one-of-a-kind Vermont handmade pottery from Warren Dixon, family season passes to Shelburne Museum, theaters tickets for the Saint Michael’s Playhouse and tickets to the NYC Ballet. There will also be items from Harley Davidson Sports, and Vermont Teddy Bear, as well as gifts certificates for the meal of your choosing from the wonderful Leunig’s Restaurant in Burlington. Also available will be sports tickets, ski passes, spa treatments and much, much more!

Whatever your preference, the auction will have something for you so be sure to stop by the auction tables in the Promenade from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. With so many wonderful items to choose from, bidders have the chance to pick up great deals while helping to support your fellow Vermont families dealing with Alzheimer’s. All proceeds from the 2011 auction will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, Vermont Chapter, which delivers programs and services statewide.

EXPO Offers Free Seminars in the Amphitheatre

9:15— Health Coverage After Retirement
Presenter: Dana Houlihan, Product Manager, Individual Products

Are you turning 65 or retiring soon?  Do you have questions about Medicare?  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont will provide general information about how Medicare Parts A and B work, as well as give information on how to be sure you’re covered when Medicare requires deductibles and coinsurance or you exceed its maximums.  BCBSVT representatives will also discuss Medicare Part D, a program through which the federal government teams up with private carriers to cover prescription drugs.  After the presentation, BCBSVT will answer questions from the audience and even give you time to ask specific questions one-on-one.

10:15 — Not So Hard Being Green
Presenter: Henry Moreno,Director of Environmental Services

Thinking — and being —“green” is certainly top of mind these days.   Environmental Stewardship is a core value in Vermont and one that Wake Robin residents and staff and the Board hold dear.  We are making measurable efforts to manage the impact our community has on the environment. How does a community of 350 people accomplish this?  What are some tips for making a difference wherever you live?

Please come to hear some innovative ideas that Wake Robin residents and staff have put in place and how you can do this in your own homes.

11:15— BISHCA & Insurance Considerations for Baby Boomers and Seniors

Presenter: David Martini, Assistant General Counsel,Director of Consumer Protection Programs

Health care is an important topic for everyone these days. Fortunately, Vermonters benefit from health insurance mandates the state has put in place to protect consumers. We will explain what those protections are, how they may affect your health insurance, and how consumers can access our consumer complaint process or External Appeals program. We will go over federal health care reform, including a review of which federal reforms are currently in place and which ones you may see in the next few years.

Following David’s presentation, BISHCA staff members will update you on others areas of importance to Vermonters, like banking and investments.

12:15 — Sleep Well and Lose Weight for a Balanced Life
Presenter: Ray Paquette, Owner, Vermont Medical Sleep, Disorders Center

Need lifestyle changes? Want better sleep, health, reduced stress and increased wellness?  Please join Vermont Medical Sleep Disorders Center and SG Fitness for an informative presentation on how you can make the changes needed for a balanced life. From diagnosing and treating a sleep disorder to enrollment in an education-based weight loss program, we can guide you toward long-term health. Ray Paquette is the owner of Vermont Medical Sleep Disorders Center in Essex Junction. Sherri George is owner and operator of SG Fitness, and a Nutrition Manager Certified by the American Academy of Sports Dietitians and Nutritionists, a Certified Personal Trainer, Coach and Consultant.

1:15 — Aging Gracefully
Presenter: Susan E.  MacLennan, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Vermont/Fletcher Allen Health Care

Aging gracefully isn’t always easy, but attitude matters a lot. We’ve heard the clichés: wrinkles are the roadmap of your life. Many of us would rather not be reminded of the distance we have traveled.
Come speak with Susan MacLennan, MD, and explore the surgical and non-surgical options offered at our easily accessible office in Colchester. Find out about Botox injections, wrinkle fillers, facial rejuvenation, breast surgery, tummy tucks, and more.

Susan MacLennan, M.D., is an Associate Professor of Surgery at UVM’s College of Medicine and has practiced plastic and reconstructive surgery at Fletcher Allen Health Care for 10 years. She is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.

2:15 — The Finer Points of Cruising

Vermont’s Green Mountain Tours owner Bill Greenwood will explain how to receive hidden benefits and how to control costs of booking and enjoying a cruise.

He will also share tips and information on how to cruise with a group.

Presenter Bill Greenwood has been traveling for more than 50 years. He has been to 49 countries, all 50 states and across Canada. He is more than qualified to be your tour director.

3:15 — Understanding the Controversy Surrounding the Recommendations for Breast Cancer Screening

Vermont’s Academic Medical Center
Presenter: Elise Liebeskind Hotaling, M.D., Assistant Professor in Radiology at the University of Vermont/ Fletcher Allen Health Care

Breast cancer remains the second leading cause of death among women. Mammographic screening has proven to significantly decrease breast cancer deaths from women aged 40 – 74 years.  In November 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force withdrew its support for mammographic screening of women aged 40-49 years old and recommended that women aged 50 – 74 years be screened every two years. Many experts in the field, including Gynecologists, Surgeons and Radiologists, argue that these guidelines will result in unnecessary deaths from breast cancer that could be avoided by annual screening beginning at age 40. This seminar will address the pros and cons of mammographic screening and aid you in forming an educated decision on how to manage your breast care and when and how often you should receive a mammogram.

EXPO Offers Workshops

A Lightheated Look at Serious Stuff
Presenter:  COVE Savvy Seniors from Lyric Theatre Company
10 a.m.

Presenting, The COVE Savvy Seniors of Chittenden County! This is a group of senior volunteers from Lyric Theatre Company who will provide a comical performance about issues that touch all of us, including healthcare fraud and errors, identity theft, telemarketing and mail fraud, drug diversion and even medication management. The Savvy Senior actors role play to demonstrate ways consumers can protect themselves from being targets of fraud, such as how to handle suspicious phone calls or telemarketing inquiries.

Makeup and Skincare in Your Daily Routine
Presenter:  Aesthetician from Mirror, Mirror
11 a.m.

Looking for expert advice on how to make your complexion glow beginning with proper cleansing and moisturizing, and completing your new look with proper instruction on makeup application?
AMirror Mirror’s aestheticians will begin with a discussion regarding a proper morning and evening regimens for creating a healthy, more vibrant complexion regardless of age or skin type.

This seminar will conclude with one of our makeup artists providing hands-on makeup instruction with a member of the audience as the model, giving advice on color choices for the eyes, lips and cheeks. Look good, feel great!

Fundamentals of Owning & Maintaining Power Equipment
Presenter:  Robert Molinatti, Owner of The Small Engine Co., Inc.
12 p.m.

Sick of paying a small fortune on repairs to your home & garden equipment?  Tired of waiting for weeks for your trimmer, tiller, or lawn mower to be fixed?  Wish you could fix the stuff yourself?  Then don’t miss this presentation on basic maintenance techniques homeowners can use to help avoid costly repairs and months of delay.  Following the initial presentation (about 15 minutes), the discussion will open up to a Q&A session, providing you with the opportunity to get answers to your specific questions.

Preparing Raw Vegan Foods for a Healthier Lifestyle
Presenter:  Geniel Fife, Certified Chef and Herbalist, Owner of Geni’s Raw Vegan Foods
1 p.m.

Our purpose is to help people live long, happy lives free of  degenerative diseases.

That may seem like a tall order, but we believe most illnesses happen when the foods we consume over a lifetime lack the necessary nutrients needed to sustain a healthy body.

Our classes teach simple but necessary information and skills required to make sustainable nutritious lifestyle changes.

The notion that healthy foods must taste bad is definitely a myth! We can show you some of the most delicious, satisfying foods available that you can prepare for yourself and/or your family. Come and see for yourselves!

Dating 101 in 2011
Presenter:  Nicole T. Leclerc, Matchmaker and Owner of Compatibles Dating Service
2 p.m.

Dating expert and Matchmaker Nicole Leclerc of Compatibles will present Dating 101 in 2011.  With an emphasis on dating in today’s world for mature daters, she will present common misconceptions, new approaches, and an intense concentration on ‘realism’ within dating for better connections.  The movies, books and television commercials convince daters the storybook fantasy is real romance.  The pursuit of a romantic relationship should be fun and based in reality, not fantasy. This seminar will inform daters who are seeking a realistic approach to successful dating – what this means and how to get in the right mind-set for the ultimate result – your own real love story.

The Man Cave

All day in the Diamond Ballroom

The Automaster invites you to relax in a designated lounge area complete with flat screen TV, an area to play cards and board games, a ping pong table, a golf putting practice area and more! Stop in to relax and have some fun! SPONSORED BY: Automaster

Art Workshops at the EXPO

Sponsored by Artists Mediums • Booths 28 & 29 in the Exhibition Hall

Relief Printing
10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Before photography or letterpress allowed us to easily replicate images and text, printing with hand-carved blocks was the primary method of illustrating books and other publications. Today we have a wide variety of materials that have opened up the technique to all ages and abilities. Carve an image directly into a block or use a variety of methods to transfer an image such as text, a line drawing, even use a photograph as your starting point. In this workshop, you’ll learn about the types of materials used, the basics of carving your block, image transfer techniques, and how to apply your image to all sorts of surfaces: fabric, paper, wood, walls, even clay.

Walnut Ink
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Achieve an Old-World look in your drawings with this rich, sepia toned water-based ink. Walnut ink works well with a brush or dip pen — great for all kinds of drawing. Laid out in broad strokes, it handles like watercolor, with good layering and lifting capabilities. A very malleable medium to work with, it also makes great “antiqued” backgrounds (great with block prints!) on its own or mixed with watercolors, pigments, etc. Walnut ink is a great addition to any artists’ toolbox. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to create different antiqued backgrounds on paper, create washes and “lift out,” and how to use Walnut ink with other mediums.
Paint Sticks
1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Traditionally used as a way for artists to draw with their paint, Paint sticks are becoming extremely popular among quilters and fabric painters. When used on cloth, let it sit for a day or two, then cover with parchment paper and heat-set with a hot iron. These oil bars may also be used for stenciling wood floors or walls, or even upholstery and scarves. Paint sticks are also a smart travel option for artists who want to paint on the go, but aren’t able to travel with solvents or liquids. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to use Paint sticks in a traditional painting method, sample how to achieve textured effects on fabric, and use them with stencils.
Presenter Kristin Richland was fortunate to grow up in a household with two very creative and supportive parents, who encouraged her to think outside the box and make the most out of what she had. Four years at the Maine College of Art introduced her to interdisciplinary techniques and pushing materials beyond their normal uses. Upon receipt of her BFA in Painting, she had worked in relief and mono printing, digital imaging, soft sculpture, and of course oil and acrylic paint.

In her current work she uses fairly traditional media such as acrylic, watercolor and ink, but she enjoys mixing them in non-traditional ways. Her subjects are fantastical dream-like creatures and landscapes which lend themselves to this type of experimentation.

Besides working at Artists’ Mediums for the past ten years, helping artists choose their materials and framing their end results, she maintains a regular studio practice and participates in several group shows and art events throughout Vermont each year.

EXPO Supports Alzheimer’s Association, Vermont Chapter

Today, more than 11,000 Vermonters have Alzheimer’s and it is projected that by 2025 the number will grow to more than 13,000. In 2010, Alzheimer’s moved to the sixth leading cause of death nationwide. Many Vermont families turn to the Alzheimer’s Association each year as a resource for information, education and support.

Last year, the Vermont Chapter educated over 1,000 Vermonters through in-person workshops and trainings. Its programs educate the in-home and professional caregiver and family members dealing with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

The Association hosts more than 20 support groups statewide for those who find comfort in peer-to-peer sharing. Its local website received over 3,000 hits from people in the community accessing information as well as web-based education and training. In addition, the Association provides individualized consultation and support 24 hours a day seven days a week. We are here to help day or night.

The Alzheimer’s Association also has a commitment to advancing the understanding of Alzheimer’s through the peer-reviewed research grant program. Since 1982 it has awarded more than $279 million to 1,900 scientists, but there is still a long way to go.

As our population ages, resources are being stretched. The Alzheimer’s Association is dedicated to helping families affected by Alzheimer’s by providing information, services, education, support and advocacy.

The Alzheimer’s Association appreciates the incredible support of its mission and of Vermont families by the 50-Plus and Baby Boomers EXPO in 2011! For more information on upcoming programs and events or to volunteer or donate to the Association, please visit alz.org or call (802) 316-3839 or toll free (800) 272-3900.

50/50 Raffle to Benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, Vermont Chapter

The Alzheimer’s Association will be holding the 50/50 raffle at the EXPO this year! Enjoy wonderful entertainment, seminars, a dance party, fashion show and the amazing silent auction at the EXPO and have a chance to win a big check from the 50/50 raffle and start 2011 off right!

Raffle tickets will be available at the entrance of the EXPO or see the volunteers walking around the EXPO floors selling tickets. Individual tickets are $1 or packages of six tickets are $5. Take a chance on the raffle while supporting local Vermont families!  All proceeds from the raffle will help the Alzheimer’s Association provide education and support to our local community while also funding crucial research. For more about the Alzheimer’s Association, please visit Alz.org or call (802) 316-3839.

Casino Trip Giveaway

January 11, 2011  
Filed under Travel

Sponsored by Vermont’s Green Mountain Tours
Visit their booth at the EXPO!

Discover five spacious casinos, magnificent hotels, delicious dining, live entertainment every night, shopping and an indoor pool. Foxwood’s stands apart as one of the world’s great resort casino experiences. Then travel to Mohegan Sun with two of the world’s largest, most astounding casinos.

What’s Included:
Two nights’ lodging at Great Cedar Resort at Foxwood’s
•    Baggage handling for one suitcase per person
•    Two $10 Food Credits or Full Buffet
•    $5 Food Credit or Full Breakfast Buffet
•    $20 Keno coupon
•    $5 Pull tab
•    20% Discount at any Foxwood’s Gift Shop with a purchase of $25 or more up to $1000.
•    Foxwood’s souvenir
•    $2 off Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center Admission

Mohegan Sun Casino
•    First Day, $10 Meal Voucher and $10 Free Bet
•    Last Day, $10 Meal Voucher and $10 Free Bet
•    Luxury Premier Coach transportation

Fashion Show Offers the Latest Looks…

January 11, 2011  
Filed under Blogs

And you could be a star in the ‘Host With the Most’ Contest!

11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Emerald Ballroom

Here is the STAR of University Mall’s 50-Plus and Baby Boomer Fashion Show…..IT’S YOU, the audience!  With University Mall’s “Host with the Most” contest, audience members can host the show, alongside the emcee team of Kimberly Dubrul and Tim Kavanaugh. Be sure to practice your skills because University Mall will give away valuable gift cards to the best “Hosts,”based on applause.

University Mall makes it easy to look your best with the latest styles from all your favorite stores including JCPenney, Christopher & Banks, Kohl’s, The Bon-Ton, Olympia Sports, CJ Banks, Sears and more. The show will feature trendy models provided by Fusion Management Group as well as music from Charlie Rice of C-Note Entertainment. Be sure to grab your note card so you may easily remember which stores have the outfits YOU want to buy! Coupons to various stores will also be available following the show.

Col d’Lizard Keeps Winter Athletes Warm

January 11, 2011  
Filed under Business

By Stephanie Choate

As temperatures fall below freezing and snow piles up, thousands of winter enthusiasts will pull on Col d’Lizard jackets, hats and long underwear — all created by Charlotte resident Katherine Sundstrom.
Sundstrom outfits staff at several major ski resorts — including Breckenridge Ski Resort and Winter Park Resort in Colorado and Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont.

She fills online orders from across the nation, as well as Scandinavia and other parts of Europe. She ships several thousand products a month in the winter, by far her busiest season, before things taper off in the spring and summer.

“It’s like my harvest season,” she said.

Sundstrom sews everything herself in a converted barn at her home in Charlotte.

Sundstrom said she loves hearing from satisfied customers. She said she often gets letters from customers telling her how the gear helped in “perilous situations” like a biking accident. Or, just that it kept them warm.
Sundstrom said those letters give her the “warm fuzzies.”

“That’s the greatest, hearing from people who have enjoyed the thing I physically made,” she said. “You feel like you’ve made someone’s life a little nicer.”

George and Cindy Jackman of Stowe have purchased fleece pants, shirts, vests, headbands and biking jerseys from Sundstrom over the years.

“I think her products are great and her service is fabulous,” Cindy Jackman said. “If I say I need the arms two inches longer or the legs two inches shorter, she’ll do it no problem.”

Jackman said she’s been wearing Col d’Lizard gear for years, and has purchased it for other people, too.
“I go out skiing in her stuff all the time, and it’s held up really well,” she said.

Humble beginnings
Col d’Lizard started out of necessity.

Sundstrom started making clothing in Colorado as a single mother in the 1990s, looking for a way to feed her three young children after a divorce.

“That’s how the company started, out of hardship,” she said. “It’s funny and I think it’s inspirational, if life throws us weird circumstances, you can build off that.”

Sundstrom knew how to sew, from making customized outfits for her daughter’s gymnastics events. She decided to try selling her creations.

“I went way out of my comfort zone and took things around to stores to see if they wanted to buy it,” she said.
Eventually, a representative for a new children’s outerwear line, Molehill Mountain Equipment, noticed Sundstrom’s stuff in stores and asked if she wanted to join the company’s design team. Sundstrom said she worked there for four or five years.

“I learned a lot, working with them, and that’s when I decided to launch my own company,” she said. “I just thought, ‘I can do this.’”

Sundstrom launched Col d’Lizard in 1998. The business took off, and soon she was outfitting staff at major Colorado ski areas and ski schools and grossing $700,000 a year at its peak.

Since she launched Col d’Lizard, Sundstrom has made an effort to buy all of her raw materials from U.S. manufacturers and hire Americans, rather than outsourcing cheaper labor and goods.

Sundstrom said she feels very strongly about the issue, comparing outsourcing labor to prostitution.

“If you’re not going to support the community that you’re getting your income from, I have a hard time with that,” she said. “I always thought, how can I look at these women who work for me and say, ‘I don’t care about your family, I’m going to lay you off and get super cheap labor?’”

Eventually, Sundstrom got so busy that she felt she needed a change. She said she was constantly working and never got to do much else.

“I thought, ‘This is crazy, I’m not living,’” she said.

In 2004, she decided to move to Vermont, and opened a store in Stowe.

“I just loved everything that was Vermont,” she said. “It’s very wholesome and has a lot of really strong people …. I loved that spirit, that pioneer type spirit.”

She moved to Charlotte in the summer of 2009, after meeting now-fiancée Christopher Solbert.

Now, Sundstrom makes everything herself.

“I’m pretty much reduced to a one-man show,” she said. “I basically have come full circle, back to where I started.”

She still produces a lot of gear, though. Sundstrom said she can make a fleece jacket in about 20 minutes, and a hat in five.

She doesn’t mind slowing the business down. Now that all of her kids are out of the house, Sundstrom said she just wants to focus on her “quality of life.”

“I feel like I accomplished what I wanted at the beginning, which was to support my children,” she said. “It’s served its purpose and it’s a great achievement, but now I’m sort of on the downside.”

For the first time, Sundstrom said she has begun turning down some large orders from longtime customers, which she said was difficult.

Though she still wants to continue to produce quality products and maintain the business, she said her focus these days is “less on business, more on personal.”

Stowe Kicks It Up a Notch With New Performing Arts Center

January 11, 2011  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

By Tim Simard

On a snowy mid-December afternoon at the Stowe Mountain Resort, just weeks before the opening of Vermont’s newest music and arts venue, anticipation ran high for resort employee David Rowell. While skiers took to the three-feet of fresh powder blanketing the resort’s trails, Rowell gave a tour of the innovative Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center.

Rowell, the center’s executive director, talked with staff near the front row seating regarding last minute details needing attention before opening day. He said he was a bit nervous, but felt confident the upcoming shows would go off  without a hitch.

On Dec. 27, the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center heralded in a new era for the arts in northern Vermont when veteran actor/dancer Ben Vereen took to the stage in an acclaimed performance. Vereen’s sold-out show kicked off a week where Stowe residents, local Vermonters, and tourists from around the globe had the opportunity to experience a variety of music and art mediums.

On the following night, the Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata performed “The Hills Are Alive,” a genre-bending reimagining of “The Sound Of Music,” an appropriate choice considering the venue’s location near the Trapp family. Then came Irish fiddler Eileen Ivers and her group, Immigrant Soul, on Dec. 29, followed by singer-songwriter Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek on Dec. 30.

The vast selection of musical styles and artistic visions is exactly what Rowell had in mind when creating the performance schedule for Spruce Peak. From dramatic plays to interactive productions, from journeymen jam band gigs to one-woman cello concerts, Rowell hopes to attract a diverse assortment of attendees to the fledgling performance center.

“The goal with this facility is to try and do almost anything,” Rowell said. “I want (Spruce Peak) to cross so many different boundaries and so many different demographics.”

While the arts center is small in comparison to larger venues in far bigger cities – Spruce Peak only has seating for 452 – the diminutive nature is what Rowell finds most attractive. It feels like the performers are putting on a show “in your living room,” he said.

“That’s the culture I’m trying to establish,” Rowell added. “It’s like we’re saying, ‘Welcome to our home.’”
The genesis of the arts center dates back to 2004 during the planning stages of Stowe Mountain Resort’s major additions. Hoping to turn the ski area into a four-season destination, the mountain’s owner, AIG, poured more than $400 million into an expansion project. In a matter of years, the project transformed the base of Spruce Peak, located across from Mount Mansfield and most of the resort’s ski trails. Additions included a new 18-hole golf course, base lodge, state-of-the-art condos, and a luxury hotel that opened in 2008. In mid-December, the resort doubled the hotel’s occupancy to 312 rooms, making it the largest of its kind in Stowe.

The Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center is the latest addition. It hopes to become the center of arts for northern Vermont and operates separately from the larger resort; it’s set up as a not-for-profit organization. Rowell said there are few facilities like Spruce Peak located at a major ski resort in the country. Stowe emulated Beaver Creek Resort’s Vilar Performing Arts Center in Colorado in constructing its own center, Rowell said.

Modeled after a refurbished barn, the venue boasts  an open, beamed ceiling. Rowell said its design actually enhances the center’s acoustics. The goal is for people in the rear seating to hear a performance just as well as those sitting in the front row.

“I think people will get blown away by how close and how intimate it is,” Rowell said.

Rowell , a New Jersey native, still has a newbie’s enthusiasm despite having worked in the art world for 38 years, including managing facilities similar to Spruce Peak in Utah, Kentucky and the greater New York City area. He taught arts management at Florida State University in Tallahassee before accepting the Stowe position.

Besides hosting of a bevy of exceptional performers, Rowell wants to open up the center for national theater groups and dance troupes to use during the quiet months of mud season and post-foliage days. He’s working with several groups who might be interested in working and rehearsing a new show at Spruce Peak where they would then host the world premiere.

As the performing arts center starts its first season, national and international artists are getting word of the state-of-the-art facility located deep in the Green Mountains. Rowell hopes that as more and more artists perform at Spruce Peak, positive word-of-mouth will travel like wildfire in the arts world. And he’s hoping Stowe tourists and local Vermonters alike take to the new facility. The resort is already planning to develop ski, hotel and performance packages. And he said there’s wide-ranging interest from visitors in New York City, Boston and Montreal.

“I think we’re going to see more and more buzz as people come out here and spread the word,” Rowell said.

Books for the Cookie Lover in All of Us

January 11, 2011  
Filed under Food

By Chris Ross

If making cookies is in your plans over the next few weeks, two new cookbooks can help.  Here’s a quick look at each of them.

• “Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies,” by Alice Medrich; photographs by Deborah Jones. Artisan, $29.95.

This hefty softbound volume gets my vote as the best of the batch. It’s a book for cookie purists. Alice Medrich is the author of eight cookbooks, including “Pure Dessert,” and former owner of Chocolat dessert shop in Berkeley, Calif. She is a perfectionist, and it shows. The recipes are diverse and interesting; she gives clear and helpful instructions, and the photos are gorgeous. Most recipes also include an “Upgrades” category, in which Medrich makes suggestions for adding or substituting ingredients to create variations on a theme.

The book includes a chapter of FAQ’s, offering solutions to common problems, decoding baking terminology, and giving tips and advice. There’s a “Quick Start” page with the most important things you need to get going. Among the intriguing recipes are Bittersweet Decadence Cookies, loaded with chocolate; Coffee Walnut Cookies; Ultrathin Chocolate Chunk Cookies and French Macaroons.

• “The Gourmet Cookie Book; The Single Best Recipe From Each Year 1941-2009.” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $18.

This is a compilation of the best cookies published over almost seven decades of Gourmet magazine. There’s a wide range of variety and complexity in these recipes. Each one gets its own left-hand page with a glamour shot on the opposite page.

My only quibble is that many of the recipes don’t list ingredients first, then instructions, but rather introduce ingredients as the recipe unfolds. I like to keep the two segregated because it’s easier to round up the ingredients or make a shopping list.

Among the winning recipes over the years are Lace Cookies, 1957; Dutch Caramel Cashew Cookies, 1972; and Pastelitos de Boda (Bride’s Cookies), 1986.

Aggrandizing a Small-Sized Master Bath

January 11, 2011  
Filed under Home & Garden

By Rose Bennett Gilbert

Q: How do you make a small master bath feel big and elegant? We “annexed” our married daughter’s bedroom next to ours and are making it over into a nice bath for us, but it’s only 13 by15 feet. “Big” ideas will be appreciated.

A: Just because a space is small, you don’t have to think small! Or necessarily draw your ideas from other little spaces … which is why I’m showing you a photo of this spacious and gracious bath by mega designer Jamie Herzlinger.

Jamie has a lot of big ideas, literally, about contemporary design and glamorous living with a mix of elegant materials. As a result, her design work is full of surprises: to wit, the free-standing tub and long, dark and handsome campaign-style cabinet with double sinks, metal accents and natural stone top.

As you’ll be bringing new plumbing into your bath anyway, you might consider floating the tub. Definitely consider dual lavs, once a luxury, but now almost de rigueur in a shared bath.

Jamie works another professional design trick to create the optical illusion of a wider room: She installed the flooring on the diagonal, defining the squares with a narrow band of mosaics, instead of the usual, ho-hum grout. With the wide window curtained in two lush layers of Austrian shades and a crystal light fixture sparkling overhead, this is a bath rich with space-making design tips that are well worth soaking up.

See more of Jamie’s legerdemain at jamieherzlinger.com.

Financial and Retirement Resolutions for 2011

January 11, 2011  
Filed under Money

By Bill Losey

If the stock market and your declining 401k balance are making you feel like you’ll never be able to fully retire or become financially stable…you’re not alone. As the market is still on a rollercoaster and much is out of your control, there are some important things you should be doing. The below financial and retirement resolutions are steps you should be aiming for in 2011:

1. If you haven’t started already, open an IRA and/or fund a 401k. These are generally the years when it’s toughest to scrape together the cash for investing, but starting young and having decades for tax deferred growth could provide a nice six or seven figure portfolio in retirement. At a minimum, save enough to get your full company match.

2. Since you will likely have 2-4 decades before you’ll need this money, consider investing 70 percent – 80 percent in equities/stocks. Do not be too conservative with your allocation.

3. Remember that your ability to earn an income is your greatest asset so go back to school, continue your education, network and do your best to make sure your job/company/career offer growth potential to carry you into your 60s and 70s. To navigate the employment landscape you will need to be nimble, be constantly learning and continually reinventing yourself to stay employable.

4. Like people in their 50s and 60s, you too should reduce and pay down your non-deductible debt such as credit cards and auto loans. Try to be debt-free, perhaps with your mortgage being the only exception, by the time you retire.

5. Finally, if you haven’t done so already, meet with a qualified estate planning attorney to have basic estate documents drawn up including wills, health care proxies, living wills and powers of attorney. Additionally, make sure you have adequate life, disability, homeowners, and umbrella liability insurance to protect you and your family.

IN YOUR 50s and 60s
1. If you haven’t maxed out your 401k/403b contributions at work, you are eligible to take advantage of what is known as the catch-up provision. In essence, if you haven’t saved as much as legally possible every year you’ve been working, you are able to contribute an extra $5,500 per year (over and above the legal limit – $16,500) into your retirement plan in 2011.

2. If you have a spouse, family and assets to protect, you should investigate long-term care insurance. Long-term care protects you and your family from the emotional, physical and financial pain that a health issue can have on them. Take advantage of 10-pay plans which allow you to pay the entire cost of the policy off in 10 years, while you still have earned income, a job.

3. Start paying down your non-deductible debt such as credit cards and auto loans. Try to be debt-free, perhaps with your mortgage being the only exception, by the time you retire. If you can pay off your mortgage too, more power to you. This can free up a lot of cash flow and keep your expenses low in retirement.

4. Review your investments and asset allocation. Make sure you’re NOT too heavily invested in equities (no more than 50 to 60 percent) or your own company stock (no more than 10 percent).

5. Consider accumulating up to three years worth of income in savings, CDs, money markets or treasury bills. This is where you should start taking money from when you retire. Use this “safe-money” benchmark strategy so the money you need is in the safest yet lowest-yielding investments where your principal is protected. It helps to weather the ups and downs of the stock/bond markets where the rest of your long-term money is allocated and diversified properly.

6. Finally, review your estate plans with an estate planning attorney and consider reducing and eliminating unnecessary insurance coverage to free up cash flow for income in retirement.

1. Automate the savings process either directly through payroll deduction or monthly deduction from your checking/savings account.

2. Hire a fee-based advisor to coach you, keep you on track and accountable for achieving your goals.
Bill Losey, CFP®, CSA, America’s Retirement Strategist®, is a financial advisor, author and TV personality with more than 20 years experience in financial services.

Annual Vermont Events 2011

January 11, 2011  
Filed under Things to do

So. Burlington – January 29
Vermont Maturity Magazine presents its annual 50-Plus & Baby Boomers EXPO at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in South Burlington, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event includes a fashion show, The Man Cave, silent auction, exhibitor booths, Jon Gailmor in concert, dance party, art demos, seminars, workshops, Lyric Theatre, and more. Tickets $5 at the door, $4 in advance at University Mall or by calling 872-9000 x19. www.vermontmaturity.com.

Annual Winter Trails Day:
Statewide – January

Winter Trails Day offers those new to snow sports the chance to try snowshoeing and cross-country skiing for FREE. www.snowline.com/wintertrailshomepage.aspx

Stowe Winder Carnival:
Stowe – January
A winter festival with snow-volleyball, snow-golf, ski races, kids’ carnival, ice carving, village night family block party and live music. www.stowewintercarnival.com.

Annual Burlington Penguin Plunge:
Burlington  – February 5
Join the frenzy and jump into freezing February waters to benefit Special Olympics Vermont. www.PenguinPlunge.org

Sleigh Ride Week at Billings Farm & Museum:
Woodstock – February 19-27
Climb aboard the Billings Farm sleigh for a ride through the frosty farm fields.  www.billingsfarm.org.

Vermont Flower Show:
Essex Junction – March 4-6
Vermont’s premier flower show offers three days of Spring at Champlain Valley Exposition.

Annual Mardi Gras:
Jay – March 7-13
A week filled with authentic New Orleans food, music, and more. www.jaypeakresort.com.

Green Mountain Film Festival:
Montpelier – March 18-27
Feature films, documentaries and short films from around the world are presented in a relaxed and informal atmosphere at numerous venues throughout the community. www.greenmountainfilmfestival.org.

Vermont Maple Open House Weekend:
Statewide – March 19 & 20
The annual statewide maple festival will be held at sugarhouses throughout Vermont. It is an opportunity for the public to visit one or more “sugarhouses” throughout the state. Watch maple syrup being made (weather permitting) and sample maple products. www.vermontmaple.org

Annual ECHO Earth Weeks’ Mudfest:
Burlington – April 22-May 1

A 10-day celebration of Earth Day and Mud Season, featuring muddy activities and games, including the “Mud Fling” from ECHO’s top floor. www.echovermont.org

Vermont Maple Festival:
St. Albans – April 15-17
The annual festival features entertainment, maple exhibit hall, antiques, cooking demonstrations, sugarhouse tours, face painting, pancake breakfast, fiddling and youth talent shows. www.vermontmaplefestival.org.

Vermont Open Studio Weekend:
Statewide – May 28 & 29
Vermont artists and craftspeople invite the public into their studios during Memorial Day Weekend. More than 285 artists and artisans participate. www.vermontcrafts.com.

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival:
Burlington – June 3-12
Enjoy a unique mix of concerts, dances, jams, street parties, cruises on Lake Champlain, workshops and more at various Burlington locations. www.discoverjazz.com.

Annual Strolling of the Heifers Weekend:
Brattleboro – June 3-5
A day long festival of music, food, fun, entertainment, demonstrations, exhibitors and more. www.strollingoftheheifers.com.

Vermont Quilt Festival:
Essex Junction – June 24-26
Over 500 quilts on display at the Champlain Valley Expo, vendor booths and over 80 classes and lectures. www.vqf.org.

Annual Quechee Hot Air Balloon, Craft & Music Festival:
Quechee – June 17-19
The skies over Quechee will be filled with hot air balloons during this family-oriented event which includes food, arts and crafts, more than 50 artists and artisans, and live entertainment. www.quecheeballoonfestival.com.

Tunbridge World’s Fair:
Tunbridge – September 15-18
The 139th World’s Fair features working antique displays, horse, pony and oxen pulling, horse racing, exhibits, free shows, midway, food and more. www.tunbridgefair.com.

South Hero Applefest & Craft Show:
South Hero – October
Vermont’s largest apple festival includes free entertainment, music, flea market, cider pressing contest, crafts, petting zoo and plenty of apples. www.champlainislands.com.

First Night Burlington and Montpelier:
Burlington and Montpelier – December 31
Enjoy a rich variety of performances and events at these annual substance-free, New Year’s Eve festivals in the cities of Burlington and Montpelier. Everything from dancers to puppets to drummers. www.vermontvacation.com.

Source: www.vtchamber.com

What to Look For and Look Out For When Buying a Second Home

January 4, 2011  
Filed under Money

By Susan Orzell-Rantanen

The market for second homes, which include townhouses and condominiums, is labeled “strong” by area Realtors. The senior population is well represented among those people choosing to buy a Vermont home, often used for only a portion of the year, to complement a primary residence in another state. Among the Realtors reporting on the subject are those who have earned the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation.

“The Senior Advantage Real Estate Council (SAREC) is an organization of real estate agents specializing in servicing the unique lifestyle needs and concerns of maturing Americans when buying, selling or investing in real property. The SRES designation identified members, who must be members of the National Association of Realtors and who have completed a specific, proprietary certification program qualifying them to specialize in servicing the 55-year-old and above market,” explained Carol Audette, SRES, of Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman in Burlington.

It is difficult to pinpoint the number of houses earmarked as a “second home” since most sales are reported under the broader categories of single-family homes or condominiums. However, those who deal with the senior market can readily point to clients who have gravitated to Vermont for a variety of reasons, the most common being “appreciation of the laid-back lifestyle” and “to be near children and grandchildren.” The term “second home” is not interchangeable with “vacation home,” clarifies Audette, noting that parents often foot the bill for their college students or older children who could not qualify for a home at the time.

Second homes are not necessarily luxury properties; some buyers are looking to dispense with the responsibilities of traditional homeownership “We are finding a mixture of wants since those buyers who did not want yard or house maintenance buy a town home or condominium; many are looking to a smaller home on the lake and some just want a seasonal cottage for five months.” She adds that many of her clients in the past four years sold their primary Vermont homes,  moved to retirement communities in Florida, and downsized to camps or modular homes in Vermont for the summer months.

Janice Battaline, SRES, of REMAX North Professionals in Colchester, agrees that second-home buyers voice diverse needs. “Lifestyles dictate the selection of the type of second home. We find many buyers who are looking for the private, luxury home, while others are looking for a second home that is easy care, perhaps in the ‘city,‘ that can be used for occasional weekends in Vermont, or rented out.”

In Audette’s experience, the market for second homes and vacation homes has slowed in the past four years. That does not necessarily translate to bad news, especially when second homes are seen under the “single-family home” umbrella.

“Our housing prices have been relatively stable and affordable compared to many areas in the country,” states Battaline. According to Multiple Listing Service statistics, 36 single-family homes have been sold in Colchester as of September of 2010, for example, with a median sale price of  $467,500. “I believe it is an excellent market for both buyers and sellers. For buyers, interest rates are at a historic low, and prices are realistic, offering greater purchasing power. For sellers, moving to another home affords them greater buying power as well, with the low rates and realistic prices providing sellers with the opportunity to save on their next home.”
Besides Vermont, other “hot spots” for second homes for seniors in the United States are certain areas of Florida, South Carolina, and Cape Cod in Massachusetts. “Seniors look anywhere along the Atlantic Coast…or where their grandchildren are,” Audette said. Many times you will find seniors’ motivation for a second home is to be close to their family, at least for part of the year.

The ramifications of buying a second home in Vermont must be thought through.

“A Special Report on Vermont Real Estate Taxes” published by Vermont Real Estate Today in July of 2010 and posted on the Internet explains that residential property is considered “primary homes and the land on which they sit;” all other property is considered nonresidential property and taxed at a higher rate.

Homes, second or primary, require year-round upkeep and vigilance regardless of how many months or weekends are spent in them by their owners. Here is where property management companies may come in, performing tasks from mowing lawns, to plowing, to keeping tabs on security systems. This is an added cost to be considered.

In general, the specifications for second homes for seniors mirror those of primary homes. A lay-out of one floor helps s helpful for “aging in place” as the needs of seniors change. The proximity to health care and recreational and cultural amenities also comes into play.

The trends in second-home buying are no surprise to seniors who have seen the ups and downs of typical economic swings. “There seems to be more of a desire to bring families together, and rather than taking expensive vacations, many people are opting to gather together at a vacation or second home. Second-home buyers have been cautious in recent years when purchasing real estate; however, the second-home market is still moving forward.  As the economy improves, and the population feels more comfortable with their investments, we see these markets sales only increasing,” Battaline said.

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