Musician loses work due to Facebook posts
by Jack Deming
May 02, 2013 | 10497 views | 16 16 comments | 76 76 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Colby Dix performing at Mount Snow.                     
Nemesis Photo/Ian Pouliot
Colby Dix performing at Mount Snow. Nemesis Photo/Ian Pouliot
DOVER- A local musician who voiced his opposition to Mount Snow employment policies says he has been barred from playing at the resort’s venues.

On March 15, Mount Snow sent out the now well known and well-read memo that barred Mount Snow employees and volunteers from also working at the Hermitage, The Haystack Club, their golf course, real estate, and other associated companies, as of April 21.

Colby Dix, a former Dover selectboard member and current board member of Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SEVEDS), was among those who were vocal in their opposition to the policy. While keeping himself actively involved with local economic development, Dix is also an accomplished musician who attended Berklee College of Music, plays in a band with Jon Fishman, and makes a living playing at local venues by performing solo, and with his band Dix Jr.

Dix voiced his opposition to the resort’s decision in a post written on Facebook. Dix said that the policy removed a viable and consistent wage-paying employer from Mount Snow’s employees’ options, and was a “clear line in the sand.” Dix, who believes the policy was a detriment to ongoing economic development and recovery efforts that he is a part of, felt that the policy was unfair to those who work at both resorts seasonally, and might have trouble making ends meet without the income from a second job. Dix’s words of opposition were used by another news publication in an article that detailed the resort’s new policy.

Dix performed regularly at six venues at Mount Snow, and put in a call this week to management looking to schedule performances. That’s when management told him his services were no longer welcome at the mountain.

“I consider it a petty response on the part of Peak Resorts ownership,” said Dix. “It’s surprising because I really feel like I shared a balanced and fair perspective from an economic development standpoint, and as a member of the community. This shows an absolute lack of respect to the interests and opinions of the people of the area, period. It essentially makes a point from a business standpoint that zero criticism will be tolerated.”

While Mount Snow’s letter to their employees detailing the new policies was sent out on March 25, and Dix’s response was published within the following days, Dix was still hired by the resort to close out the snow season with his band, with a show at the Snow Barn on April 14.

Mount Snow was a convenient place close to home for Dix, a Dover resident, to play a multitude of shows without having to travel far from his family. While Dix is subcontracted to play music, and is not employed by Mount Snow, his income from playing at their venues was a significant portion of his income. Dix said this will in turn put a strain on him just as it did to those whom he defended in his commentary.

“It’s my living, and that’s why I feel like it’s OK to be public about this,” said Dix. “They’ve now threatened my livelihood, and also my family in a way. I always had a great relationship with them for many years and that’s why this hurt a lot.”

In his post Dix wrote: “I can understand Mount Snow wanting to keep their well trained and experienced personnel close. By eliminating your employment pool from Haystack’s, you further increase the likelihood of imported labor, and those jobs going to others outside of the region. All the while making it harder for your own employees to make a living locally, and thus increasing the likelihood that they will look beyond this area for stable work.”

Dix said he wrote his commentary with the purpose of speaking for those who work at Mount Snow and could not, due to fear of repercussions from the resort. “They have a family, a mortgage, a car payment. I felt like they didn’t have a voice, and while I certainly had plenty to lose, as is well evidenced by this decision, I at least felt like I could put it out there in a reasonable way, one that I felt warranted this reaction. But that’s their prerogative.”

Dix said that the decision had come from the top management of Mount Snow. When reached for comment, Peaks Resorts Vice President Dick Deutsch said that he had no comment on business matters between Dix and Mount Snow.

The reaction to his opinions is what Dix says shows the true business ethic of the resort.

“This really is a true-colors moment where if they really felt threatened by little old me, this musician writing a letter on Facebook, that shows their insecurity in a lot of ways. Their reaction to blacklist me from playing at Mount Snow altogether, that shows their business ethics, and the real tone of their decision-making and where their priorities lie.

“I’m not looking to have some crusade about this. Does it affect me? Absolutely. Is it a setback? Perhaps, but I have plenty of resources at my disposal.”
Comments-icon Post a Comment
liz laona
May 06, 2013
ok, VTlocalPal,

"There aren't any people who work full time at both mountains to earn their living."

is NOT accurate, lost all credibility with that one comment since 'locals' know that is not true.

furthermore, when you say "am not on Mount Snows side here. Nor do I side with Haystack. ( consider me a devils advocate here)"

i think these quotes, definitely have a mount snow bias;

1 "...have to rehire someone who had decided to trash them on Facebook." the post didn't 'TRASH' mount snow, it brought up actual questions and concerns to the repercussions a policy like this would have.

2."....(if it wasn't zero tolerance)...otherwise everyone would find a way to make themselves the exception to the rule, then weasel their way back into being at both mountains" WEASEL!!! WEASEL!!! wanting/needing to work/volunteer is being a weasel? so, not even that they may be trying to steal business from one to the other if they still try to keep both jobs they are i would have just called them part timers looking for more part time work but, what do i know, i'm not claiming to be a devils advocate....

3. "...Conveniently forgotten is the fact that almost all the local restaurants/ hotels/etc exist and thrive thanks to the mountain..." that is giving the mountain a hell of a lot more credit that they deserve if your talking about the entire valley. and i conveniently remember tim boyd in the very first meet and greet he did with local business owners and when questioned about group pricing and working with the area inns and if there were any summer plans in the future, his words were "i'm not here to make sure you have business, i'm a snow maker and that's what i'm here to do." also, if that were a true statement how do other businesses say open all summer?

OH and sorry if i 'out' anyone else, but, i tend to think anyone who writes out mount snow instead of abbreviating 'mt' works or has worked for mount snow at one time or another...

j b
May 03, 2013

You know this is irritating for everyone. Stalking you, highly doubtful, just read a lot and remember to much.

This hits home because it directly effects really good people that need work. To boot, they are great employees trying to make a living. they are also firends that we probably both know.

I have no hard feelings for you or anyone else. But I think you'll agree that the Valley needs job creation, needs good consistant employees and needs to increase revenue. That will be better for everyone, lower crime and give people a sense of security and a solid feeling of being in a steady healthy enviorment.

Have a great weekend!

j b
May 03, 2013
Oh and by the way, VtlocalPal,

You lecture on why anyone needs to respond to me or explain anything when on your January post you ask for just that. An explanation!!!twice!!!!

You also have been knocking The Hermitage and Mr. Barnes several times yourself, but ohhhhh, your not taking sides.

Forget Facebook, everything you've posted is out there for the world to see.... Forever!

Deb Bernstein
May 03, 2013
Never lectured anyone about responding to you. And yup I did ask for an explanation in January, about something else entirely! I still want to know why there were no fines for the damage done to the Ridge trail.

I have never contradicted myself, you're just trying to make me look bad!

Everything that gets posted online is there forever?? Really?? I thought it got erased after a week! I'M KIDDING! Of course I know its permanent, DUHHHH!!!!!

I think your choice of name is freakin hilarious, "can't we all get along" but yet all you do is argue anyone who has a different opinion than yourself! Ha!

Got anything else better to do than stalk my comments to try and find things to complain about? Sounds like someone needs to get a life lol!!!!!


j b
May 03, 2013

Who are you to complain about us complainers? And maybe we should be dicussing this situation at a town hall forum. Employment conditions for our friends and family in the Valley is everybodies business, so bug off. Your no VT Local Pal. And you have zero right to tell anyone to mind their business.

I think the facts are setting people off... We are talking about our friends and families that need every job available to work and provide for their families. We are talking about people who have retired here, young families trying to survive here. Who do you support, you call yourself local pal??? Devil's advocate???? Bullship! Come on!

After 20 years of supporting every possible local business in the Valley I have become attached to the area and to our many friends. I have a lot to say... The local businesses here for the most part protect the welfare of their employee's,full or part time. In a town where there is little or no overtime available and few full time positions with benefits how can you not support your LOCAL FRIENDS. People here need to work for the most part multiple jobs to make ends meet. Mt Snow cannot possibly sustain all of these positions, nor can The Hermitage. That is why this is getting so much attention. Are you really a local? Are you a true supporter of the Valley?

Support. Support . Support!

This is again about our friends. They choose to try to support their lifestyle by volunter work and working several jobs at once. Thats right volunteer to support their lifestyle which may include a big fat restricted ski pass....or free golf. And it's not really free, because they have to work certain times and so many days. That is not free. Do you work for free? It's pretty fair if you ask me. But not Free! And it was set up by these entities so they can get low or zero cost staffing. These people are the ambassadors of the Valley, they bring customers back. They help people make decisions about property purchases. Colby didn't trash Mt. Snow. He voiced his opinion, and MT. SNOW couldn't handle it. They are loosing a great performer. Their loss.

Mt. Snow hurts itself by making poor decisions. It should re-visit this situation.... Not toss great people aside....

Deb Bernstein
May 03, 2013
Not that I owe you anything ... but surprise surprise yep I am a local. Moved up here after college and work five or six jobs at a time just to get by. Which isn't enough because I am still in the red! No one lives and works at a ski mountain to get rich! People are here for the, shall we call them " lifestyle benefits" that come with the territory.

I support the very same businesses and people that you do. The only difference is that you've got 5 years on me since I first came to the Valley 15 years ago. ( Yup you have supported the Valley longer than I: Which you will probably hold against me lol! How dare I get a college education for myself instead of supporting the Valley, how se lfish of me!!!!!) You're no expert on what I do to support everything local, so just take my word for it because I most definitely " support, support, support" anything and everything that I can locally.

Its pretty funny how big of a hypocrite you are! According to you,I have zero rights to tell people to mind their own business! But you have all the rights to tell people whatever you choose, no? Pick one or the other, you can't have it both ways. Nice try though! I get it, you're trying to look like a hero. Last time I checked, they don't hand out medals for being preachy on comment boards!

The sense of entitlement around here is disgusting. Bottom line here is that the memo that Mount Snow sent out was for employees only. So unless you work there, guess what.... NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!!! Mount Snow is a private company, and just because you feel the need to stick your nose in doesn't give you the privilege. Let go of the crazy entitlement you feel you deserve!! Unless you are a current employee there, it really isn't for you.

Oh and PLEASE find a new word, "bullship" is so annoying!!!!!!!! What are you,8?! Lol!!!!!!
nancy schultz
May 03, 2013
Another example of why Mt Snow and the town of Wilmington continue to ruin their chances at becoming vibrant, competitive places. This is a ridiculous, petulant-child way of dealing with employees. No wonder both the mountain and town can't succeed. They should be encouraging people to be able to make a living here instead of issuing ultimatums. Out of towners and second homeowners are fed up with all of it. Colby: move along to Stratton or Bromley where they know how to run a business you'll be welcomed with open arms.
John Jackson
May 03, 2013
Mount Snow is a horrible company HR wrote me up for things that are part of my disability and put me on the do not hire list because they don't care to learn about how to treat people that are different. It also does not help the local economy by outsourcing their staffing with international workers. It sickens me that they don't post jobs to locals and being foreigners in for the summer and winter instead.
Colby Dix
May 03, 2013
full text of original letters can be found here:
Billy Fromont
May 02, 2013
future we need a dislike button on this page!
Billy Fromont
May 02, 2013
People of the valley listen up! For years Mount Snow is proven to bring revenue to this valley, so what if all that change? Maybe we should boycott Mount Snow, the power of the people! The voice of one man uniting all of southern Vermont! I can sure tell you from Mount Snow policies they will do anything in their power to do it their way.. Just go with the flow! But no we will not go with the flow, we will not allow this corp to rule our lives. We will not allow this corp to ruin our lives! No More Mount Snow boycott them now!!
cheryl davis
May 02, 2013
This is certainly a business strategy blunder, to say the least. Not to mention their obvious and real lack of concern for the Valley, locals, and their dedicated volunteers. The backlash on this is going to be interesting. Unfortunately, I guess they are showing their real colors. Whoever made this decision should be fired.
Deb Bernstein
May 02, 2013
People sure do love to complain,I see you have happily hopped on the bandwagon, gogirlski! Why should anyone be fired for this? And what would they be fired for? Enforcing a policy? Sticking to their guns? Showing that they don't have to rehire someone who had decided to trash them on Facebook?

While we're at it, what are the mortal sins that have been done to create an "obvious lack of concern" to the locals, the Valley, and the volunteers?

Can you provide answers to these questions? You'll have to get off of your soap box for a minute here.... but I'd love to hear something legit other than just empty complaints. Or are you just finger pointing?

People complain and think they look like heroes against the " giant evil corporations" that they portray Mount Snow as. Conveniently forgotten is the fact that almost all the local restaurants/ hotels/etc exist and thrive thanks to the mountain, all the people who have jobs there, or all the money they donate to local charities,etc etc. This may come as a surprise, but ALL of the people I know who volunteer do it as a way to get a free ski pass. Quid pro quo!!

I am not on Mount Snows side here. Nor do I side with Haystack. ( consider me a devils advocate here) Because there are no sides, except for the imaginary ones that all the complainers have created here.
j b
May 02, 2013

What a shame....and the "no comment thing is Bullship".

I wonder if they are going to stop selling passes to people who agree with Mr. Dix???????????

Will they allow the public to golf at Mt. Snow if they also play Haystack??????????

I don't think so.... But I guess they could.

Sounds personal to me, does anyone wonder why they would do this....

Why won't anyone from Mt. Snow explain whats happening here and why?

Is it about competition, is it about water for snowmaking?????

Are they trying to make sure that Haystack has a difficult time?

What ever it is, it's wrong.

It obvious to me that Mount Snow just wants to make as much money as they can and not give a darn about anyone else or the town that they encompass. That's pretty sad considering the Tax Breaks that they are probably

Deb Bernstein
May 02, 2013
Does Mount Snow owe you an explanation? Absolutely not!! The explanation was given in the now infamous memo itself. Which was meant for only their employees to see. To all of the people complaining about this: unless you work for Mount Snow, then this memo is actually none of your business, doesn't apply to you so let it go and find something else to b*tch about. Which will probably be easy, seems that's all the locals even do anymore.

I agree that this sucks for Mr. Dix, absolutely. However maybe this can be a wake up call for everyone on facebook. Don't post anything unless you're prepared to deal with consequences from anyone who your post may refer to or mention. And although it sucks for Colby, it sounds like he was in fact aware of what could happen should he post something about a place that hires him as a musician. If someone decides to post anything about a business on Facebook then that business has every right to say they're done with that employee, regardless of what they do. And maybe in this case Mount Snow is making an example here that they won't tolerate any negative Facebook posts. Sucks it had to be Colby, for sure. But as a business they have to stick to their guns. It shouldn't be a surprise that Mr. Deutch didn't want to comment about anything between the resort and Colby. That's absolutely the right call. It's between them privately and should stay that way. Sorry but that stuff really is none of your business and that shouldn't be a surprise.

I have posted comments about this issue before and I feel all my previous comments are still very accurate. As in the real issue here is that people are mad that the loophole that allows them to ski at both mountains is closing. There aren't any people who work full time at both mountains to earn their living. Sure there's some who work full time at Mount Snow and maybe volunteer at Haystack on patrol on weekends who are upset by this. People love to complain around here, and especially love doing so in a way that makes Mount Snow look like a big, bad, huge evil empire like the whole "I can't believe that I may lose my job if I volunteer at Haystack for one day to work a charity event in July". They have to enforce that, otherwise everyone would find a way to make themselves the exception to the rule, then weasel their way back into being at both mountains. These types of policies only work if they are zero tolerance. As in no work/ volunteer at both means just that, no matter if you are there one day in July or all winter. So they have to implement it that way, which opens the door for all those people who love to come up with reasons why they are the exception, then complain when they find out there isn't a way around it. People need to drop their sense of entitlement, and if they don't like it then go work for haystack instead of mount snow. Have a feeling no one will since there aren't enough jobs at haystack to go around.

Again, real reason for being upset is that no more free skiing at both mountains. They don't work full time at both mountains. Nor does anyone get paid for volunteer work so in reality their paychecks aren't effected at all!
Tyler Kenefick
May 02, 2013

You are completely our of line, there are plenty of people who work at mount snow and supplement their income due to the fact that they can't get enough hours at mount snow at haystack. I am one of these people and this memo directly effects me and my ability to support myself in this valley.

Get your facts straight.

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