Madbush Falls

Waitsfield, VT

Madbush Falls – Riders’ Outpost was an exciting project involved a complete rehabilitation and transformation of an abandoned old motel and bar known as the Madbush Alpine Chalet in Waitsfield, VT along VT Route 100 a few miles from the Sugarbush Ski Resort. The property is blessed with a swimming hole and waterfall (locals called this Madbush Falls) on Folsom Brook. The classic old motel had fallen into great disrepair after being vacant for over 20 years. After purchasing the property in November 2020, Jonny Adler developed a vision for the property to serve as a hub for the growing mountain bike culture in the Mad River Valley and ultimately hired us in June 2022 to assist with the project scoping, survey, environmental, site design and permitting. As noted on their website this project is. “Smack in the middle of thousands of miles of world class dirt and single track you’ll find everything you need in one place: locally inspired restaurant-bar, new accommodations with great coffee and free outdoor gear, and a full bike and gear shop with rentals and guiding.”

Our environmental engineer identified a problem with the state’s mapping of the River Corridor and was able to show through analysis that more of the property was useable and that allowed construction of addition free standing motel “tiny units” that will be constructed on the bank of the existing swimming pond. The site boasts a variety of camping options including glamping in canvas tents alongside the brook. The local mountain biking trails are being extended to allow access directly to the trail network from the property. Through some creative design efforts, our team was also able to separate the water systems to minimize the construction costs and expedite the re-opening of the motel as well as re-allocating old flows to allow for more hotel units without exceeding the previously approved design flows.

The project was on a tight timeline with an ambitious goal of opening by August 1, 2023, just 14 months from our initial contract signing. Our team worked diligently to solve several complex issues including an entire new on-site wastewater disposal system, new potable water system, stormwater management, site grading and more, while permitting the various elements all simultaneously while the project was under construction! The soft opening was on July 27, 2023, right on schedule.