Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Layoffs at OSV

I was surprised by the recent layoffs at Old Sturbridge Village. I shouldn't have been, with the economy in the shambles it is in, but everything I have read and seen about OSV over the past year ran contradictory to layoffs.

Were the layoffs and salary cut backs more prudence, than an actual necessity? I don't know, and I won't question those in power at OSV, they have done a great job over the past couple of years, but like all layoffs, it is sad.

Face it, Sturbridge Village is responsible for this town evolving into what it now is. As of just a few years ago Sturbridge had more hotel rooms than Worcester, and all those rooms aren't just there for the Brimfield Flea Market three times a year. If OSV went under, then what? Not only would we loose a fantastic place of learning, its absence would affect countless businesses in Town and in neighboring towns as well. No longer would Sturbridge be on the list of things to do every school vacation, or long weekends for families in New England and beyond. With exception of the Pan Mass Challenge, we would have very little bringing people to our town.

Of course, the Host Hotel would continue to sponsor trade shows, and large conferences, but the number of people coming in and using our towns businesses, would be a trickle compared to now.

I use OSV in many ways. Sometimes just to take a walk on one of their trails, or for just wandering about in the spring. Their Gift Shop is great, and the Sunday brunch at the Oliver Wight Tavern cannot be beat. Sometimes, after a Sunday morning walk elsewhere, we stop buy for a coffee and a scone, and sit outside on the patio and enjoy the morning. As Sturbridge residents we are eligible for free admission, but I was told a couple of months ago that a Sturbridge resident can also become a member of the Village, and share in all the other member only events and discounts as well. The Sturbridge Resident Membership costs less than the regular membership, but all the membership perks are the same.

I meant to join this program a few months ago, but as with everyone else, other things take priority. I think this program is something worth joining considering the time we spend at the Village, and it is on the list of things to do for this Spring. The extra memberships from here in town would do much to spike the bottom line at OSV, problem is hardly anyone knows about the program.

I wish the Village well, and I will continue to support them. We are so fortunate to have this facility within our town. Not only is it a fun place to wander about with the family, but an important educational center for the country. Yes, I truly wish them well, and hope they make it through this economic nightmare, and that all of us will come out in one piece on the other side.

1 comment:

  1. Wally -
    We appreciate your support of the Village.
    Thanks so much for you editorial comments in today's blog.

    Ann Lindblad
    Director of Communications
    Old Sturbridge Village


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