With the launch of the new Bronco and Bronco Sport, Ford aims to quickly make a foothold and cement its place in four-wheel culture. It means more than just shipping the vehicles themselves, it’s about building a brand and a lifestyle around the ownership experience to take on the Jeep culture head-to-head. As part of these efforts, the company has set up off-road driving schools all over the country, under the decidedly nickname “Bronco Off-Roadeo”. Recently, Vermonters put the brakes on work by derailing Ford’s plans for such a program in the state, according to Valley News.
Ford aimed to hold its driving lessons – through a company called Adventure ORX – at the Suicide Six ski area in partnership with the Woodstock Inn and Resort in Pomfret, Vermont, a small town of about 900 people. The goal was to utilize the area off-season, taking advantage of old maintenance and logging roads in a two-mile loop on resort property. Free for any new Bronco owner, the program was to run from May to October. However, residents argued they weren’t properly informed of the plans and objected to the possibility of visitors venturing onto and possibly damaging the wider network of what Vermont calls Class 4 roads. , used to designate popular roads and trails that are not actively maintained by the city or state.
Although this falls outside the scope of Ford’s official curriculum, concerns that a driving school could lead to increased traffic on state trails are understandable, whether or not you agree with the underlying principle. – Off-Roadeo marketing materials, some of which we’ve screengrabbed below, pushed school locations as ideal starting points for people to test out their new vehicles and off-road skills. Another is on books for Moab, for example. Local residents have also raised concerns about the negative effects of four-wheeled vehicles on other trail users, such as horseback riders.
At a meeting of the Pomfret Planning Commission early last week, Pomfret residents spoke out and made it clear they were opposed to the project, with many saying they felt caught off guard by the project. “The inn could have come to Pomfret before. In my experience, that was really unusual and wrong,” one Betsy Siebeck said. Other residents were more direct: “I am in clear and vehement opposition to this project,” said Lisa Parsons. “The noise alone from this proposed project would completely destroy the character of my home and the environment I live in, not to mention its impact on the wildlife that thrives here.
The following day, Woodstock management announced that it was canceling the project, stating that “in light of community feedback, resort management has re-evaluated the planned program and spoke this morning with Adventure ORX, LLC, to withdraw the application immediately”. The company noted its difficulties in using the ski area profitably during the summer months, adding that “…Resort management has considered several proposals to provide off-season use of the ski area over the years in order to maintain a sustainable year-round economic cycle that is vital to the community.The intention was to implement a closely monitored off-road program.
Regardless of the hustle, Ford still lists Vermont as a location on the Off-Roadeo website, along with Texas, Moab and Nevada, at the time of writing. We reached out to the automaker to see if it has any plans for a replacement location, which doesn’t necessarily mean leaving the state: Vermont isn’t short of ski areas, or Class 4 d roads. ‘elsewhere. The expectation for the big daddy Bronco, as well as the baby Bronco Sport, remains high, with tuners already getting to work on the platform. With much to say on the success of the famous nameplate, you can be sure that Ford is doing what it can to ensure its trails are ready for owners eager to start riding right after launch.
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