Hospitality is one of our family’s traditions. Basin Harbor is, and always has been, a family affair; the Beach Family is now in our fifth generation running the resort. Our family has all grown up at Basin Harbor, deeply connected to Vermont and Lake Champlain, to the history and lore of the area, and most important, to the bonds our guests form with the resort. In many ways, we consider ourselves to be stewards of Basin Harbor, more than just owners. People care so much about this place, and taking care of such a treasured piece of our guests’ lives is a responsibility we’re proud to bear.
When you see us around, please say hello. We’re excited to meet you.
Bob is pretty easy to find. Just look for the golf cart with a couple of lazy golden retrievers on it, and he’s probably not far. Bob started working at the resort fulltime in 1974. “I’ll just do it for like five years,” he thought. That was 49 years ago. Bob is happiest when he’s outdoors, so a perfect day for him would start with a walk to Button Point. “I’d definitely get out on the lake,” he explains. “I still swim every day. Then I’d probably ride a bike around, have a nice meal, and if there was a band playing, I might go. That really encapsulates what I hope people get when they leave here: they’re relaxed, they really enjoyed it, and they want to come back.”
“There are so many beautiful places in the world, and this is one of them. We have a stellar view. Just sit down by the point or go out on the lake. There are some things that make it really untouchable. And the fact that Vermont is still so safe, especially out here at the end of the road. Guests can just come and let their kids go free. We take it for granted, but we leave our keys in our cars.”
If you want to know anything about the history of Basin Harbor or Lake Champlain, ask Bob. He often leads historic tours and is a wealth of knowledge about the area. “I’m a Vermonter. My family’s been in West Ferrisburgh since 1800. We love it. I’m optimistic. I think the longer we stay in business, the more valuable it becomes to our guests. We really see ourselves as stewards of this place. My grandfather, many years ago, called himself a host, and so when Pennie and I came on board, we said, we’re really hosts. We’re fourth-generation hosts. We’re fortunate, and we’re proud of it.”
For Pennie, a great day of work involves seeing lots of happy people around, both happy staff and happy guests: Somebody got a hole-in-one. Somebody learned to water ski. Somebody caught a fish.
Pennie’s been around the resort long enough to see many evolutions, but there’s one thing she hopes never changes about Basin Harbor: “I hope it still offers people a chance to slow down and recharge their batteries and breathe. It’s a very beautiful place, so whether you want to run around and exhaust yourself doing everything you can do, or just sit by the lake and watch the waves go by, I hope that never changes. As my grandfather famously said, our view is an un-depletable resource. There aren’t a lot of places like this. We’re at the end of the road. Not even a stoplight. It’s very different. It slows time down.”
When she’s not answering questions or helping people get what they need, you can probably find Pennie at The Red Mill or Ardelia’s, ensuring that the food is perfect and that everyone is having a great vacation.
Sarah is Pennie’s daughter and has grown up at Basin Harbor. If you want to understand what there is to do, where you should go, and all the different ways you can explore and enjoy yourself around the resort and our Vermont community, talk to Sarah. She has years of
experience to draw upon and loves helping our guests to map out a perfect vacation.
From recommendations on local hiking trails, to where to find the best chicken sandwiches in town, Sarah would be thrilled to live vicariously and send you on an adventure. With a background in cooking and food-and-beverage service, Sarah can also direct you around Basin Harbor’s many menus and dining options. She’s often involved in menu planning at the resort and uses guest feedback to suggest new offerings each year.
Her secret advice? Sometimes “off the beaten path” means walking or running on the local roads in Basin Harbor’s neighborhood. Take Schoolhouse Road to discover a quiet running route with pastoral views of cows, wetlands, and some local architecture.
Looking for an alternative to the gym? Take a standup paddleboard south along the shoreline to Scotch Bonnet, an outcropping of rocks about a half mile down the lakeshore. While the wind on the lake primarily blows from the west, Lake Champlain actually flows towards the north, so you’re likely to have a little help on the way home from your paddle.
Wendy first visited Basin Harbor as a young child. Her fondest memories include riding a tandem bicycle through the property with her father, enjoying her first introductions to golf and waterskiing, and enjoying wonderful summer days of freedom and beauty exploring the grounds. Also memorable were Basin Harbor’s culinary traditions like the morning pastry basket, vichyssoise served on ice, and Bob Temple’s extraordinary desserts!
As the years went by, Vermont and Basin Harbor became Wendy’s second home. She enjoyed many jobs at the property both seasonally and eventually on the year round team. She and Bob were married in 1993 and the rest is history! They have raised two wonderful children together who have grown up in the business learning by osmosis and enjoying an idyllic place in which to grow up.
Wendy believes in Basin Harbor’s extraordinary sense of place and she understands how important the resort is for so many people. It’s a legacy she has taken on as her own. She cares about it and works hard every day to ensure that it is here for the next generation to enjoy!
We are incredibly lucky to have grown up in such a magical place. We have connections to place and people that many people spend a lifetime looking for. We have known our maternal great grandparents, and we spent many joyful times with our paternal grandfather at Basin Harbor and in Florida. These connections to generations of family have given us so much strength and support. They believed in us, and we felt it! Growing up in a family business is like going to graduate school for business starting at age five. We learned early on what hard work is, how everyone who works at the resort is incredibly valuable, and how to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds with a smile and a welcome ear. We understand implicitly why multiple generations of guests come to Basin Harbor to celebrate family because that’s what we have done all our lives. We shouldn’t forget to mention the incredible friendships we have made along the way. We have both already had tangible impacts on our family’s operation. Stay tuned for more from Generation 5!
Piper and Skipper are our resident resort ambassadors. Of all of us, they probably know the property the best. From the perfect swimming spots to where to find the fastest squirrels, these golden girls love to greet their guests around the resort.