(Host) More than 3 years after his death, Laurance Rockefeller continues to influence life in the Vermont town he adopted as his own.
Rockefeller’s will directed that a charitable foundation he created take over ownership of the profitable Woodstock Inn and Resort. This week, the estate approved that transfer. Now, the resort’s profits will support the Woodstock Foundation.
Foundation President David Donath says Rockefeller saw the institutions as important pillars of Woodstock’s civic life.
(Donath) "Laurance Rockefeller believed that you could, in coming to a place like Woodstock, this combination of heritage, and natural beauty and clean air and recreational opportunity and aesthetic beauty and cultural life was a good way to, in his words, `A place to rejuvenate and restore the human spirit.”’
(Host) Rockefeller and his wife Mary played a major role in preserving and promoting downtown Woodstock.
They founded the Woodstock Foundation, which owns the Billings Farm and Museum, which operates a dairy farm.
The Foundation also has an endowment that helps to support the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.
That’s the estate where the Rockefellers lived – and where the modern conservation movement was born a century-and-a-half ago. They gave the property to the National Park Service so the park could be established.
Donath says Laurance Rockefeller directed in his will that much of his work in Woodstock continue.
(Donath) "I think equally importantly in Laurance’s mind, that the resort under ownership of the Woodstock Foundation would continue to be the high quality place that it is and really the anchor for not only Woodstock’s business community, but also for the historic preservation and the qualify of life in the Woodstock community, situated as it is right on the Woodstock Green.”
(Host) The Woodstock Resort operates the Woodstock Inn, a golf course and Nordic skiing center and the Suicide Six downhill ski area. Those will remain for-profit businesses – and will continue to pay taxes.