Business Notes: April 6, 2014

Rochester, Vt. — After 18 years, Pete McGowan wants to slow down, join the White River Golf Club and play the course in a leisurely way.

McGowan has owned and operated the course for almost two decades and now he’s hoping to find someone to take over the work and buy the facility, its three apartments and restaurant and bar. He’s even dropped the price.

Doug Symmes, at D.R. Symmes & Associates in White River Junction, has the 50-acre, par-3 course and its restored 7,000-square-foot converted farmhouse for sale $750,000. It had been listed for $895,000, but McGowan hopes a buyer will step up and take advantage for the upcoming golfing season.

“You’d think someone would want to take over during the summer,” he said last week.

“It’s time for me to go. I’m getting long in the tooth, and my back is aching. The course is in good shape. I’ve just redone everything” after Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011, he said.

White River has been a favorite of central Vermont golfers for more than 50 years, Symmes said in a news release last week. The course is laid out along the White River, with Green Mountain vistas from all holes. Recently re-designed, the nine-hole course has been lengthened to 2,936 yards, and plays to a par 36 from the back tees. Four separate tee placements have been added to each hole with the forward tee playing as a par 3.

The course was redesigned and rebuilt after the damage caused by the storm.

“I could have just put it back the way it was, but for the same money I could make the improvements, so that’s what I did,” McGowan said.

The redesign included four new greens, 19 new tees, seven of the nine fairways and three completely new holes, including back-to-back par-5 holes. The course was in peak condition by the end of the 2013 season, the release says.

McGowan said that the redesign was intended to appeal to many market segments and skill levels. It is an ideal walking course for seniors and beginners. Yet with it’s several tee placements and varying yardages, it offers sufficient levels of challenges for golfers of every handicap.

The clubhouse anchors the east end of the course. It contains three separate apartments, a commercial kitchen, with bar and restaurant surrounded by a large wrap-around deck. All units are currently under lease. The golf course is operated separately.

“I was just out in my tractor cleaning the snow off some of the greens. They’re in really good shape. I don’t think I had any damage from the really long winter,” McGowan said. Meanwhile, memberships to the club are on sale, and McGowan plans to operate the course as usual for the upcoming season.

Company News

Project engineer Miles Stetson has joined the Lebanon office of Engineering Ventures. Stetson graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in mechanical engineering and also holds a master’s degree in civil engineering. He has worked as a structural engineer since 2007, and as an outside technical sales representative. Engineering Ventures PC is licensed in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and surrounding states and has offices in Burlington and Lebanon.

Chandler Engel, of Johnson, Vt., has joined the consulting engineering firm DuBois & King as a water resources engineer in the Randolph office.

Engel received a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Vermont. Prior to joining DuBois & King, he served the state of Alaska as the assistant dam safety engineer for the Department of Natural Resources and as a construction inspector for the Department of Transportation. Founded in 1962, DuBois & King provides multidiscipline engineering services from offices in Randolph, South Burlington and Springfield, Vt., and Bedford and Laconia, N.H.

Northwind Security Consultants LLC recently purchased a 1,000-square-foot house with two-bay garage on 5.9 acres with subdivision potential on Maple Lane in Springfield, N.H., just off Exit 12A of Interstate 89. According to public records the sale price was $185,000. James Ward, broker of Equity Group Realtors in Lebanon, represented the seller.

CCM Logging recently purchased a 5,000-square-foot industrial warehouse building on 2.37 acres, also on Maple Lane in Springfield, N.H. The building, constructed in 2013, has two overhead doors and 18-foot ceilings. Ward represented the seller and assisted the buyer.

Upcoming Events

The 13th annual Flavors of the Valley event is scheduled for April 13, at Hartford High School, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 50 local farms, businesses and restaurants are scheduled to offer samples and information at what organizers call “the Upper Valley’s premier tasting expo.” Products including local cheeses, meats and gelato will be available, and attendees will have a chance to sign up for Community Supported Agriculture shares. “Vital Communities celebrates Flavors of the Valley every spring to foster our communities’ love of local agriculture,” said Emily Gardner, the event’s coordinator, in a news release. “This family-friendly event continues to grow and encourages attendees to meet the faces behind food production and preparation in the Upper Valley.” Admission is $8 per person, with children 6 and under free and a family maximum of $25. Proceeds benefit Vital Communities’ Valley Food & Farm Program. For more information, visit

The next workshop in the Small Business Legal Series, Employee vs. Contractor, is scheduled for April 17, from 7:30- 9 a.m., at the Enterprise Center at Plymouth. Peg O’Brien, of the legal firm Devine Millimet, will provide an overview of the differences between an employee and a contractor. O’Brien will discuss the tests that a business must satisfy in order to successfully classify a worker as an independent contractor instead of an employee.

The workshop is free, but space is limited. Reserve a seat by clicking “Seminars” at, contacting the Center office at 603-535-3222, or emailing

Items of interest to the local business community are published every Sunday. Submissions may be mailed to: Business Notes, c/o Sunday Valley News, P.O. Box 877, White River Junction, Vt. 05001. You may also send your items by fax to 603-298-0212, or by e-mail to All items are subject to editing for clarity or space.