A Stowe business offers music, trying to survive — and some neighbors object

Stowe Cider owner Mark Ray stands in the cidery and taproom’s outdoor space on Thursday, July 15, 2021. Stowe Cider wants to continue hosting live music as it did during the pandemic, but faces opposition from a neighbor. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Last summer, Mark Ray was trying to figure out how to keep his business alive and his employees working.

He decided to take the music outside.

That’s when a clash of values arose between a business trying to survive the pandemic and neighbors who want to hold on to their quiet enjoyment of nature. 

Before the pandemic, Stowe Cider offered indoor musical performances at its taproom off of Route 108 in downtown Stowe. Guests could enjoy food and the cidery’s beverages. 

With pandemic restrictions on, the sculpture garden in back of Stowe Cider seemed a perfect spot for socially distanced performances. Soon, Stowe Cider was offering up to five performances a week, Ray said.

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