Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Attractions Association (VAA) announces the acceptance of four new members for 2007-2008 season. The four newest members of VAA exemplify what it means to be a Vermont Attraction.The new 2007/2008 Vermont Attractions Association members are Cornish Colony Museum of Windsor, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Visitor Center & Café in Waterbury, Long Trail Brewery of Bridgewater Corners and Vermont HoneyLights of Bristol.When founded in 1956, the Vermont Attractions Association mission was to promote attractions throughout the State and to establish, develop and promote high standards for tourism in Vermont. All Attractions continue strive to carry on the traditions and mission of offering visitors the best Vermont experience possible. All attractions offer informational and educational experiences, first-class activities and Vermont hospitality, while still maintaining their unique characteristics and quintessential Vermont feel. From the farms to museums; the breweries to chocolate makers; and shopping to State Historic sites, Vermont Attractions has something for everyone.Todd Paton, Chair of Vermont Attractions, noted that these new attractions make a great addition to the eclectic mix of properties that comprise VAA. “VAA seeks continually to promote only those attractions that offer guests a quality Vermont experience.”The old fire station building on Main Street in Windsor is home to the Cornish Colony Museum. The museum’s mission is the continued display of the artistic accomplishments of the famous artists, sculptors, writers, architects and landscape designers who lived and worked in this area of New Hampshire and Vermont, twin communities which sit astride the Connecticut River. The educational displays concentrate primarily on the 50-year period from 1885 to 1935, and are devoted to preserving the memories of that turn-of-the-century era. Currently, the Cornish Colony Museum is exhibiting a collection of paintings that celebrate the achievements of women in literature, history and culture.Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Visitor Center & Café can be found in the newly renovated 1867 working Amtrak station, in Waterbury, Vermont. The Visitor Center invites, guides, and shares Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ passion for coffee through fun, interactive, and innovative technology. The Center provides opportunities for visitors to learn about Green Mountain Coffee Roasters – its products, the process of growing, roasting, and packaging coffee from “tree to cup;” as well as to do a little Green Mountain Coffee Roasters shopping. Guests will also learn about Green Mountain Coffee’s inspiring corporate philosophy of business for positive world change. Visitors will also delight in the architecture and grandeur of the newly renovated Waterbury Amtrak station.Located just off Route 4 in Bridgewater Corners, the Long Trail Brewing Company offers a spacious riverside Visitor Center that was inspired by the Hofbrau House in Munich, Germany. The Visitor Center offers an informative self guided tour of how their special brands of beer are brewed. From a catwalk over the production floor guests not only can read about the process but also see the master brewers hard at work. The Visitor Center Gift Shop provides guests with the opportunity to purchase beer and Long Trail souvenirs. The Long Trail Pub presents an enticing variety of menu items – some that incorporate Long Trail beer in their recipes, served near the cast-iron stove in the winter or out on the deck over looking the Outtauquechee River in the summer.Vermont HoneyLights is a family-owned business located on Main Street in the scenic hills of Bristol that specializes in the truly natural candle. Talented candlemakers hand mold nature’s finest beeswax into decorative works of art. Each visitor who steps through the gift shop and studio doors can see one of the artists creating a unique hand-rolled or poured candle. Guests can learn about the ecological and economical reasons for using beeswax candles, the process of creating special molds and the philosophy of creating the highest quality candles, all while watching the artisan roll, pour and unmold unique candle shapes. Along with the beeswax candles, Vermont HoneyLights retail shop also features only American-made products including table linens, footstools, pillows and other seasonal offerings. A wide selection of functional antiques and vintage pieces are available along with visual inspiration on how to incorporate them into the home.Over the years, VAA has expanded its marketing efforts to encourage tourists from Vermont and beyond through the launch of its own website, participating in the Vermont Travel and Industry Conference, working with the Vermont Tourism Network and educating leaders in the Vermont tourism industry. VAA has also worked diligently with the State of Vermont to produce and distribute the Official Road Map and Guide to Vermont Attractions, with the Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association to craft the brochure racks for some of the highway areas, and with the Vermont Chamber of Commerce to coordinate marketing efforts.For more information about VAA and all of its members please visit www.vtattractions.org(link is external).
However, one Swiss pension fund CEO was dismissive of the proposal’s significance, describing it as “completely irrelevant” and a political concession. Pension funds could already invest in venture capital if they wanted to under the current framework, the CEO told IPE.The proposed change goes back to a parliamentary motion from December 2013, which called for regulatory and legal changes to allow pension funds to make long-term “future-oriented” investments. It also proposed that the government initiate the creation of a “future fund” to invest in innovative Swiss companies. Questions were raised at the time about whether this was intended to be mandatory or voluntary for pension funds.Hans-Peter Konrad, director of ASIP, the Swiss occupational pension fund association, welcomed the government recognising that “the extent to which individual pension funds are able and want to exploit the potential of venture capital investments also depends on their respective risk capacity”.The government was right to underline that responsibility for investment decisions should remain exclusively with the individual pension fund, added Konrad.“We will see if the proposed amendment has an impact on pension funds’ investment behaviour,” he said.The government said a 5% asset allocation allowance would be big enough to fully cover any demand for venture capital in Switzerland, but small enough not to endanger the security of occupational pension provision.However, it said that, for risk and return reasons, Swiss workplace pension providers had invested little directly in “venture capital Switzerland”, instead opting for global diversified private equity mandates.See the December edition of IPE’s magazine for a report on Swiss pensions The Swiss government has proposed to make it easier for the country’s pension funds to invest in venture capital for domestic start-ups.Earlier this month the government asked the federal internal affairs department to look into introducing a category dedicated to Swiss venture capital into the investment guidelines for occupational pension funds.Any investments made under this category would be capped at 5% of a pension fund’s total assets and would drop out of the existing alternative assets allocation bucket, according to the government.It also emphasised the importance of investment product transparency, calling for discussions on how to deliver this and suggesting an industry-led approach as a potential solution.