Ford has made a serious effort to build a community of off-roaders around their Bronco and Bronco Sport models. They’ve helped create the Bronco Nation publication, they’ve started the Bronco Wild Fund, and they’ve even created a program called Bronco Off-Roadeo. This two-day driving experience is included with the purchase of every Ford Bronco and upper-level Bronco Sport Badlands models, and aims to show drivers just how capable these new 4×4 machines truly are. Ford’s Off-Roadeo website states that the automaker has off-road locations set-up for their buyers in Vermont, Texas, Nevada, and Utah. That said, a new report from Automotive News suggests that the folks in Vermont are none too interested in having Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport customers driving around their communities.
According to the report, residents of Woodstock, Vermont, had not many nice things to say about Ford’s Bronco Off-Roadeo experience coming to their town. Ford had originally made arrangements with the Woodstock Inn & Resort to transform the 189 acre ski destination into an off-road park during the summer months. The resort was interested in this plan as a way to drive profits during the snowless season. Locals were not as pleased with the plan however, as was made evident in a recent virtual town hall meeting. In fact, residents were so against the idea that the Woodstock Inn & Resort abandoned their plans just a few hours later.
Woodstock residents felt that the influx of off-road vehicles would overwhelm their town’s unmaintained road network. Furthermore, they felt that it was unsafe to have Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport SUVs running down those trails. In the end, the townsfolk won.
“A dog doesn’t get lost on the road here without people noticing,” said resident Richard Cellini according to Automotive News. “You can’t have Broncos and horses on the same trail.”
So with Woodstock out of the question, it remains unclear at this time as to what Ford plans to do. Dearborn-based Adventure ORX has been tasked with running the Bronco Off-Roadeo events, and will likely be responsible for finding a new location. Whether or not that location remains in Vermont, is likely going to depend on the reaction from the locals. That said, Bronco customers do have the option to travel to the other locations that don’t appear to be in any danger. Of course the Off-Roadeo itself is included in the purchase price of the 4x4s, but travel and lodging is on you. One would think that this could help bolster a local economy, but Woodstock doesn’t really seem to care about all that.