Northeast Ford Bronco Off-Road School Still in Limbo After Vermont Town Says No
Ford's first "Off-Roadeo" driving school is opening in Texas this month, but the East Coast location remains TBD.
So you've finally ditched that front-wheel-drive crossover and bought a new 2021 Ford Bronco to take it off the beaten path. Who can blame you? The Bronco comes equipped ready to tackle just about anything Mother Nature can throw at it—if you know how to drive. And even if you don't, Ford has you covered with the launch of its "Off-Roadeo" schools across the country, giving Bronco owners curated spaces and trails to learn how to take their vehicles just about anywhere they'll fit.
If you live in the Northeast and want to attend one of these events, however, things might be a little bit more complicated. As we reported back in April, Ford had originally selected the small town of Pomfret, Vermont to host its Bronco-themed event in the Northeast. The Suicide Six Ski Area in Pomfret was the only location east of the Mississippi River to be picked for the event and was specifically chosen for its proximity to a plethora of available logging and maintenance roads.
Pomfretians rejected Ford and its crew of off-roaders, citing the potential for damage to its Class 4 roads, or a system of unmaintained, unpaved paths that lead to waterfalls and untouched areas of land. Within days of the plan becoming public, residents attended a virtual meeting with the Pomfret Planning Commission and expressed their concerns. The plans to host the Off-Roadeo in Pomfret were soon withdrawn.
Ford maintained its position that it would host a school somewhere in Vermont. Its official website continued to have references to the state—until recently.
Now in June, two months after the initial Vermont debacle, things haven't changed much, with Ford saying that the update on the Northeast location is that there is no update. The Drive asked Ford about its plans for potential alternatives and the automaker didn't have any details to share.
"To date, Bronco brand has not confirmed any location for the Northeast," a Ford spokesperson told us via email. "We will provide more about the Bronco Off-Roadeo locations across the United States as each customer experience center prepares to open for outdoor enthusiasts—including in the Northeast region."
It seems that while Texas, Nevada, and Utah will all be getting Off-Roadeo schools of their own, the other side of the U.S. won't be getting the same love at first. The Bronco Off-Roadeo website now lists the official locations, removing any previous references of Vermont.
The first school in Austin, Texas will open on June 28. Following it, one will open in Mount Potosi, Nevada, while another is coming to Moab, Utah. The final location somewhere in the Northeast is still to be decided.
Those in proximity to the other schools who happened to order a Bronco or select Bronco Sport models will get to enjoy a curated off-road themed vacation.
Attendees will receive a 90-minute crash course on the Bronco's off-road features before spending the next day and a half crawling their way through 50 miles of trails in a Ford-supplied rig. Participants will learn how to make good use of the truck's four-wheeling features, which include the terrain management G.O.A.T. modes, an electronic swaybar disconnect, and so on. Guides will also walk them through using off-road tools like winches and recovery jacks.
And since it's a vacation at heart, after the adventure wraps up, attendees have the option of taking part in additional excursions like kayaking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, or fly-fishing for an extra charge.
Registration is open to order holders of the Bronco, Bronco Sport First Edition, and Bronco Sport Badlands at no cost. Attendees can bring along friends and family, but in that case, they'll have to pay for them. Local resorts will also offer stay-and-play packages for those interested, meaning that the small adventure can turn into a real getaway. Ford says that as part of its package, attendees will receive a $250 voucher that it can use towards gear from the event, for optional adventure experiences, or to put towards the cost of bringing a guest.
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