Milne Sells Stake In Travel Agency, Plans May Political Announcement

Mar 18, 2016

Pomfret travel executive Scott Milne will announce his political plans for 2016 in May, he said Friday. In a deal announced this week, Milne sold the majority stake in the travel agency founded by his parents to New York City-based Altour International Travel.

Milne will remain president of the new company, officially named Milne Travel American Express, an ALTOUR Company.

Milne said the sale wasn’t motivated by his political plans, but said the deal might not have gone through if it got in the way of a potential political career. The first-time Republican candidate nearly defeated Gov. Peter Shumlin in 2014, and he is clearly keeping his political options open for the future.

“I would say that this is not motivated by political plans or goals for helping to make Vermont or America better with some political goals, but I think that putting this deal together will not stand in the way of me being involved in a campaign in 2016 or 2018,” he said. “So that clearly could have been a showstopper if it would have been an impediment to political aspirations.”

While he’s not making those aspirations public yet, Milne said he knows what his plans are.

“It’s sort of internal family conversations,” he said. “It’s not something I’m commenting about publicly, but I think I said earlier in the year we’re going to come to a decision in February, and I think we’re on schedule to move forward with an announcement of what we’re doing in May.”

"I think we're on schedule to move forward with an announcement of what we're doing in May." – Scott Milne

Milne told VTDigger earlier this week that he is considering a run for Senate against Sen. Patrick Leahy, who is up for reelection in 2016. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ term expires in 2018.

Milne also denied that he sold the majority stake in the travel agency to fund the ongoing proceedings related to his planned development project in Quechee, which is currently held up in court because of a challenge from the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Planning Commission.

“We’ve got, you know, a regional planning commission that thinks it’s smarter than the Town of Hartford. We’ve got a regional planning commission here in Windsor County that is running around telling people that they’re creating the blueprint for what the economy’s going to be like 100 years from now,” he said. “I would argue they’re not smart enough to write a regional plan that [an] environmental court judge can read and understand. So if they’re not smart enough to do that, I don’t think I want to be entrusting people like that to pretend that they’re smart enough to create an economy that’s going to work 100 years from now. So I’ve got a lot of money tied up in that project, I’m disappointed with the regulators in Vermont and how it’s worked, but that’s not related to this deal.”