General contractor had threatened to place lien on property if late payment deadline was missed.
Saturday, March 26, 2016, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
PeakCM President Jerry Davis has instructed his attorney to begin filing a lien on the Q Burke Hotel, the Burlington Free Press reports. PeakCM claims it is still owed $5.5 million for the $50 million EB-5 hotel.
The general contractor previously warned that if payment was not received this week, he would place a lien on the idle property. Q Burke Hotel's Bill Stenger (CEO of Jay Peak) told the Burlington Free Press that he had the funds, but could not wire them to PeakCM due to banks being closed on Good Friday.
Stenger went on to declare the Q Burke Hotel, "the most transparent project that we've done" and that "we are having significant success in raising funds, and I'm very encouraged."
The latest chapter in the drama comes on the heels of 180 person layoff announcement earlier this week, resulting in the involvement of the Vermont Department of Labor Rapid Response Team.
Growing rumors of 2016-17 operations being at risk resulted in Q Burke issuing a press release yesterday, claiming "[i]n response to concerns that Q Burke Mountain Resort will not open its doors for the upcoming 2016 Bike Season and/or the 2016/17 Winter Season, please be advised the resort will in fact open and remain focused on continuing bike, ski and ride operations for the upcoming seasons until the Q Burke Hotel and Conference Center is able to officially open its doors."
Days earlier, Stenger was quoted in multiple publications as saying the general contractor would be paid in full by the end of April and that the hotel could open a month later. A Thursday report from WCAX claimed, "[t]he resort's president tells WCAX News there's a 50-50 chance it may not open for next ski season." The hotel was originally scheduled to open in December 2015.
In 2007, the Vermont EB-5 Regional Center was rechartered. Under the EB-5 program, a foreigner can invest $1 million in an approved United States business (which must then create jobs), in exchange for a green card. With the Northeast Kingdom labeled a Targeted Employment Area, the minimum investment is cut in half to $500,000, making participating rural businesses such as Jay Peak more attractive.
The current ownership group has been in place at Jay Peak since 2008. Its first large EB-5 funded project, the Tram Haus Lodge, opened in December of 2009. A $27 million indoor water park opened two years later. Burke Mountain was acquired in 2012 and rebranded as Q Burke in 2013.
Ground was broken for the Q Burke Hotel in June 2014. The now-completed hotel remains idle, as general contractor PeakCM is holding the certificate of occupancy until payment is received.