Court Approves $4.9 Million Jay Peak Tram Repair Project
The Vermont Passenger Tramway Division has closed the lift for the foreseeable future.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
The $4.9 million Jay Peak Aerial Tram project has been approved by a Federal judge, according to VTDigger. The government appointed receiver, Michael Goldberg, has been permitted to commingle and collateralize funds, actions that the SEC alleges were illegal when done by owners Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger.
The Jay Peak Aerial Tramway was closed by the Vermont Passenger Tramway Division following the 2015-16 season due to safety concerns and could be non-operational for the foreseeable future. The $4.9 million repair contract with Doppelmayr may not be completed until mid-2017. According to VTDigger, Jay Peak General Manager Steven Wright said the media's coverage of the issue has harmed the resort.
According to VTDigger, Jay Peak claims the Aerial Tramway will reopen this month. Vermont Passenger Tramway Division Director Stephen Monahan disagrees, stating "If everything falls into place quickly, there's a chance they could run at the end of the summer."
The lift was installed by Von Roll in 1966 and is one of only two aerial tramways in New England. The tramway is the only lift that serves Jay Peak's summit lodge and upper 400 vertical feet of terrain. New cabins were installed in 2000 using a Community Development Block Grant and a Vermont Economic Development Authority Revenue Bond, for which Jay Peak President Bill Stenger credited Governor Howard Dean.
Items in the $4.9 million agreement include new electrical controls, a new coupling between the motor and gear box, new brakes, a new evac drive, new carriages, new hangers, and new track rope saddles. Jay Peak would be required to provide and fund additional labor, which would make the total cost of the project in excess of $5 million. Updated engineering suggests the capacity of the lift will be cut from 60 to 45 passengers. Parts would be manufactured in Switzerland and shipped within 7 to 9 months. The eight week equipment installation is projected to start in April 2017, suggesting the lift will not operate during the 2016-17 ski season unless the State of Vermont gives special approval.
The SEC has charged Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros with allegedly running a fraudulent Ponzi scheme with EB-5 immigrant investor funds.