Members are reportedly attempting to take control of the private club.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
A coup could be in the making at the Hermitage Club, according to reports from the Brattleboro Reformer. As a growing number of issues become public, some members are reportedly trying to take control of the club.
According to the Brattleboro Reformer, Hermitage CEO Jim Barnes is requesting a one time fee of $3,000 from members, in order to cover payroll for the balance of the ski season. The club levied a $10,000 one time fee on members in the fall. Not including the one time fees, a single membership at the Hermitage currently costs $80,000 plus $4,750 in annual fees.
The club barely avoided a water and sewer shutoff last month, after accruing $87,000 in unpaid utility bills. In addition, the club reportedly had unpaid taxes and vendors.
More recently, former Hermitage Club Realty manager Robert Balewicz filed a whistleblower complaint with the United States Department of Labor, alleging illegal accounting activities and kickbacks.
The Brattleboro Reformer reports that Hermitage has stated they are "currently open, and we are currently making payroll," but there are "limited food and services."
Located in the Deerfield Valley near Mount Snow, the club features the Haystack ski area, a golf course, and numerous inns and restaurants. Hermitage founder Jim Barnes acquired the defunct Haystack ski area in October 2011 and soon installed two new quad chairlifts. An 80,000 square foot lodge was constructed for 2014-15 and a $7.3 million heated, high speed detachable six person chairlift for 2015-16.