The private ski club has reportedly defaulted on over $16 million loans and recently bounced a property tax check.
Saturday, February 24, 2018, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
A dire situation is escalating at the private Hermitage Club, owner of Haystack Mountain. On Friday afternoon, Berkshire Bank filed a foreclosure complaint, according to the Deerfield Valley News. Also on Friday, Hermitage founder Jim Barnes stepped down from his day to day role and named Vice President Bob Rubin to interim president.
In addition to the foreclosure, Barnes and the Hermitage Club are reportedly facing sex discrimination and whistleblower complaints, as well as a reports of a membership coup. Significant layoffs occurred as well, resulting in a Vermont Department of Labor rapid response this week.
According to the Deerfield Valley News, "Berkshire Bank is seeking foreclosure on several Hermitage properties including the Hermitage Inn, Haystack Ski Resort and ski area lands, Haystack Base Lodge, Haystack Golf Course, Chamonix Townhouse Village, Haystack Golf Course, water rights to Mirror Lake, hundreds of acres of land, along with several smaller parcels" and three inns.
The Hermitage reportedly owes the bank over $16.5 million for its 80,000 square foot main lodge constructed in 2014, as well as subsequent bridge loans. In addition, the Hermitage's check for Wilmington property tax this month bounced, triggering a mortgage default. Beyond the mortgage default, $9.7 million in liens have been reportedly attached to the properties.
The ski area has remained open this season, though operations have been scaled back.
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.