Ski area opening delayed until January 8; hotel opening date unknown.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
While ski areas across New England have been significantly impacted by a warm fall, Q Burke appears to be in the midst of major struggles.
Ski Area Opening Delayed Again
According to the resort's web site, a Monday mountain operations meeting resulted in a decision to postpone the ski area's opening until January 8. At that point, only the upper mountain is expected to be open. The area has struggled with its snowmaking water supply, undermining its advertised fan gun improvements.
In the previous five seasons, Burke's opening days have ranged from December 1 to December 17. Jay Peak has been honoring Q Burke's season passes in the meantime.
Hotel Opening Delayed Again
Meanwhile, a new VTDigger article states that the EB-5 funded Q Burke Hotel is facing further delays. Hotel Construction Manager PeakCM claims it is owed $3 million and will not complete the final four weeks of construction until back pay is caught up. The hotel was originally supposed to open on December 11. It now appears the hotel will not be ready in time for Martin Luther King weekend.
Previous VTDigger reports claim the massive EB-5 projects run by the owners of Jay Peak and Q Burke in Northern Vermont are being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and that the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation is now overseeing construction payments. PeakCM has managed construction at many of the EB-5 projects at Jay Peak.
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. VTDigger reports $120 million in EB-5 contributions is needed for Q Burke.