Millions of dollars of liens have been placed and a member of the press was recently expelled from the property.
Saturday, April 2, 2016, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
According to a VTDigger report today, there are currently 9 liens placed on the idle Q Burke Hotel, and a VT Digger reporter was expelled from a Department of Labor Rapid Response function at the ski area.
Meanwhile, a Facebook group called Friends of Burke Mountain was started days ago by concerned skiers with the goal to "share news and opinions, in a respectful manner, about the direction of the Mountain, the hotel, its ownership and management, all with the goal of producing the best outcomes for key stakeholders" and has quickly grown to over 2,300 members.
According to VTDigger, 11 liens were placed on the hotel by local and regional entities, totaling nearly $7 million. Two liens have been discharged, and the largest remaining debt, to general contractor PeakCM, is starting to be paid off.
A VTDigger reporter was on site Wednesday as the Vermont Department of Labor's Rapid Response worked with those affected by the recent 180 person layoff. The publication reports its reporter was expelled from the premises, with Q Burke claiming it was a closed meeting on private property. The Vermont Department of Labor commissioner was later quoted as being "stunned" by the removal of the reporter.
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, with an opening scheduled for December 2015. The now-completed hotel remains idle, as general contractor PeakCM is holding the certificate of occupancy and a lien on the hotel until payment is received.
A recent report stated, "[t]he resort's president tells WCAX News there's a 50-50 chance it may not open for next ski season."