Saturday, April 11, 2015

Jay Peak: Day Two

With the smell of bacon and eggs adrift, the group rolled out of bed to find the temperature had seriously dropped over night and nearly six inches of fresh snow was on the ground. Some members had their first turns in the infamous Jay woods. We slashed through the new powder to find the snow underneath had hardened significantly over night. Fresh snow, cold temps, and sunny skies: winter ain't over yet!

Just prior to lunch our group met in a conference room in the Jay Hotel to discuss the history and operations at Jay Peak with their CEO, Bill Stenger. Bill explained to us how Jay Peak used to just be a recreational area that was then purchased from a lumber company. After slowly evolving into a ski mountain, Bill had a vision to create not just a ski mountain, but a resort destination. This was made possible through a government sponsored program created by George Bush Sr., commonly known as EB-5.

This is how the EB-5 program works. In order to stimulate the US economy, the government looked to international investors. If the investors are willing to contribute $500,000 to a project (such as Jay Peak) they get expedited visas for their family. This allows projects like Jay Peak to quickly raise capital and expand on projects like the waterpark, golf course, hockey rink, and slope-side condominiums.

Jay Peak is now a resort destination, with nearly a million visitors annually. Being so close to Canada has allowed Jay Peak to tap into both the New England and the Canadian markets. There are year round attractions at Jay Peak, the economy has been stimulated, but more importantly, the riding and skiing are still great.

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