by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine Mount Snow, which was delayed last year in its efforts to expand using EB-5 foreign investor funds through the state's regional center, has received approval to open its own regional center. Peak Resorts, Inc (NASDAQ:SKIS), which owns several ski resorts in the Midwest and Northeast, of which Mount Snow is the largest, Thursday that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has approved the Peak’s proposed Great North Regional Center, a new privately managed regional center, which will serve as Peak’s exclusive EB-5 investment sponsor for projects at its Northeast resorts. The approval is effective immediately.
Mount Snow was caught up in the Vermont Regional Center's problems involving the fraud allegations at Jay Peak and Burke Mountain resorts. Those allegations involved some $200 million against the owner Ariel Quiros and President Bill Stenger, which were revealed in April 2016. As a result, the federal government wants to shut down the VRC, which is the only state-run center in the nation. The Scott Administration wants to close the state program also, but in a measured way to ensure that all its projects still on the books, including the one at Mount Snow, are not jeopardized. The current Mount Snow project would continue under the VRC.
Timothy D Boyd, President and Chief Executive Officer of Peak Resorts, said, “We are delighted that USCIS has approved our new regional center, which will allow Peak Resorts to continue to pursue job creating, transformative economic development projects at our key Northeast resorts. The Great North Regional Center is a central piece of our growth strategy and will provide us with enhanced control and strategic oversight as we commence phase two of our development at Mount Snow as well as for future projects. With this approval from USCIS, Peak and its EB-5 investment partners can now move forward with greater long-term visibility and be far more effective in putting our partners’ capital to use as we grow our business and work to deliver increased shareholder value.”
The successful completion of the $30 million EB-5 funded West Lake Water Project and related snowmaking infrastructure at Mount Snow during the summer has set the stage for very favorable early season conditions, including the most open terrain in the Northeast. Mount Snow opened November 11. Guests at Mount Snow are currently enjoying top-to-bottom skiing and riding on 11 trails across 112 acres, including 14 features at Carinthia. Mount Snow’s snowmaking system is now the Northeast’s most powerful allowing the resort, it said in a statement, to open terrain faster and earlier than ever before.
“Our ability to open Mount Snow for the 2017/2018 ski season on November 11 clearly highlights the capabilities made possible by our incredible EB-5 backed West Lake infrastructure investment and our ability to deliver an elevated guest experience like never before,” added Mr. Boyd. “Skiers and riders have raved about the early season conditions, and we have had very strong visitation to date. We are now working to expand our available terrain and hope to have more of the mountain open for the Thanksgiving weekend.”
Mount Snow Carinthia. courtesy photo.
As skiing and riding are now underway at Mount Snow, capital investments continue to progress with construction of the new $22 million Carinthia base lodge expected to be completed for the 2018/2019 ski season. Peak is also working towards phase two of the Carinthia project, which will include the construction of 102 ski-in/ski-out residential units around the new base lodge, marking a significant expansion of lodging capacity at Mount Snow.
Furthermore, the regulatory process for Peaks’s proposed $9 million terrain expansion at Hunter Mountain is underway. The company expects this expansion of skiable terrain by 25-30 percent to be completed in time for the 2018/2019 ski season subject to the receipt of required regulatory approvals.
Peak's resorts include: Alpine Valley, Chesterland, OH; Attitash, Bartlett, NH; Boston Mills, Peninsula, OH; Brandywine, Sagamore Hills, OH; Crotched Mountain, Bennington, NH; Hidden Valley, Wildwood, MO; Hunter Mountain, Hunter, NY; Big Boulder, Lake Harmony, PA; Jack Frost, Blakeslee, PA; Mad River Mountain, Bellefontaine, OH; Mount Snow, West Dover, VT; Paoli Peaks, Paoli, IN; Snow Creek, Weston, MO; and Wildcat, Pinkham Notch, NH.
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, Peak Resorts’ resort operations and snowmaking teams are also preparing for additional openings in the coming days. Subject to snowmaking progress, the company announced today that it plans to open Hunter Mountain on Tuesday, November 21, as well as expand skiable terrain at Mount Snow to approximately 200 acres by Thanksgiving weekend. Snowmaking teams at their respective resorts have leveraged favorable temperatures to prepare slopes for guest use and build upon the early season skiing and riding underway at Mount Snow, Big Boulder and Wildcat Mountain, which is now open for its 60th season.
Headquartered in Missouri, Peak Resorts is a leading owner and operator of high-quality, individually branded ski resorts in the US. The company operates 14 ski resorts primarily located in the Northeast and Midwest, 13 of which are company owned.
The majority of the resorts are located within 100 miles of major metropolitan markets, including New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland and St. Louis, enabling day and overnight drive accessibility. The resorts under the company's umbrella offer a breadth of activities, services and amenities, including skiing, snowboarding, terrain parks, tubing, dining, lodging, equipment rentals and sales, ski and snowboard instruction and mountain biking and other summer activities. To learn more, visit the company’s website at ir.peakresorts.com or follow Peak Resorts on Facebook for resort updates.
Source: WILDWOOD, Mo., Nov. 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Peak Resorts, Inc. 11.16.2017. Photos courtesy Mount Snow.