Resort group offers $58 million for Jay Peak

Jay Peak Timberlne Cottages
The Timberline Cottages at Jay Peak Resort with Jay Peak and the resort’s tramway in the rear on June 7, 2019. File photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Michael Goldberg, court-appointed receiver in charge of overseeing Jay Peak for more than six years, has a $58 million offer to buy the scandal-plagued ski resort in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

“The time has come for the Receiver to sell the Jay Peak Resort,” Goldberg wrote in a court filing Monday. 

Goldberg wrote that he seeks a judge’s approval to sell the resort for $58 million to Pacific Group Resorts Inc., though he wants to be allowed to continue to seek qualified buyers and, if a matching or higher price is offered, an auction would be held to sell the resort. 

“Absent receipt of a Qualified Bid constituting a higher and better offer for the Assets, the Receiver may deem Buyer’s bid the highest or otherwise best offer, and may proceed with the transaction,” Goldberg wrote.

The receiver wrote in the filing that the price offered by the Pacific Group is the highest he’s received since putting the resort on the market four years ago. 

Pacific Group Resorts owns several smaller ski resorts, including Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire and Powderhorn Mountain Resort in Colorado.

Ariel Quiros, Jay Peak’s former owner, and his former business partner, Bill Stenger, Jay Peak’s former president, had funded massive upgrades at the resort, including new hotels and a water park, paid for with funds raised through the federal EB-5 visa program.

According to separate lawsuits brought in April 2016 by state and federal regulators, Quiros and Stenger misused $200 million of more than $350 million they raised from EB-5 investors.

Regulators said Quiros alone “looted” more than $50 million for himself for personal expenses, including buying a luxury condo in New York City.

Quiros and Stenger have since reached settlements — neither denying nor admitting fault — with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and state regulators in the cases.

Both men were also federally indicted on crimes in connection with another EB-5 financed project to build a $110 million biomedical research center in Newport, later deemed by federal regulators “nearly a complete fraud,” and both are serving prison terms.

The proceeds from Jay Peak’s sale, according to past court filings by Goldberg, will be distributed, on a “pro rata” basis, to the defrauded investors.

Jay Peak was valued on the town grand list at $121 million. Resort officials later appealed, arguing that its actual value was about half that amount. In a settlement, the town and resort settled at an assessed value of about $85 million.
This story will be updated.

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