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JAY - What seemed to be just a magnificent and almost unbelievable dream on paper has turned into a reality in just a couple of years.
Four years ago, Bill Stenger, co-owner and President of Jay Peak Resort, unveiled plans for development that called for hundreds of millions of dollars. Stenger and his team were steadfast in their dream and it quickly began taking shape and became a huge success story.
Now 300 million dollars later, Jay Peak Resort has transformed into an upscale, year-round destination place attracting thousands of people from all over, mostly the Manhattan area, Boston, Toronto, Montreal, and Philadelphia.
The resort can accommodate 2,200 people a night and 93 percent of those spaces are already reserved for the current season, spokesperson JJ Tolland said in an interview Monday.
Monday morning, construction workers were hard at work building more townhouses slated to open within the next few weeks, which are already nearly booked to capacity.
Workers are also building the new, 8,500 square foot Mountain Learning Center for kids. Jay Peak Resort entered into a partnership with Disney and Burton Snowboards and the result is a Toy Story-themed learning center for kids, slated to open in January.
The resort opened for skiing and riding Thanksgiving weekend and completely blew away their old record for visitors with 1,500 people.
Jay Peak Resort's success story has translated into a huge benefit, including job opportunities, for the surrounding area. Before development, the resort employed 400 hundred seasonal workers with 100 year round. Now the resort employs 1,300 full-time with about 800 year-round in addition to the 500-800 construction workers who have been working for four years and will continue for the next couple of years on projects.
One of Stengerâ€™s goals was to create a weather-proof destination, and that is what Jay Peak Resort is now. When the weather is not ideal for skiing, visitors can hang out at the huge indoor water park, the ice arena, or many other places including bars and restaurants.
The ice arena is an additional success story, drawing people from all over the country. Not only is it a place for the public to ice skate, but itâ€™s also a figure skating and hockey venue. Multiple hockey teams travel to Jay every week to utilize the arena for tournaments and, as an added benefit to the resort, make use of the multiple accommodations available including the new golf cottages. One hundred cottages were built and 20 more are coming.
Jay is hopping with activity and excitement. And there is more to come with big plans right around the corner.
Every project includes funding through the EB-5 Foreign Investor Program, where those wishing for U.S. citizenship can invest $500,000 in areas with high unemployment in exchange for Green Cards for themselves and immediate family members. So far, 600 investors from 58 countries have invested $300 million in the resort. And there are more to come. Stenger and partners unveiled a half-billion dollar plan for the resort, Newport, and Burke Mountain earlier this fall.