Park City (UT) based Pacific Group Resorts (PGRI) is now the official owner of Vermont’s Jay Peak. The purchase seemed to go on forever after the disastrous reign of Ariel Quiros, who is now in jail, and the downfall of former Jay Peak president Bill Stenger who is also serving an 18 month prison sentence for his role in the EB – 5 investor fraud scandal that rocked the Northeast Kingdom and the state of Vermont. Quiros got a five year jail sentence.
The purchase took a while to percolate. Covid, local disputes over property assessments, waffling potential buyers delayed the final transaction. . In August, PGRI ignited the final sales process with an out-of-nowhere $58 million bid for the resort, according to The Storm Skiing Journal. An auction followed. Two other still-anonymous parties chimed in, but PGRI won with a $76 million bid.
PGRI also owns five other resorts – Mt Washington Alpine in British Columbia, Powderhorn in Colorado, Wisp in Western Maryland, Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire, and Wintergreen in Virginia. Jay Peak boasts the most vertical with 2,153 feet but Mt Washington Alpine has the most skiable terrain with 1,700 acres.
PGRI’s other five resorts offer reciprocity for season passholders but the company has not yet confirmed any such arrangement for Jay Peak. It is currently part of the Indy Pass family.
According to a company-issued press release: “All existing season passes, reciprocal pass arrangement, and the Indy Pass will be honored for the 2022-23 winter season.” The resort will continue to accept Canadian dollars at par.
And speaking of the Indy Pass, founder Doug Fish announced recently the addition of Calabogie Peaks in Eastern Canada, four new cross country resorts and four “Allied Resorts”. on top of three previously announced locations in September – Illinois’ Chestnut Mountain, Michigan’s Snowriver and Colorado’s Bluebird Backcountry, a non-lift served area. Indy discount programs have expired but the Pass is still the most affordable – of the “big four”. Indy now boasts 119 locations.
Early snow in the western part of the country has resorts salivating to open. Brian Head’s date is November 4 while most Utah resorts intent on opening in early December, according to Ski Utah.
In Colorado, Arapahoe Basin and Winter Park are open and the Colorado Ski Country USA web site has updated information on other opening dates.
Meanwhile, back east, even more changes are brewing. New York Attorney General Letita James is seeing the owner of Song Mountain for closing Toggenburg. Wasn’t the ski industry suppose to be fun?