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Utah-based resort group submits $58 million bid to buy Jay Peak

A snowy driveway leading to a ski lodge and mountain.
Liam Elder-Connors
VPR File
Pacific Group Resorts has submitted a $58 million bid to buy Jay Peak ski resort, which has been in federal receivership since 2016 after its president and owner were accused of fraud.

The Northeast Kingdom ski resort caught up in the largest financial fraud in Vermont’s history could soon be sold, according to court documents filed on Monday.

Pacific Group Resorts is offering $58 million for Jay Peak ski resort. The company, which is based in Park City, Utah, operates five other ski resorts, including Powderhorn Mountain Resort in Colorado and Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire. Pacific Group Resorts did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The time has come for the Receiver to sell the Jay Peak Resort,” wrote Michael Goldberg, the court-appointed receiver who’s been overseeing the resort since 2016.

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The sale of Jay Peak is not a done deal; a federal judge still needs to approve Pacific Group Resorts initial bid, which will then open up an auction process where other companies can submit competing offers, court papers say.

Goldberg took over operations at Jay Peak after its president Bill Stenger and owner Ariel Quiros were accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of embezzling millions of dollars using the federal EB-5 visa program, which gives foreign investors green cards if they put $500,000 into development projects in economically depressed regions. Goldberg did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Quiros and Stenger used the EB-5 program to fund major renovations at Jay Peak, including a 55,000 square-foot water park, new hotels, and athletic fields. While the developments at Jay Peak were completed, other projects proposed by Stenger and Quiros, like a biomedical facility in Newport, were never completed. Federal prosecutors say that the biomedical project was almost a total fraud.

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Qurios and Stenger eventually reached settlements with the SEC, but they later pleaded guilty to separate federal criminal charges related to their conduct.

Earlier this year Quiros was sentenced to five years in prison and Stenger got 18 months.

Have questions, comments or tips?Send us a message or get in touch with reporter Liam Elder-Connors@lseconnors.

Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.
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