In March, wrecking crews demolished one of four commercial blocks in downtown Newport. Where a four-story apartment and commercial buildings once stood, only cellar holes remain. The demolition, by Jay Peak Resortpresident Bill Stenger, was touted as a key step toward the economic rebirth of this city on the shores of picturesque Lake Memphremagog, just miles from Canada. A colorful banner tied to a chain-link fence around the property known as Renaissance Block hints at a huge project to come.
But on closer inspection, the banner is missing something: any mention of future plans. There is no "coming next" or "future home of" notice — only photos of the block in the decades before it became just a hole in the ground.
The lack of progress over the past five months is another reason that a growing number of Stenger skeptics are worried he won't fulfill his bold promises.
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