Mark English, who runs a real estate business at the foot of Jay Peak, was about to finalize the sale of a condo on the mountain when news that a federal court had taken control of the ski resort broke.
The buyer, a doctor from New Hampshire, pulled out of the deal. He wasn't willing to spend around $600,000 when the future of Jay Peak was up in the air.
The economic outlook of Orleans County, which contains Jay Peak and multi-million-dollar EB-5 projects like an ice arena and waterpark, is mixed. The county has fewer employed people than it did in 2008, when the EB-5 program began. The county also has fewer people in the labor force overall. Despite this decline, the business owners clustered around Jay Peak say the developments have turned the mountain into a year-round destination and helped them grow.
"The summer months here were an absolute ghost town," English said. Now he sees a steady stream of cars rumbling past his little office, heading to weddings, the golf course and hockey tournaments. Those increased visits, he said, are the result of the improvements former Jay Peak CEO Bill Stenger made on the mountain.
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