The most recent news to hit Vermont indicates that state regulators are paying greater attention to the details of EB-5 projects in the aftermath of the problems besetting certain Northeast Kingdom EB-5 projects. They are also meeting with success in their investigations of fraudulent use of EB-5 funds.
The developer of the SouthFace Village at Okemo — located on the upper southeast slope of Okemo Mountain Resort — has been ordered to stop soliciting EB-5 investors until changes are made revising language describing the risks of investing in the project. Changes to a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Vermont are also being required, and escrow release changes must be made, according to news accounts.
The developer of the SouthFace Village project is the Rossi Group, not Okemo Mountain Resort. Okemo spokeswoman Bonnie MacPherson noted, “Okemo’s only role is an operationally supportive one.”
The Rossi Group not only owns the land upon which the village is being built but also the new quad chairlift which connects the village to the base of the existing South Face chairlift. (From that area it is possible to access the main resort from existing ski trails.)
Okemo installed the chairlift and built the trail under it, MacPherson said, adding the mountain’s role is to maintain and operate the chair.
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