IROC Forced to Seek Refinancing
Derby, VT – IROC announced yesterday that discussions are continuing with the Vermont Economic Development Authority as IROC seeks to refinance, reduce, and restructure its debt. VEDA has determined that IROC needs additional support for VEDA refinancing to be workable. Phil White, Chairman of the Board at IROC and Executive Director (without pay) made the announcement. “Our debt has been and remains a crushing burden on our ability to operate and move forward. Our capital campaign was going very well in 2007 and 2008. However, it came to a screeching halt with the economic meltdown in the fall of 2008. We had paid off about $800,000 in debt since January of 2007 and had another $700,000 in pledges ready to take to the community by way of matching challenges. But those pledges all vanished within the month of December 2008, and we have not been able to regroup and renew our capital campaign in this economy. The debt remaining on the construction and early start up of the facility has remained at about $2.4 Million. Since 2009, we have not been able to lower that number.”This spring, thanks to the efforts of Mike Marcotte, Bobby Starr and other members of the Orleans County delegation, the legislature passed a provision that allows VEDA to refinance “recreational facilities” operating in “distressed areas of the state.” White noted, “VEDA refinancing with its low interest rate was and remains our best shot of moving forward in this economy – to allow us to restructure, reduce, and consolidate our debt and obtain capital for improvements to the facility and working capital to support operations. Our special outdoor athletic events are growing steadily and, given enough time, they are expected to be a major factor in IROC’s evolution into a self sustaining business. But we’re not there yet. The current level of debt and the interest we pay on that debt is simply too much for us to manage.” Jo Bradley, VEDA’s Chief Executive Officer added, “VEDA recognizes IROC’s value and positive impact on the community. We are very willing to consider a proposal, if additional financial support can be obtained.” White said, “We appreciate the efforts of VEDA to find a way to support a refinancing and restructuring of IROC’s debt. We understand and respect VEDA’s response to our initial $1.2 Million application and the need for additional backing,” As a result, IROC is now seeking supporters and partners to help secure VEDA refinancing so that IROC can move forward and continue to serve thousands in our community. In the meantime, IROC is also actively fundraising to support daily operations and is making some substantial changes to lower expenses while its future hangs in the balance.