JAY – A group of Vermont’s heaviest hitters will make a big announcement about Newport, the airport, Jay Peak and Burke Mountain Thursday morning. U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, Governor Peter Shumlin, and Lawrence Miller (Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development) will join Co-Owner and President of Jay Peak Resort Bill Stenger at the new Hotel Jay conference center to deliver the news, said JJ Toland, a spokesperson with Jay Peak Resort.
All involved are keeping a tight lip on the news. However the notice for the announcement comes in the wake of the extension of the EB-5 program, which has fueled Jay Peak’s multi-million dollar projects.
The extension gives U.S. Green Cards to foreigners who invest $500,000 in a project in an area with high unemployment and the project creates 10 jobs per investor. The program has proven successful at the resort so far, and in providing tens of millions towards development.
The Bill that includes the extension, S. 3245, was authored by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and overwhelmingly passed both the U.S Senate and House, and was placed before President Barrack Obama for signature on September 20. Leahy had attempted to make it permanent, but it was amended to sunset in September 2015.
Stenger has announced that he wanted to tap into the program to build a bio-tech facility in Newport. He has already purchased the property in Newport for the facility but he needed to line up investors and, most importantly, he needed more time through the EB-5 program, which was slated to end this September. Stenger also said he wants to build a hotel and conference center on Newport's waterfront.
Potential development and goals for the Newport State airport were unveiled last winter. One goal is to extend the runway to accommodate larger jets. A company that manufactures composite airplanes parts also expressed interest in locating on land at the airport. The manufacturer has yet to be revealed.
Dan Gauvin, the owner of Lakeview Aviation at the Newport State Airport, recently said that there is a big announcement coming regarding the airport, but he has not indicated what it is about. Monday morning, all he would say is that the news will be revealed at Jay Peak this Thursday morning.
In May, Jay Peak bought Burke Mountain Resort. Plans for new development at Burke have yet to be announced.
Many people have been waiting anxiously to hear more about development plans for the area, and now the long-awaited news may come out September 27, 10 a.m., at the Foeger I Ballroom of the Hotel Jay.