Jay Peak Resort sees record breaking weekend

Sneak peak for new water park huge successJAY- The new Pump House Water Park at Jay Peak opened three weeks ahead of schedule just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.“It was a banging weekend,” said JJ Toland, the communications director with the resort. Two thousand visitors turned out for the big weekend to check out the new water park, to ski, and ice skate. Some ski trails were open for the weekend, but have now closed due to the unseasonably warm weather.Lodging at the resort hit record breaking numbers at 87 percent occupancy, far above the historic average of 35 percent for the Thanksgiving weekend.Although the resort saw an unprecedented number of visitors over the weekend, it never felt crowded, Toland said, due to the facility’s design. The Pump House's capacity is 900 occupants.The Pump House is a 50,000 square foot indoor water park with a retractable roof. It boasts a variety of innovative and thrilling attractions including the La Chute Aqua Loop, the only indoor slide of its kind. It begins with a 60 foot free-fall and then propels the rider up through the loop, reaching speeds of up to 45 mph.The Double Barrel Flow Rider allows for indoor surfing and body boarding. The water park also features many other slides, a rock wall for climbing, the longest indoor river in the country that follows the perimeter of the park, and a kids area.The Pump House will open again on Friday, December 2, and plans are to have trails on the mountain open as well.The $27-million water park is part of the Jay Peak Resort expansion project to turn the resort into a weather-proof, all season, destination place. Early development plans saw the creation of the new Tram Haus Lodge. Expansion continued with a new golf club house, an NHL-sized ice arena, and the water park. The new Jay Hotel is nearing completion and will open its West Wing during the early part of 2012, with the remainder of the hotel opening soon after. The hotel will include restaurants, a conference center, and retail shopping.This winter Jay Peak will unveil its plans for the next phase of development which will include the expansion on the State Side of the mountain.The development is funded through the EB-5 foreigner investor program. The program allows for foreigners to invest $500,000 in areas with high unemployment and in return receive green cards for themselves and immediate family members.Bill Stenger, the co-owner and president of Jay Peak Resort is also utilizing the EB-5 program for the biotechnology firm slated for Newport City.Stenger has traveled overseas with others to attract investors.