The men behind the Jay Peak Resort have officially purchased Burke Mountain.
The deal was done this week.
From the outside it appeared to be business as usual Thursday at Burke Mountain. But the longtime ski is now in new hands.
Thursday, Jay Peak owners Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros announced they had purchased the mountain. The move had been roughly five months in the making and became official Tuesday.
Stenger says the plan is for both mountains to maintain their own identities, but regulars could notice changes at Burke as early as next winter.
"It happened quickly and it's something that I think is going to be good for Burke, good for the community and good for the whole Northeast Kingdom," said Tim McGuire of Burke Mountain.
Right now the smaller mountain sees about half the visitor traffic as Jay and midweek and non-holiday periods are seen as areas for growth at the East Burke resort. Plans are in the works to substantially boost snowmaking abilities in time for ski season.
"They've got a great mountain, a great potential. We have an energy at our side of the equation to make some things happen. And we're going to. But it will be within the character and the quality of the community. And we're excited about that special imprint that we'll bring," said Bill Stenger, the new co-owner of Burke Mountain.
Burke has about 225 employees in the winter and fewer than 50 this time of year. Stenger says he plans to add jobs but could not say how many. The Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce sees the deal as a positive one, its executive director, Darcie McCann says, "... We are encouraged to see that Jay Peak with its proven track record of success sees that potential in Burke as well, we think it could be a tremendous partnership with the two joining forces."
Stenger would not say how much they paid for the mountain.