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Developers: Northeast Kingdom project could create 10K jobs - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Developers: Northeast Kingdom project could create 10K jobs

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JAY, Vt. -

The Northeast Kingdom is about to see big changes.

"This is a wonderful day for our community and for our state," said Bill Stenger, the president of Jay Peak.

It's called the Northeast Kingdom Economic Development Initiative; a series of seven projects costing half a billion dollars.

"It's not about skiing, it's about our economy, development and creating good full-time jobs for thousands of Vermonters," Stenger said.

The projects are expected to bring up to 10,000 full-time and temporary jobs.

"Jobs know no political party," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont. "What they know is we need them and there's no better example, I believe, in the history of the state."

The initiative will include:

  • A $170 million investment at Jay Peak to be completed by 2015. It will include new lifts, trails, another hotel and medical center.
  • A new biotechnology campus in Newport. AnC Bio will also be running by 2014. Costing $104 million, AnC Bio will develop and manufacture artificial organs. Also in that campus a German window manufacturer will employ 140 people.
  • In downtown Newport, a new marina hotel and conference center on Lake Memphremagog will welcome 600 guests by 2015, with a price tag of $100 million. Nearby Main Street will see $70 million pumped into it.
  • Transportation will also get a facelift. The state airport in Coventry will see an expansion of the runway and creation of a free trade zone by 2014. Cost-- $20 million.
  • And $108 million will build four structures at Burke Mountain's base lodges and hotels.

Reporter Gina Bullard: Why will this plan work?

Bill Stenger: We have capital. The whole secret is access to capital, patient money.

The majority of this extensive $500 million plan will be paid for by the EB-5 program, where in exchange for $500,000 and 10 jobs created in the U.S., oversees investors go to the front of the visa line and eventually U.S. citizenship. A 3-year extension of the program was recently approved by President Barack Obama.

"It's been the most successful in Vermont anywhere in the country and it hasn't cost the taxpayers a cent," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

WCAX News asked Bill Stenger who he expects will fill up all the hotels. He points to the city of Magog across the lake, which gets 50,000 visitors a week.

Some of those 10,000 jobs will be with the companies that move in, but the majority are temporary jobs during construction.

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$500M project could bring thousands of jobs to Northeast Kingdom

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