"We're going to make this an outdoor family area," said Ary Quiros. Quiros, the President and CEO of Burke Mountain, is the new face of a ski resort that needs a lift.
Quiros took over less than a year ago. "I love it here," he said.
Reporter Gina Bullard: Are you skier?
Ary Quiros: Yes, I Telemark.
The family friendly resort was founded in the 1950's. In the last 20 years there has been five owners, and Quiros says Burke was losing money.
Reporter Gina Bullard: Are you nervous at all?
Ary Quiros: Not at all -- maybe in front of the camera.
Quiros says big changes are coming to this mountain. He and Jay Peak President Bill Stenger are planning a $100-million overhaul.
"For the last five owners there's been a lot of good intention but not a hell of a lot of follow through," Stenger said. He says there will be follow through now because they have access to cash. The money will come from the federal investor EB-5 program. In exchange for half-a-million-dollars, foreign investors and their families are on the fast track to permanent residency. But their investment must create at least 10 jobs.
Plans call for a new ski in, ski out hotel half way up the mountain, plus an indoor tennis facility and aquatics center. Currently Burke sees 70,000 skier and rider visits a year. After the developments Quiros hopes that number more than doubles -- to 150,000.
People in the industry and the community didn't want to go on camera, but repeatedly expressed concerns that while they welcome improvements, they're afraid Quiros doesn't value the community's history.
Reporter Gina Bullard: How are you going to prove yourself? Are you worried about coming in and changing the entire face of Burke Mountain?
Ary Quiros: No, absolutely not. I have everything to back up all my changes -- why I'm doing it -- and I have them understand it.
Quiros is the son of Ariel Quiros, Bill Stenger's partner in the massive expansion at Jay Peak and this new Kingdom-wide development. We wanted to speak with Ariel Quiros directly, but despite several attempts never got a response.
At 37-years-old, Ary Quiros has a lengthy resume. He's grown up all over the world and worked in manufacturing and international trade. He's a trained pilot and scuba instructor and is fluent in Spanish, French and Korean. "I lived in Korea, in Miami. I was born in Berlin. My father was part of the Berlin Brigade," Quiros said.
Quiros is already leaving his mark on the ski resort. There's a new logo featuring the letter 'Q' -- for Quiros.
Reporter Gina Bullard: Why did you want to have that?
Ary Quiros: It's a new company. We take pride and ownership and we want to show the world what we're doing is good for the mountain.
He admits there's controversy -- he's had to lay off six managers. "I had to reduce the amount of staff in the beginning due to high fixed costs," he said. Quiros says his military background has shaped his management style. In 2002 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was deployed several times to Iraq and Afghanistan. He's currently a Captain in the Vermont National Guard. "I enjoy it very much and I apply the same principals here in managing of people," Quiros said.
He's never worked in the hospitality sector but has interned at hotels in Spain. "We're very conservative and I dedicate my time to developing my staff, and my staff is the key here to moving forward," he said.
Reporter Gina Bullard: Why was Ary chosen to run this?
Bill Stenger: He's part of the family -- passionate about skiing, great drive and wants to see this be successful.
Quiros says his sole focus right now is making Burke profitable. "There's fundamentals in business and fundamentals in things we do and if I can't sustain this business, then I can't help the community in the future. So I have to stop giving time and resources to them so I can allocate all the time to this mountain, fix it up, bring it up to code, take care of my employees, make it sustainable -- then move forward," Quiros said.
Reporter Gina Bullard: Are you worried there's a lack of trust for Ary?
Bill Stenger: Any time you come into a new situation there's, 'Show me. Show me you're going to do what you say.'
Proof the community could soon see -- the new hotel is set to open in two years. "Working with people and leading them -- that's my 'A' game, that's what I enjoy, that's my passion, and that's why I love it here," Quiros said.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
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Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
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Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
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Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
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Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
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Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
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Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>