Stateside Hotel and Lodge at Jay Peak is clearing the way for a new era. The new 85-room hotel and base lodge replaces the old Stateside Chalet and comes with a $25 million price tag.
"Anybody who's a true Vermonter would tell you the old lodge needed to go," said Mike Rosenberg, who's been skiing at Jay Peak since he was 3.
Many longtime Jay Peak skiers, like Mike Rosenberg, understand change was needed.
"For a business to stay around it has to evolve and change and we're lucky to have it how it was for as long as it was," Rosenberg said.
"It's right on the trail. It's affordable, neat, clean and great skiers' product," said Bill Stenger, the president of Jay Peak.
Retooling Stateside is just one part of the $500 million Northeast Kingdom Revitalization Project funded through the federal EB-5 investor program. For investing half a million dollars, foreigners get a green card as long as their money helps create at least 10 jobs in Vermont within two years.
"Making it possible for more Kingdom kids to live, work and have a great life in the Kingdom," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont.
Stenger says in the past six years his EB-5 projects have created 3,000 construction jobs alone, and the Northeast Kingdom Revitalization Project is the most massive economic project the state has ever seen.
After the ribbon-cutting, it was talk about bringing more jobs stateside. Ariel Quiros, co-owner of Jay Peak, purchased Flight Design Americas LLC. It will be based out of the Newport Airport.
"I bought it and the target price... um... basically I should not tell you," Quiros laughed.
Originally the plan was for the airport to be an assembly plant for one aircraft model. Now, Quiros says more than 100 jobs will be added to manufacture and distribute four-seater planes at the airport. A new facility will be built with private funds.
"This new product will come online very soon and will transform the aviation business," Stenger said.
Quiros says Flight Design Americas plans to manufacture 200 planes a year. His son, Ary Quiros, who runs the Q Burke ski area, is a trained pilot and has started an aviation club at Lyndon State College, which they hope will eventually turn into a four-year degree program.
"From that club, if I'm successful and we have good demand, they can start preparing for an aviation management program," Ary Quiros said.
We also learned that Bill Stenger closed on the Renaissance Block in Newport Friday. The amount he purchased it for was not disclosed.
Also, the basic design plans for Korean biotech company AnC Bio are completed and construction is expected to begin in fall 2014.