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Green Mountain College sells at auction far below asking price

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 6:57 PM EDT
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POULTNEY, Vt. (WCAX) - Tuesday afternoon, Green Mountain College in Poultney sold for $4,550,000. That’s a much lower price than the original asking price of $20,000,000.

Curious community members watched the auction on a screen at the former Green Mountain College. Down the hall, the bidding took place with Maltz Auctions employees and potential buyers the only ones allowed in the room.

The bidding began at $3 million. That's $17 million under what the campus was appraised at in 2016.

Raj Bhakta became the new owner of the campus in just under 20 minutes. At this time, he is not discussing his future plans.

Raj Bhakta had the winning bid on Tuesday for the former Green Mountain College campus.
Raj Bhakta had the winning bid on Tuesday for the former Green Mountain College campus.(WCAX)

“We’re going to do great things in Poultney and Vermont and in America, and we’ll have more to say later. Thank you very much,” Bhakta said.

You might member Bhakta. He was the founder of WhistlePig whiskey in Shoreham but was eventually bought out.

James Gansley graduated from Green Mountain College in 2015. He is surprised how little the campus sold for, but says the land has great potential.

"I hope it's still some sort of educational institute and people come here to learn and find themselves and get in touch with the universe," Gansley said.

Poultney's town and village manager, Paul Donaldson, is optimistic.

"I look at it as the beginning for the future of Poultney," Donaldson said.

He hopes Bhakta will work with the community and bring vibrancy to the area.

After the auction, community members in the room chatted amongst themselves and told me the final bid was much lower than they originally anticipated.

"The town is possibly a little disappointed that the bid was so low considering the original asking price was much higher," said Sarah Pelkey, the Poultney town economic development coordinator.

Pelkey's job was created when the campus closed to help sustain the town while transitioning the college.

“It’s a beautiful space, a beautiful campus and somebody definitely got a steal today,” Pelkey said. “So, hopefully, they will be the right people for the community and they will all be able to integrate into what happens here.”

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