“We built this new hotel and base lodge for two reasons,” said resort president Bill Stenger. “First, it was time for the old Stateside Chalet to go. It stunk, literally, and wasn’t the most pleasant place to enjoy a meal or gather for après skiing. But more importantly, the hotel part of this facility is aimed at bringing people back into our sport who may have been priced out. Skiers and riders will be able to lodge here with unlimited access to the lifts for less than the cost of what some resorts are charging for a lift ticket.”
Stenger was referring to the fact that Ski-and-Stay packages per person at the new Stateside Hotel will range from $79 to $110 depending on the time of year. Just a lift ticket at some other resorts ranges from $84 and $119.
The Stateside facility features an 85 room hotel, base lodge and eatery, a restaurant and two pubs, retail, and a state-of-the-art rental facility.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, resort officials moved indoors for a news conference where they announced a major shift to one of their other EB-5 funded projects. The Newport Airport project, part of the larger Northeast Kingdom Economic Development Initiative (N-KEDI), has shifted from simply being a place where airplanes were to be assembled, to becoming a full-blown manufacturing facility.Ariel Quiros, co-owner of Jay Peak and a partner in the $500 million N-KEDI, announced that a new commercial enterprise, Flight Design Americas, LLC has been established and will be based at the Newport Airport. Quiros and Stenger had originally intended for the airport to be solely an assembly plant for aircraft. With this new company, Quiros said Flight Design Americas has secured the exclusive production, assembly and distribution rights for North, South and Central America for the Flight Design C4 aircraft. The C4 is a state-of-the-art four seat aircraft. Flight Design Americas has also secured the exclusive distribution rights for the U.S. and Canada for other products manufactured by Flight Design GmbH., a Stuttgart Germany based company.
“What does all of this mean? It means more quality manufacturing jobs for Newport,” said Quiros. “When this new facility is fully operational, Flight Design Americas will be manufacturing 200 state-of-the-art aircraft each year right here in Newport.”
Stenger and Quiros then went on to give an update on some of the other projects that comprise N-KEDI.
- AnC Bio: The current building located at the AnC Bio Vermont site, right on the shores of Lake Memphremagog, is scheduled to be partially demolished and the site prepared for the new bio-tech facility next month. The architectural firm hired to design the facility has completed the basic design of all four floor plans. Design documents will be fully completed by April 1. Jay Peak management is currently working on the permitting process with an eye to begin construction in Fall 2014.
- Newport Renaissance Block, and Marina Hotel and Conference Center: Quiros and Stenger closed on the Spates Block, a city block right on Main Street in downtown Newport, just before attending the ribbon cutting. Demolition of the city block is scheduled for Summer 2014 and construction of the mixed-use Renaissance Block is expected to follow soon after. Construction of the Marina Hotel and Conference Center is slated for 2015.
The Northeast Kingdom Economic Development Initiative was announced by Quiros and Stenger in September 2012. It is a $500 million enterprise encompassing six projects stretching between Jay Peak Resort, Newport and Burke Mountain Resort. It is believed to be the largest initiative of its kind in the history of Vermont.