The owners of northern Vermont's Jay Peak resort recently announced they closed on the purchase of another northern Vermont ski hill, Burke Mountain, previously owned by the bankrupt Ginn Company.
Bill Stenger, president and co-owner of Jay Peak, and business partner Ari Quiros purchased the property from a subsidiary of financially troubled Florida-based real estate developer Bobby Ginn's namesake company for an undisclosed sum.
Stenger said his partnership will aggressively market the twin destinations throughout the Boston area and southern New England. The two resorts are about 45 minutes apart in a rural section of Montpelier, Vermont known as the Northeast Kingdom.
Jay Peak has been expanding rapidly in recent years, with the addition of a hotel, waterpark, golf course and other facilities. The resort gets nearly half its business from Canada with Montreal being just 90 minutes away.
The Burke ski hill traditionally catered to more of a local clientele. Growth has been hindered by too few accommodations, which explains why Jay Peak principals are exploring the possibility of a future hotel.
Burke has had a spotty history financially.
Before Ginn arrived on the scene, Burke had had four owners in the previous 20 years and gone bankrupt four times.
Ginn bought Burke in 2005 and later announced plans to bring a major four-season master-planned resort-style development to the area. In early 2008, the company said it hoped to build 1,024 houses and condominiums, a spa, stores, restaurants and a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
However, this ambitious project was scuttled by the Great Recession, forcing Ginn to hand over this property as well as other huge master-planned resort-style developments planned for the Bahamas and North Carolina.
Ginn also lost control of several other private golf and resort-style communities in Florida, including the private Tesoro golf club community in Port St. Lucie, Reunion Resort near Orlando and Bella Collina in Montverde, a world-class private club anchored by a luxurious 85,000-square-foot Tuscan-styled clubhouse on the outskirts of Orlando.