Thursday, December 01, 2011
Jay, Vt. – The nation’s northernmost ski area announced today that it will add a unique-in-the-world man-made volcano as part of the next phase of the resort’s development.
“The indoor water park is done, the skating rink is done, one new hotel is done and the conference center and other new hotel are almost done,” said Jay Peak spokesman Ozzy Mandius. “The golf course has been expanded to its full 18 holes and the new clubhouse and parking garage have been operational for well over a year. We’ve got condos, condos and more condos and a bridal chapel. We looked around and thought – what next?”
Mandius noted that volcano tourism has been up-trending world-wide. “Our market studies show there is an excellent opportunity for Jay Peak to expand its four-season business by drilling through the peak on the State Side of the mountain. To be clear,” he added, “we aren’t talking about going right through the main peak, where the tram is located. We recognize that is an iconic spot and it will remain undisturbed in keeping with our commitment to keep Jay true to its roots.”
The resort, which is located in Jay, Vermont (population 326) has been the beneficiary of the EB5 visa program which allows foreign investors, in exchange for a minimum investment of $500,000 in a “rural or high unemployment area,” permanent resident status for themselves, their spouses and their children under 21. The popular cash-for-green-cards program has made the recent rapid expansion at Jay possible, and with investor interest remaining strong Mandis says the resort should have no problem capitalizing “The VVE”.
“Most people don’t realize that it’s actually only 19 miles down to the asthenosphere: that’s the tough liquid part of the outer mantle of the earth’s core, we don’t have to get all the way to the core, thank goodness, to give our guests the only the volcano experience available in the eastern seaboard!” Mandius said.
One purpose of the EB 5 program is to provide employment in depressed areas. And while Mandius acknowledged that there are few Vermonters have the skills that will be necessary to complete the technical aspects of the volcano project, there will be many opportunities for "hewers of wood and drawers of water," as it were. Mandius said he expects the spillover effects to be transformative of the backward corner of the state where the resort has been located for more than fifty years.
“Another huge benefit of this particular project,” he added, “is the thermal energy we are going to realize from the volcano once it is operational. In the second phase, we will be using this clean, green energy to add radiant heat to 142 acres of parking lot.”
Permits for the project are already in place, Kane said, and drilling is set to begin in April.
“After we get the volcano on-line we can start talking again about the monorails,” he added, referring to the recently-shelved plans to link Jay directly with Boston, Montreal and Burlington. “We ran into more resistance on the rights-of-way issues than we expected.”
Acknowledging that there have been some “haters” suggesting that all this construction may not be sustainable long term, Kane said, “We have carefully structured our business model to assure that these facilities will not eventually fall to wrack and ruin. What’s more, we believe firmly in the principle of, ‘if you build it, they will come’ – especially if you provide a free monorail to bring them to the thing you have built.”
Here's a straight story.
Mammoth Expansion Under Way At Jay Peak Resort - Project Economy News Story - WPTZ Plattsburgh