Judge OKs Utah-based bid to buy Jay Peak

  • Skiers and snowboarders prepare to take a run at Jay Peak in Jay, Vt. The Northeast Kingdom ski area plans to stay open into May. Marty Basch photograph

  • Jay Peak looms over much of the northern section of the Missisquoi Rail Trail in Vermont. (Tim Jones/EasternSlopes.com photo)

  • FILE - This May 22, 2019, file photo shows a portion of the Jay Peak Ski Resort in Jay, Vt. Foreigners who invested in the Jay Peak and Burke Mountain ski area developments that are now linked to alleged fraud say the federal government is declining to act on their petitions for U.S. residency. A federal lawsuit filed in Florida on Friday, Nov. 13, accuses the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of leaving their residency petitions in limbo. The agency declined comment. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring, File) Wilson Ring

Published: 9/21/2022 5:47:43 PM
Modified: 9/21/2022 5:47:04 PM

A federal judge has approved a Utah-based resort company’s $76 million bid to buy Jay Peak Resort, the Vermont ski area that was at the center of a financial scandal involving its former owner and president.

Pacific Group Resorts, which owns five ski areas, last week won the auction to buy Jay Peak. A federal judge in Miami approved the bid on Friday.

Former Jay Peak owner Ariel Quiros, former president William Stenger and an adviser to Quiros were sentenced this spring to federal prison for their roles in a failed plan to build a biotechnology plant using tens of millions of dollars in foreign investors’ money raised through a special visa program.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the state of Vermont also accused Quiros and Stenger in 2016 of taking part in a “massive eight-year fraudulent scheme” that involved misusing more than $200 million of about $400 million raised from foreign investors for various ski area developments through the same EB-5 visa program. They settled civil charges with the SEC, with Quiros surrendering more than $80 million in assets, including Jay Peak and Burke Mountain ski resorts.

Pacific Groups Resorts’ other ski areas include Ragged Mountain Resort in New Hampshire and Powderhorn Mountain Resort in Colorado, as well as properties in British Columbia, Virginia and Maryland.

The company had originally offered to buy Jay Peak for $58 million but the court appointed receiver wanted to be able to hold an auction if there were other qualified bids.

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