Ski area owned by gov’s family, other resorts get PPP loans

Associated Press
Published: 7/6/2020 6:40:34 PM

An investment group led by the family of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu benefited from a program created to preserve jobs at smaller businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Waterville Valley Holdings, which received between $350,000 and $1 million from the Paycheck Protection Program, is the principal investor in the Waterville Valley Resort, a ski area where Sununu served as CEO until just before he took office in 2017. He maintains an ownership interest in Sununu Holdings, which owns Waterville Valley Holdings.

The governor’s legal counsel, John Formella, noted that the resort is part of an industry that was shut down and severely impacted by the pandemic. And at least five other New Hampshire ski areas or the resort properties associated with them also got loans, according to data released Monday by the Small Business Administration.

Under the PPP, Congress created $659 billion in low-interest loans that will be forgiven if employers use the money on payroll, rent and similar expenses. With about $130 billion unclaimed as the application deadline closed June 30, Congress extended the program until Aug. 8. The public may never know the identity of more than 80% of the nearly 5 million beneficiaries to date because the administration has refused to release details on loans under $150,000. That secrecy spurred a lawsuit by news organizations including The Associated Press.

In New Hampshire, 23,829 businesses received more than $2.5 billion. But the administration only released the names of the 3,442 who received at least $150,000. The amount of the loans were listed as ranges, with 14 businesses in the state at the highest level of $5 million to $10 million. Among that group, six are related to health care: Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association, Huggins Hospital, the Mental Health Center of Greater Nashua, Riverbend Community Mental Health and Speare Memorial Hospital. The others include a cargo handling company, a propane company, an engineering firm, and a plumbing and heating supply distributor.

Among ski areas, the owners of Pat’s Peak and Ragged Mountain also got at least $350,000 each. McIntyre Ski Area got at least $150,000, as did Sunapee Resort Properties and Purity Springs Resort, which is home to King Pine ski area.


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