Jay Peak Resort
|Jay Peak Resort|
|Nearest city||Jay, Vermont|
|Vertical||2,153 feet (656 m)|
|Top elevation||3,858 feet (1,176 m)|
|Base elevation||1,843 feet (562 m)|
|Skiable area||385 acres (1.56 km2)|
|Longest run||4.828 kilometres (3.000 mi)|
|Lift system||8 (1 Aerial tramway, 5 chairs, 2 surface lifts)|
|Snowfall||29.6 feet (9.02 m)|
Jay Peak Resort is an American ski resort located on Jay Peak in the Green Mountains, between the Village of Jay and Montgomery Center, Vermont. Its vertical drop of 2,153 feet (656 m) is the eighth largest in New England and the fifth largest in Vermont. Although mostly located in the town of Jay, Vermont, part of the resort, including the summit of Jay Peak, the Jet Triple Chair area and much of the Big Jay backcountry descent, is located in the town of Westfield, Vermont. The resort is just 4 miles (6.5 km) south of the Canada–United States border, above what is the Province of Quebec. Jay Peak Resort was owned and operated by a group of investors headed by Bill Stenger.
The resort opened for skiing in 1957, and it now includes year-round activities. The mountain offers 78 trails served by nine lifts. It receives the most snowfall of any ski area in the Northeastern U.S. In 2008 the property was valued by the town of Jay at slightly over $12 million.
On April 14, 2016 Jay Peak and sister mountain, Burke (QBurke) were seized by government officials amid ethics complaints. The resort's liquidity issues were resolved. The resort remains operational.
The ski trails were carved into the mountain during the 1950s primarily by its first ski school director/general manager, Walter Foeger, an Austrian and former racer who had previously trained the Spanish Olympic ski team. He arrived in 1956. He developed a method of teaching parallel skiing that avoided first having to teach the student snowplow/stem turns. Instead, students were taught to change direction by means of a slight hop keeping the tips of the skis on the snow, and displacing the back of the skis sideways. He called his ski teaching method "Natur Teknik" (natural technique). The Jay Peak ski school offered a "learn to ski in a week" guarantee. The method was adopted by a number of other ski areas.
In 1955, the resort's first ski lift, a T-bar, was purchased. In January 1957, the resort opened for skiing. In 1968 Weyerhaeuser invested $300,000 in the predecessor organization, Jay Peak, Inc., and loaned it $2.2 million. A 48-room hotel was built in the mid-1970s. In 1978 Mont Saint-Sauveur International bought the resort.
In 2006, the resort employed 550 people in the winter, 100 in the summer. In 2007, the resort agreed to pay the State of Vermont $105,000 for violating stormwater rules in polluting a stream while building a new golf course. Despite a drop in skier visits statewide during the 2006–2007 season, Jay Peak saw a record year with skier visits up 7%. In 2007–2008, the resort reported a record 320,000 skiers for the winter. In 2008, it was the second biggest employer in the area.
In 2008, a group headed by Bill Stenger purchased the resort. Stenger's plan was to invest $100 million in capital improvements for the resort over the next few years. The resort company raised $250 million for improvements in 2009–2010, from 250 investors from 43 companies through the incentive of the federal EB-5 visa. Under this visa, every $500,000 invested in the U.S. that results in ten new jobs gains the investor permanent residence. A three-way swap was made with the State of Vermont in 2010. The State deeded 59.8 acres (24.2 ha) to the resort; the resort relinquished its lease to a 418 acres (169 ha) parcel of nearby undeveloped forest back to the state; and the resort sold 166 acres (67 ha) to the Green Mountain Club to ensure that the nearby 3.5 miles (5.6 km) of Long Trail would have a permanent buffer from ski-area development.
In 2010, $13 million worth of improvements were made including an indoor ice arena, a parking garage, an enclosed beginners lift, and a new RFID ticketing system. The old Hotel Jay was razed and replaced with a new 170-room one. The new facilities also include a spa, conference center and 33,000 square feet (3,066 m2) water park.
Also in 2010, Yankee magazine named Jay as the best ski resort in New England. In 2011, the resort agreed to pay an $80,000 fine to the United States Environmental Protection Agency for filling in 2 acres (0.81 ha) of wetlands to construct a golf course in 2004–2006, without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This was the same event for which the resort paid a fine to the state in 2007.
Management planned to expand the skiing to a new area to be known as the West Bowl. The expansion has been postponed several times, and it is unsure whether the resort has the support of the state to conduct such major construction in the forest.
On April 14, 2016 Jay Peak and sister mountain, Burke (QBurke) were seized by government officials amid ethics complaints. The SEC issued a press release entitled: "SEC Case Freezes Assets of Ski Resort Steeped in Fraudulent EB-5 Offerings". The resort's liquidity issues were resolved and the resort remained operational.
Trails and lifts
As of 2013, the mountain currently offers 78 trails covering nearly 385 acres (156 ha) of skiable terrain. About two dozen of these are off-piste tree-skiing areas, or Glades, covering approximately 100 acres (40 ha). Jay Peak is home to the "Face Chutes," arguably the most challenging and steepest marked terrain in the east with an average slope of 56.5 percent (almost 30°) and a maximum slope of 73.9 percent (37°). The "Face Chutes" consist of four skiable lines, the most challenging being the 3 lines to skier's right, all of which are extremely narrow and include a mandatory cliff drop.
Jay Peak is currently serviced by eight lifts: 1 aerial tramway, 3 quads, 1 triple, 1 double and 2 magic carpets. These lifts give the mountain an uphill capacity of approximately 12,000 skiers/hour. The oldest of these lifts, the 60-person aerial tramway, also known as the "tram", is the only one of its type in the state of Vermont. This tramway was originally installed in 1966 by Von Roll, and upgraded in 2000 with new cabins from Swoboda.
In 1985, the resort purchased the Jet Triple chair from Doppelmayr to replace a T-Bar. This was followed in 1987 with the purchase of the Bonaventure Quad which replaced a double chairlift. In 1999 the resort removed the Green Mountain Double chair, which had serviced the north side of the mountain for 30 years, and replaced it with the Green Mountain Flyer (dubbed the "Green Mountain Freezer" by skiers because of its notoriously cold ride due to the strong winds blowing on it), the mountain's first high-speed detachable chairlift. The other four lifts are shorter and lower on the mountain.
To gain access to the lifts, an RFID system scans a chip embedded in a plastic card which is typically held in the skier's pocket.
The summit is at an elevation of 3,858 feet (1,176 m), with a 2,015 foot (614 m) vertical drop. Jay Peak has the largest average annual snowfall (355 inches or 9 metres) of any ski area in Eastern North America. In 2007–2008, the resort reported 423 inches (1,074 cm) of snowfall. Between 2008 and 2014, the resort averaged 332.5 inches (27.71 ft; 8.45 m) of snowfall annually.
The resort has two base lodges and a small lodge at the summit where the aerial tram terminates. There are also hotel facilities and a large number of ski-in/ski-out condominium units on the lower part of the mountain.
There is a league-sized hockey rink, the Ice Haus, with room for 700 spectators. Next to it is a 220 space parking garage, where 80% of the slots are covered. In 2011, an indoor water park named The Pump House opened. It features the longest "lazy river" in Vermont.
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- Gresser, Joseph (October 22, 2008). After much anticipation, career center expansion opens. the Chronicle.
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- "NEK establishments listed in Yankee's best of NE awards". The Chronicle. Barton, Vermont. 3 February 2010. p. 7. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010.
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- "Jay Peak Owners Announce $500 Million Economic Revitalization Initiative" Archived 2012-11-30 at the Wayback Machine., Jay Peak Resort, October 1, 2012, accessed March 11, 2013
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- "Jay Peak 2012–2013 Trail Guide", Jay Peak Resort, accessed March 11, 2013
- Andy, Randonnee (2011-01-03). "Nor'Easter Backcountry: How Steep Is It?". Nor'Easter Backcountry.
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- "The Mountain | Jay Peak Resort". www.jaypeakresort.com.
- Levine, Arthur. "The Pump House - Indoor Water Park at Vermont's Jay Peak". Retrieved 11 July 2012.