If approved by the court, the $4.9 million repair project may not start until next spring.
Friday, June 3, 2016, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
In court documents filed this week, the Federally appointed receiver of Jay Peak requested permission to enter into a $4.9 million contract with Garaventa-Doppelmayr for repairs and upgrades to the fifty year old Aerial Tramway. Receiver Michael Goldberg had previously questioned if the planned tramway repairs were necessary, suggesting a conflict of interest with the lift company.
When reached for comment by NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News last week, Vermont Passenger Tramway Division Director Stephen Monahan confirmed the lift will not be permitted to operate for summer or winter operations until repairs are made.
According to documentation provided by Doppelmayr, parts would be manufactured in Switzerland and shipped within 7 to 9 months. The eight week equipment installation is projected to start in April 2017, suggesting the lift will not operate during the 2016-17 ski season.
Pursuant to the proposed Doppelmayr agreement, Jay Peak would need court approval by June 30. $2.45 million of downpayment installments would be due by August 1, while a $1.225 million progress payment would be required on November 1. The balance of the $4.9 million payment would be required during shipment and installation, with a contractual stipulation that the tram would not be allowed to operate until Doppelmayr is paid in full. Jay Peak would be required to provide and fund additional labor, which would make the total cost of the project in excess of $5 million.
Items in the project include new electrical controls, a new coupling between the motor and gear box, new brakes, a new evac drive, new carriages, new hangers, and new track rope saddles. Updated engineering suggests the capacity of the lift will be cut from 60 to 45 passengers.
The lift was installed by Von Roll in 1966 and is one of only two aerial tramways in New England. The tramway is the only lift that serves Jay Peak's summit lodge and upper 400 vertical feet of terrain. New cabins were installed in 2000 using a Community Development Block Grant and a Vermont Economic Development Authority Revenue Bond, for which Jay Peak President Bill Stenger credited Governor Howard Dean. The SEC has charged Stenger and Ariel Quiros with allegedly running a fraudulent Ponzi scheme with EB-5 immigrant investor funds.