Funding issues have resulted in delays and threats.
Monday, March 21, 2016, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
With the winter season coming to a close, the $50 million Q Burke Hotel remains idle with an uncertain future.
In a period of three days, the Caledonian Record, Burlington Free Press, and VTDigger have published lengthy pieces on the embattled EB-5 project.
The 116-unit hotel was originally scheduled to open on December 11, 2015. While construction appears to be largely completed, the general contractor, PeakCM, reportedly will not release the Certificate of Occupancy until it is paid the $5.5 million it claims it is owed. According to VTDigger, if PeakCM is not paid this week, it will place a lien on the property.
Further complicating the issue, PeakCM and Q Burke are alleging the State of Vermont will not release EB-5 funds held in escrow. Peak Resorts is also awaiting the release of EB-5 funds held in escrow for its Mount Snow project. In the case of Q Burke, a state official is claiming over a million dollars of EB-5 funds cannot be released due to the nature of the expenses.
The Q Burke Hotel is now rumored to be aiming for a November 2016 opening day, although there are reports suggesting that date is at risk as well.
In 2007, the Vermont EB-5 Regional Center was rechartered. Under the EB-5 program, a foreigner can invest $1 million in an approved United States business (which must then create jobs), in exchange for a green card. With the Northeast Kingdom labeled a Targeted Employment Area, the minimum investment is cut in half to $500,000, making participating rural businesses such as Jay Peak more attractive.
The current ownership group has been in place at Jay Peak since 2008. Its first large EB-5 funded project, the Tram Haus Lodge, opened in December of 2009. A $27 million indoor water park opened two years later. Burke Mountain was acquired in 2012 and rebranded as Q Burke in 2013.
Ground was broken for the Q Burke Hotel in June 2014. VTDigger reports $120 million in EB-5 contributions is needed for Q Burke.