EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 2 Issue 2 | Page 44

The Public-Private by Courtney Creedon Jay Peak Resort is nestled in the Green Mountains of Vermont, and its sprawling offerings of ski runs, golf, a waterpark and lodging have become a symbol of EB-5 in rural Vermont. Founded in the 1950s, the resort was purchased by Bill Stenger and others in 2008 and revitalized by EB-5 investments. It is a story not unlike other EB-5 narratives—enterprising developer fuels a project with EB-5 capital, giving investors the opportunity for U.S. green cards, and allowing a project to come to fruition that might otherwise never have seen the light of day. What makes Jay Peak unique, however, is not just that it claims the highest average snowfall of any ski area in the Northeast, but that it works with the state of Vermont to accept EB-5 investments. Perhaps the original EB-5 public-private partnership, the Vermont EB-5 Regional Center is a state -owned and -operated regional center controlled by Vermont’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Because of Vermont’s rural situation and associated struggles with unemployment, the state seems almost designed for EB-5. All of the Regional 42 Center’s projects throughout the state are TEA-designated, and the program has won over high-level champions at the local, state, and federal level. Vermont’s Senator Leahy has been an extremely vocal advocate for the program and has even proposed legislation to protect and strengthen it. E B 5 I n v esto rs M ag a z i n e