Last week, the owners of Jay Peak Resort finalized a deal to purchase Burke Mountain Resort. The two ski areas are located a 45-minute drive from each other in a rural area of Vermont known as the Northeast Kingdom.
“We feel there’s terrific synergy between Jay and Burke,” says Bill Stenger, Jay’s president and co-owner. “Both areas have a lot of authentic flavor and great community support.”
Reaction to the sale was similar at Burke, which was owned by the Ginn Company (See “Same As it Ever Was” from the Winter 2010 issue). “The entire team here is really excited,” says general manager Tim McGuire. “The new ownership has such a strong influence in this area and such a strong background. We hope they’ll bring some of that to Burke going forward.”
Management teams from both resorts met yesterday, and an announcement regarding pricing and options for season pass, day tickets, and multi-day packages is expected within the next 10 days. “We’re reaching out to passholders at both mountains that have already purchased passes, and for an attractive price point they can upgrade,” Stenger said. What is tentatively being called the Kingdom Pass will offer access to both mountains, or customers can buy a pass restricted to a one resort.
Stenger says recent snowmaking improvements at Burke, initiated by the Ginn Company, will be blowing out loud powder by winter. Development to increase the smaller resort’s bed base could move forward by this time next year. “It’s difficult for us to be successful when we’re three hours from Boston without warm beds to offer our customers,” McGuire says. And of course, there’s Burke’s famed mountain biking, at the resort and in cooperation with the Kingdom Trails Association. “We see mountain biking at Burke as one of the cornerstones for the future,” Stenger says. “And we think Jay can learn from them on that.” —Olivia Dwyer