Jay Peak Resort joins other resorts in the area in making improvements to their base lodge and adding a new hotel.
By Evan Johnson
JAY, VT — Jay Peak Resort opened its 85-room Stateside Hotel and base lodge on Friday, Dec. 20. The $25 million project is the third hotel the resort has opened in the past four years. It is one of several improvement projects at the resort totaling $43 million for the year.
Speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony, Bill Stenger, president and co-owner, said the 80,000-square-foot hotel was a much-needed addition.
“We built this new hotel and base lodge for two reasons,” he said. “First, it was time for the old Stateside Chalet to go. It stunk, literally, and wasn’t the most pleasant place to enjoy a meal or gather for après skiing. But, more importantly, the hotel part of this facility is aimed at bringing people back into our sport who may have been priced out. Skiers and riders will be able to lodge here with unlimited access to the lifts for less than the cost of what some resorts are charging for a lift ticket.”
The hotel employs 80 to 100 employees, many of which reside in surrounding Orleans, Franklin, Essex and Caledonia counties. The facility features a base lodge and eatery, a restaurant with two pubs, a retail store for skiers and a ski and snowboard rental facility.
The hotel was designed on a computer, partially constructed in a warehouse and shipped in pieces to the resort where it was assembled on-site.
“This is the state-of-the-art today,” said JJ Toland, communications director. “Designing the facility in this manner allowed the construction to be completed rapidly. It was really amazing to watch.”
The hotel was sold out opening night and operated at 93 percent capacity throughout the first weekend, Toland said.
Starting this spring, the resort will begin construction of a 15,000-square-foot entertainment facility with a cinema draft house, climbing gym and virtual reality entertainment center. The facility will be stick-built onsite and is expected to be completed by next winter.
“The nearest movie theater is about 30 miles away,” Toland explained. “With this center going in, it brings in more for not only our guests, but also people in the local area.”
The announcement of the opening of the Stateside Hotel in December was accompanied with updates on other projects in the Northeast Kingdom Economic Development Initiative (N-KEDI), the $500-million, multi-year project that is believed to be the largest construction projects in the state’s history. One announced change is the shift in the Newport Airport project, which has been upgraded from an assembly plant to a full manufacturing facility for airplanes.
Ariel Quiros, co-owner of Jay Peak and a partner with N-KEDI, reported that a new commercial enterprise, Flight Design Americas, LLC., has been established and will be based at the Newport Airport. Quiros and Stenger had originally intended for the airport to be solely an assembly plant for aircraft. With this new company, Quiros said Flight Design Americas has secured the exclusive production, assembly and distribution rights for North, South and Central America for the Flight Design four-seat C4 aircraft.