After a day of bidding, the winning bidder for Jay Peak remains a mystery

Jay Peak Timberline Cottages
The Timberline Cottages at Jay Peak Resort with Jay Peak and the resort tram to the rear on Friday, June 7, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

A winning bid was made for Jay Peak Resort following a one-day auction, but neither the identity of the bidder nor the amount he bid for the Northeast Kingdom property has been released. revealed.

The auction, which was closed to the public, began at 11 a.m. Wednesday and continued after 5 p.m.

“There will be more information available tomorrow,” Jay Peak chief executive Steven Wright wrote in an email to VTDigger around 7 p.m.

A “final sale hearing” is scheduled for Sept. 16 in federal court in Miami before Judge Darrin P. Gayles. This event will be open to the public.

The Northeast Kingdom station has been in receivership since April 2016, when federal and state regulators filed civil suits against its then-owner, Ariel Quiros, as well as the station’s chairman, Bill Stenger.

Michael Goldberg, the court-appointed receiver, announced last month that he had received a $58 million offer from Pacific Group Resorts Inc. of Park City, Utah.

The judge overseeing the receivership granted Goldberg’s request to solicit other interested parties who might outperform that offer and, if so, hold an auction to sell the resort to the highest bidder.

Wright said Tuesday he expected two or “maybe” three bidders to participate in Wednesday’s auction.

Golderbg could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

Quiros and Stenger have settled their cases with state and federal regulators who accused the pair of misusing more than $200 million of the $350 million they raised from foreign investors as part of the federal EB-5 visa program.

Quiros, as part of its settlement, agreed to divest $81 million in assets, including Jay Peak Resort.

Stenger and Quiros, along with an adviser, William Kelly, were all later indicted on federal criminal charges related to their failed plan to build a biomedical research center in Newport, known as AnC Bio. Vermont.

Despite securing more than $80 million from more than 160 investors, the project barely got off the ground before regulators shut it down due to allegations of investor fraud.

Quiros, Stenger and Kelly have all since reached plea agreements with prosecutors in that case and are now in federal prison.

The “final sale hearing” will take place in federal court in Miami, as that is where the federal action against Quiros and Stenger was filed. The case was brought to Florida because Quiros resided there at the time and many of his businesses were based there.

Jay Peak’s value had been pegged on Jay’s big city list at $121 million in 2020. Following an appeal from station officials, it was later reduced to $85 million as part of regulations.

The proceeds of the sale should be distributed on a “pro rata” basis to the defrauded investors.

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Carol N. Valencia