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After postponing the project last spring, Sugarbush has announced plans to build two new lodges at the base of Lincoln Peak.

The two buildings are part of Phase 2 of a Lincoln Peak renovation project. A new children's adventure center will be 12,500 square feet and a new skier services building will be 14,500 square feet. In addition to the lodges, the resort will construct a new entrance plaza.

Micro, Mini and Sugar Bear programs as well as some summer camps will be located in the adventure center and the other lodge will provide skier services such as tickets and season passes, guest lockers, adult ski and ride, rentals and repairs, public restrooms, and a cafe.

BREAK GROUND

The 7.5 million dollar project will be undertaken by Pizzagalli Construction Company, the company that constructed Phase 1 of the Lincoln Peak project. That phase included the Clay Brook residences, Timbers Restaurant and the new Gate House Lodge, completed in December 2006.

The new lodges will be ready for the 2010-2011 ski season, with completion expected by next November. Sugarbush will break ground on the project in mid-April. The "sprung" buildings that are currently housing skier services and rentals will be disassembled in the coming days.

GREEN CARD PROGRAM

Phase 2 of the Lincoln Peak project is funded in part through a federal and state EB-5 visa program whereby foreign investors provide funds for projects in exchange for permanent residency (green card) status. Through this program, investors provide $500,000 and receive permanent residency status for themselves and their families.

The program allows individuals from outside the country to invest in projects that either save or create jobs in the United States, in exchange for permanent residency status. The state spent years working to have Vermont designate a regional EB-5 center so that businesses would have access to capital in order to grow the local economy.

STATE AND FEDERAL CRITERIA

Such projects must meet state and federal criteria and the Sugarbush project (the EB-5 Sugarbush Fund LP) meets the approval of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and is endorsed by the state of Vermont. The names and identification of investors is not immediately available on the website explaining the program (http://economicdevelopment.vermont.gov/Programs/EB5/tabid/389/Default.aspx) and company spokesperson JJ Toland said it was his understanding that investors' identities were private. James Candido, economic development specialist for the Vermont Department of Economic Development, which oversees the EB-5 program in Vermont, was not available by press time for further details about investors and the program.

NEXT CHAPTER

"We're excited to begin this next chapter in Sugarbush's history," said resort owner and president Win Smith.

"We knew from the start that we needed to take a measured and deliberate approach with each stage, and the timing is ideal for Phase 2. After a successful winter, we feel confident about proceeding at this time. We are also delighted to be able to create jobs, which will benefit the local economy," he added.

There is a final part of Sugarbush's plans for redeveloping Lincoln Peak, another series of residences to be built to the north of the base of the resort's beginner chair.


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