Wind: 9 mph
Phase 2 of Sugarbush Resort's $10 million base area expansion is complete; two new lodges will be unveiled on Friday, December 10, at a ribbon cutting ceremony slated for 9 a.m.
The redevelopment project includes upgrades to 2.5 miles of snowmaking pipe servicing Lincoln Peak as well as Mount Ellen.
The Farmhouse, the new skier services building, is 14,500 square
feet, and the new children's adventure center, The Schoolhouse, is
12,500 square feet and opened to skiers on opening day.
In addition, Phase 2 of the renovation project includes a new entrance plaza.
The Farmhouse provides skier services such as tickets, season passes, adult ski and ride, rentals, repairs, restrooms, a cafe and guest lockers. It will also be home base for Sugarbush's "First Timer to Life Timer" program - a ski industry program designed to recruit adults into skiing and riding with an approachable curriculum and an affordable price.
The Schoolhouse will house the children's programs (Micro, Mini and Sugar Bear programs) as well as summer camps and is expected to open to kids this weekend, according to Sugarbush marketing representative Candice White.
The project started last April after being delayed a year. Pizzagalli Construction company was awarded the contract to build the project. They were also the contractor for Phase 1 (Clay Brook residences, Timbers and the new Gate House Lodge).
Phase 2 of the Lincoln Peak project was 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 the program, investors provide $500,000 and receive permanent residency status for themselves and their families.
It allows individuals from outside the country to invest in a project that saves or creates jobs in the U.S. in exchange for resident status.
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.
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy visited the construction area this fall. Sugarbush president Win Smith thanked Leahy for being "instrumental" in helping the resort secure funds to complete Phase 2.
Smith will host a grand opening celebration for the new facilities that will officially open to the public on Friday, December 10.
The unveiling will begin with a press conference, brief ceremony and tour and continue with a reception immediately following.
Governor Douglas as well as other local and state officials are expected to attend.
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 area of the resort's beginner chair.