Top Terminal of the Mid-Burke Express. Photo Courtesy of Burke Mountain

Burke Mountain Expected to Sell at Auction This Year

The court appointed receiver in his recently published 10th status report disclosed that the sale of Burke Mountain is nearing a critical juncture with a “Stalking Horse” bid in hand, and he intends to file a motion with the court to start the process of auctioning the resort very similar to how Jay Peak was sold.  The following came from that report which is available at www.JayPeakReceivership.com and constitutes all the public information available at this time regarding the sale.

“The Receiver is continuing to attempt to sell the resort. The Receiver has received an initial offer, and expects to file a motion with the Court in the next month recommending an identical sales process to the Jay Peak sale – a “stalking horse” bid, followed by an auction and a subsequent motion asking the Court to approve a final sale. The Receiver hopes to conclude the Burke Mountain sale process by the end of 2023, and to subsequently propose a distribution of the sale proceeds to defrauded Burke Mountain EB-5 investors similar to the two Jay Peak distributions.”

Releasing this information prior to the actual filing is done in order to help better publicize the sale of the resort so as to attract more potential bidders.  The resort will be sold at auction to whomever the highest qualified bidder is.  We are aware of the existence of some form of contractual obligation with Burke Mountain Academy which may complicate the sale of the mountain and may require their approval or participation.

The process of selling Burke Mountain started some time ago following the sale of Jay Peak last year, but unlike what occurred with Jay Peak the first part of the process happened without any fanfare and fully outside of the public’s eye.  We will know who the initial bidder is and what the bid is when the motion is filed with the court, however other qualified bidders would only be disclosed by the parties themselves should they so choose.

They are at an advanced stage of this process now with one party willing to become the stalking horse bidder, which provides that party with both advantages an disadvantages, and it sets a floor that all interested parties must bid above in order to continue on in the process.  While the receiver is expected to file with the court a motion to approve the final sale within a month, the likely outcome will be a live auction with multiple parties who subsequently place bids above the initial qualifying offer.  This is likely to occur as early as one month after the court approves the motion based on the experience with Jay Peak.  While the receiver expects the sale to be completed by the end of 2023, the buyer should be known well before the start of the next ski season and shortly after the completion of the auction.

The status report also contains other information related to Burke, Jay Peak, and other properties caught up in the EB-5 scandal which rocked the Northeast ski industry 7 years earlier.  There is a notable discussion of the severity of the damage that occurred from the February arctic blast that froze water pipes and flooded the hotel which caused enormous damage and a loss of business that is still impacting their operations.  Despite this and also poor weather for much of the ski season, the resort experienced their best visitation since the world changed in 2020, likely thanks in part to the return of Canadian traffic, and a broad surge of interest in skiing and riding across much of the Northeast last winter.  We believe this unexpected surge was the result of a return to normalcy on top of the waning demand spike that brought many new skiers and riders to the slopes in the 2020/2021 season.  Essentially more people were now willing and able to travel, recreate, and socialize in larger groups.

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EDITORS NOTE: We here at Skiology love Burke as well as the surrounding community, and we hope that the eventual new owners will respect both their racing legacy and the uniqueness of the NEK.  Burke Mountain is a special place, and in the right hands they can both grow and become more prosperous while maintaining its character.