A few years ago Jay Peak’s advertising campaigns poked fun at casual skiers: “Black Diamonds, they sound expensive.”
In news announced today, Jay Peak partners Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros are undoubtedly hoping they’ve found a diamond in the rough. Long overlooked as the perpetual “best kept secret” in Vermont, Burke obviously caught their neighbors attention. While Burke doesn’t get the abundant snowfall that Jay does, its 240 annual inches and snow preserving temperatures have long made it a tree skiers paradise.
The consolidation will almost certainly provide for joint marketing efforts and pass reciprocity between the two areas. This should give many skiers reason to celebrate, particularly the 6 million Canadians that live beyond the border and comprise one of Jay’s primary markets. No plans or details have been released, but it is likely that this sale will provoke few complaints. Burke Mountain is located in a sleepy corner of Vermont, but the area is blessed with tremendous natural beauty. The mountain has room to expand terrain and plans in place for increasing the snowmaking capacity.
With the new and aggressive owners, it is likely that eastern skiers will be given more reasons to visit soon. Ski area operators elsewhere will surely be taking note as this purchase boldly rings “your move” to the rest of the industry.
4 comments on “Jay Peak Partners Acquire Burke Mountain”
I bet it provokes a few complaints from the regulars who would rather not see the powder frenzy that happens at Jay.
I think those regulars will be happier to have a living, breathing ski resort than the potential NELSAP fate awaiting independent, remote mountains like Burke. As a Jay passholder, I am excited about the potential opportunity to ski at Burke on my JPR season pass.
It is hard to imagine the mountain being successful on a long term basis with 60,000 skier visits a year. I don’t know much about Burke, but at Gore, local powderhounds like to see people at the mountain as they know it’s in their benefit to see it thrive. And they still have most days – weekdays – to themselves. I’d like to see a three day Jay ticket allow me to use one of those days at Burke.
Harv, I think the Jay ticket will allow Burke access flat. Jay typically is a more expensive ticket and it would make sense for them to drive traffic to the less crowded area. I don’t see why 60k visits wouldn’t create a sustainable area, but if they can get to 80k it should be quite profitable. Burke isn’t a lot of acreage, not a lot of lifts, they do need to make snow for the race program early season but its liabilities in terms of expectations (park/snowmaking/grooming) aren’t unreasonable right now. I saw an article on Boston.com that mentioned a hotel, which would be my first suggestion to push the area into the destination arena and expand the ticket sales through bed base.