As an avid Burkie, I'm saddened by this latest news, but not at all surpised. I think it would be a shame to see Burke have to close, but I don't want to see it be bought up by one of the mcski corporations...following is an article off the Caledonian-Record Website. Anyone have any ideas on how to save Burke????!!! Burke Mountain For Sale Ski Area Mired in Money Woes By GAIL P. MONTANY and TODD WELLINGTON Staff Writers While Burke Mountain scrambles to reorganize its finances in the wake of two consecutive disappointing ski seasons, many now say they are fearful for the ski area's survival -- and the economic survival of the local community. A peek beneath the protective shroud of secrecy that normally surrounds the mountain's finances reveals a business in true dire straits. President Andy Holmes confirmed Thursday that the ski area is for sale, the mountain is completely shut down with virtually everyone except condominium maintenance staff laid off, and that Northern Star Ski Corp., which owns the mountain, was turned down for a $1 million loan from the same financial institution that provided $4 million last year with a federal guarantee. The latter came just a few weeks ago when B&I Lending, LLC, of Atlanta, Ga., pulled out of the $1 million loan that would have shored up the flagging ski area. Rhonda Shippee, director of community and business programs for Rural Development in Montpelier, said B&I withdrew the loan guarantee request due to "negative financial developments" at the mountain. Holmes, who says he has not received any salary since the end of March, indicated Northern Star principals are trying to reach "a reasonable solution in negotiations" with B&I Lending. Addressing concerns in the community that Northern Star will file bankruptcy, Holmes said: "There's no plan to do so at this time, but it's always an option." Other problems have surfaced, including an inability to pay state taxes since February. Records in the town of Burke indicate the state Department of Taxes has recently placed liens on several of the various companies under which the mountain operates. On April 27, the tax department placed a $9,000 meals and rooms tax lien against NS Entertainment Inc. Another meals and rooms tax lien of $11,000 was placed against Northern Star Management Corp. Northern Star Ski Corp. finds itself with a $24,000 sales and use tax lien. Problems In Condominiums In addition, some condominium owners who use Northern Star Management Corp. to handle the rentals of their units have not received their share of the rent money since February. Jeanne Aspero of Northborough, Mass., who with her husband, Ron, owns two condominiums on the mountain, said Thursday the last correspondence from Northern Star was on March 23, when a letter came apologizing for lack of rent payment. "We're not very happy," said Aspero, noting that the same thing had happened last year. She said they eventually did get paid for the rentals, with a promise it would never happen again. "It's frustrating; I've been calling and calling," she said. "They're holding thousands of dollars of my money, and I can't get information from them regarding my own units." Aspero said she has contacted the Vermont Real Estate Commission and the Attorney General's Office, but has been told because the contract with Burke constitutes a business partnership, she must hire her own lawyer. The Asperos, who have owned property at Burke since 1985 and have seen several bankruptcies and changes in ownership at the mountain, say they now have their two condos and a piece of land on the market. "I've had enough," she said. "We're dumping everything." Holmes says, though, that condominiums in the Bear Path, Powderhorn and Burkeside units, which use the mountain's maintenance services, are indeed being actively serviced. "When it comes to those condominiums, all services are continuing," he said. "We're still doing security, putting out the trash, and water and sewer are still being maintained." But several, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said while the infrastructure is indeed being maintained, Centrex, the mountain's telephone system, has stopped allowing customers to make long-distance calls. For the past two weeks, when residents try to dial a long-distance call, they hear a recording telling them the access code is not available. Bad Ski Season Blamed The resort's deepening financial troubles come following a 1999-2000 ski season that Holmes described as "absolutely terrible." The season began with unseasonably warm November-December temperatures that rendered Burke's new high-tech snow-making system useless, and ended quietly as skiers stayed away in droves during the final month of the season. Oddly enough, said Holmes, the reason for the heavy tax bill was that the resort actually enjoyed a very good February. But the disastrous March put an end to any hopes of salvaging the season. "We had a terrible March," he said. It was the second year of tough luck weather-wise for Burke. Following the 1998-1999 ski season, which was plagued with warm weather and rain, the resort canceled its summer programs and operated with a skeleton crew. "I think in the next week or two things will come to a head one way or another," Holmes said Thursday. "This is not the kind of thing that can drag on forever; there has to be a conclusion." Holmes, who would not provide specifics about who, if anyone, has shown an interest in purchasing or investing in the mountain, added: "We're for sale if someone would like to buy the place. We'd like to actively pursue anybody who would like to purchase it." He concluded, "We're still here. It would be awfully easy to shut the door and walk away, but we're not going to do that."