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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."