State pulls plug on Jay Peak tram until $4.9 million repairs complete

in Jay Peak/News

JAY — The iconic aerial tram at Jay Peak has been ordered shut down by the state until the resort completes a list of repairs, estimated to cost $4.9 million.

In order to protect the public, the state says the tram must not be operated until inspectors are satisfied that the upgrades have been made, and approved by Vermont’s Passenger Tramway Division.

According to the order, issued by J. Stephen Monahan, director of the labor safety division, prior to the start of the 2015-2016 ski season, the department’s tramway inspectors expressed concern over the condition of the tram.

After communicating with Jay Peak and the tram’s manufacturer, it was agreed that if they completed certain work labeled a priority, the tram would be permitted to operate for the winter season, with the understanding that the remaining work be completed at the completion of the ski season.

Tramway inspectors say the resort had not taken any steps to begin the work needed before the tram is permitted to operate again.

Doppelmayr USA, the aerial tram’s manufacturer, is the only company capable of properly repairing the tram.

The lead-time for the equipment and supplies to make the required repairs and modification is estimated to take several months, with up to nine months needed to complete the work. It is estimated that the tram will remain closed until June of 2017.

Michael Goldberg, the court-appointed receiver for Jay Peak, asked in federal court this week to be allowed to immediately start the ordered repairs and upgrades. He says the resort will be able to cover the cost.

According to court documents filed by Goldberg, “Jay Peak Resort is prepared to satisfy its obligations under the contract including all financial and non-monetary obligations.”

The funds for this necessary and required expense will come from Jay Peak Resort operations, existing bank accounts, the sale of certain cell tower rights, settlement with third parties and potential other claims, and, if necessary, through borrowing of any remaining necessary funds.

Failure to comply with the order in completing the upgrades would subject the resort to “per day monetary penalties,” in addition to other legal actions.

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