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Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:31 AM

this is just such a weird story

Lure of Green Cards Brings Big Investments for Remote Resort in Vermont

JAY PEAK, Vt. — At this remote outpost by the Canadian border, Bill Stenger is overseeing what he says is the biggest economic development project that Vermont has ever seen.

He is expanding the Jay Peak ski resort, which he co-owns, but he is also building a biomedical research firm and a window manufacturing plant, extending the runway at the local airport and rehabilitating much of the nearby town of Newport, where he lives. There, he is developing the waterfront, adding the town’s first hotel and a conference center and rebuilding an entire downtown block. He is also creating what he says is the largest indoor mountain bike park in the world and a state-of-the art tennis center.

The price tag for the entire project, which Mr. Stenger says will create 10,000 direct and indirect jobs over several years, is $865 million.

But even more unusual than the size of the undertaking is the method by which Mr. Stenger and his business partner, Ariel Quiros, are financing it. They have tapped into a federal program that gives green cards, or permanent residency, to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in an American business — the reward for the investment is a chance at United States citizenship.

<snip>

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/31/us/31vermont.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

10,000 jobs? Newport is a town of 5,000 and it's the largest town within an hour's drive- unless you count Sherbrooke and that's in Canada. There's no way that the infrastructure- schools, roads, housing, etc exists to support 10,000 jobs.

We've seen weird economic projects here before. In the 1970s, Gerald Bull, later killed by the Mossad, established the Space Research Corporation with the help of the CIA and built the world''s largest cannon and exported armaments to countries all over the world.

There's also the question of who the hell is buying all these green cards and shortcuts to citizenship.

11 replies, 1771 views

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Reply this is just such a weird story (Original post)
cali Dec 2012 OP
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #1
cali Dec 2012 #2
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #4
djean111 Dec 2012 #3
cali Dec 2012 #5
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #8
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #6
CincyDem Dec 2012 #7
cali Dec 2012 #9
CincyDem Dec 2012 #10
TheMadMonk Dec 2012 #11

Response to cali (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:38 AM

1. The mobsters from other countries...

just what we need here.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:42 AM

2. exactly my thoughts

and it's actually happening. Stenger and Company have already raised hundreds of millions through this shady process and he has the support of Bernie, Leahy and our sole rep.

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Response to cali (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:54 AM

4. There are times

when liberalism runs right off the rails.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:48 AM

3. That is 1730 green cards.

I have a bit of trouble believing 1730 people will pay half a million each just to get a chance at a green card.
Taken at face value, 10,000 jobs will produce a lot of tax revenue, so will sales taxes, and maybe the guy has already worked with the town on this - if they have a planning commission, a county planning commission, or whatever.
Things would be a mess for a while, like those towns in Nebraska (I think) where people are flocking for jobs.
Be interesting to keep tabs on this, and hope that the town isn't on the hook for anything that will make it lose money.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:57 AM

5. Over 500 have already done it.

And the results are there to see- Jay raised their old hotel to the ground and built a new 170 room facility. They also built a huge indoor waterpark and a regulation size ice hockey rink and bought Burke Mountain, another ski resort. Stenger has inked deals with a South Korean biotech firm and a German high tech window manufacturer.

And you have to know this area to understand why so many of us locals just don't see how the area can possibly support these projects.

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Response to cali (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:06 AM

8. They are hoping you will soon need a second representive in Vermont.

I live in south FL. We were part of the mass migration into the state in the 80s and 90s. Schools with dozens pf portable classrooms became the norm. Property taxes had to go up to pay for infrastructure like water and sewerage etc etc etc. The rich never care about the quality of life for those citizens who will be most directly impacted.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:03 AM

6. I have no problem believing that whatsoever.

The problem is that they won't be the model citizens we would want. You're thinking of North Dakota not Nebraska. I can tell you that the influx of people from other states into FL caused problems that have endured for decades.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:06 AM

7. Probably a mix of domestic and international investors

I doubt this is fully funded by non-citizens buying their green cards.

I have to believe this guy has some deal structure that predicts a return on the investment over the next 10-20 years. Let's say that's 10% (a little low for a big real estate project but it's an easy number to work with).

The terms of the deal could look like this. International folks - you get 0% return, no matter what happens with the project. Domestic folks - you get all of the returns. If half the investors are non-citizens getting nothing, that makes the return for citizens 20% (double because they don't have to share it with the non-citizen half).

I'll bet the green card angle is more of a marketing edge to get domestic dollars than it is to sell green cards. That's the story of why domestic dollars will get even better returns. For every green card investor, whatever return the project generates will improve for the domestic investors - and that hope will bring in domestic dollars. At this point in the project it's all about selling the dream.

While the selling green cards idea is new, several countries have regulations regarding returns on domestic vs. international investors. I forget which country (Switzerland, I think) says that international investors are limited to 80% of the return provided to domestic investors.

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Response to CincyDem (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:12 AM

9. nope. you're wrong. it is almost entirely funded by

by the EB-5 program. Bill Stenger and his partner are putting up 90 million and the rest is through the EB-5 investments.

This is a local story and I'm quite familiar with it- beyond the news stories. And what makes you think that those from other countries get nothing on their investment?

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:24 AM

10. wow

That's a pretty surprising ratio. I don't doubt your knowledge but that does make it more of an interesting story.

The reason I don't think the non-citizens are getting a return on their investment - because they don't have to, they're getting the green card. And maybe it's not 0% but I have to believe they're coming in at a very discounted rate. Bill and his partner are surely pocketing a big majority of the deal's profits.

Wow. Thanks for the additional info.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:30 PM

11. Well there you go. Free market price of a Green Card. /nt

 

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