Burke Mountain Loses Backing

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East Burke, VT, May 31--After two disappointing seasons, the Northern Star Ski Corp. has said it must sell Burke Mountain Resort because its bank, B&I Lending, LLC of Atlanta, GA, pulled out of a $1 million loan. "Our cash flow fell apart in March," said Burke President Andy Holmes, "and it's left us in a difficult position.

Though B&I Lending loaned the resort money at the same time last year because of cash-flow trouble, this year it decided not to take the risk and that, says Holmes, "forced our hand." Northern Star took over ownership of Burke in December of 1995 and invested about $11 million into infrastructure and marketing efforts, seeing increasing skier visits over the first three winters until poor snow seasons helped reverse the trend.

Since the ski area's closing day of March 27, layoffs had been gradual until all employees, except for condominium maintenance personnel, were out of jobs. Holmes said the resort corporation is open to all investment possibilities, but in reality it will probably be put up for sale through an as-yet unnamed broker. Holmes confirmed the resort has been unable to pay state taxes since February and owes condominium owners some rental income.