East Burke, VT, Sept. 28, 2000--Burke Mountain Academy has purchased the ski area at which its aspiring ski racers train, said academy Headmaster Kirk Dwyer today. Dwyer explained that the school had formed a company and closed on the deal to buy Burke Mountain Ski Resort on Monday.
The school purchased 748 acres of land, four lifts (including a Garaventa CTEC quad installed about 1989) and two lodges from the anonymous buyer who purchased the resort at auction on September 16. Dwyer said the academy, a private high school for aspiring alpine and nordic racers, formed Burke 2000 LLC to protect against the ski area being dismantled.
"We're committing to operating the training hill, using the (platter pull), for our students here and the youth of the area," said Dwyer. "We're also looking into the possibility of operating the entire area as well, but that needs to be a cooperative effort within the community."
Burke's sale for $310,000 to an anonymous bidder at a foreclosure auction shocked the small community for its low price and the fact the resort property was divided into parcels in an effort to raise the greatest return. When it went piecemeal, industry experts speculated the buyer of the slopes and lifts might turn around and either sell the parcel quickly at a profit or sell off its equipment.
Burke Mountain Academy's move was a welcome one in a community that had feared the small resort was doomed after the auction. "We're concerned about the long-term future of the ski area," said Dwyer. "And are definitely interested in selling it to qualified people who share our concern and can run it efficiently."