In a Nov. 4 press release, Powder Ridge Mountain Park and Resort owner Sean Hayes announced that the company plans an early pay-off on a note, held by the town of Middlefield, on the property.
“We formally requested the payoff amount from the town last week and intend paying off the note in November,” said Hayes, who is also managing director of Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park. He first made the announcement during a ski equipment sale and swap at the facility last weekend.
According to the press release, First Selectman Jon Brayshaw said “I am thrilled for both the town and Sean Hayes to hear the news. There is no downside, Sean is moving ahead and the town gets to pay down its debt five years early.”
Brayshaw said he didn’t have exact figures at this time, but that the early payment would save “thousands in interest costs.”
Sale of the ski area to Brownstone was approved by Middlefield voters in an August 2012 referendum and the sale closed in September, 2012 for $700,000. The amount was divided into yearly payments as a loan from the town of Middlefield, with approximately $500,000 remaining.
The loan was an area of contention, when discussed at public meetings both before and after the sale. The issue also came up during Middlefield’s race for first selectman.
The pay-off announcement took place at Powder Ridge’s ski swap event, the weekend before the town’s Nov. 5 elections and was immediately incorporated into campaigns for town Republicans.
Middlefield finance board member Robert Yamartino said, “This will reduce the annual Powder Ridge expenses and help lower taxes...(and) we will have effectively retired the entire taxable portion of the debt, meaning when we go for permanent bonding it will be at the lower interest rate of non-taxable bonds, a further savings.”
Hayes said the resort will have a grand re-opening Nov. 29 with man-made snow and jumps features with the rest of the facility opening as the season progresses.
(Mark Dionne and Olivia L. Lawrence contributed to this story.)