The Hermitage Club Announces Continued Revitalization of Local Economy with Additional Commercial Real Estate Purchases and Rehabilitation in Wilmington and Dover, VT

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The $94 million Hermitage Club infrastructure development in southern Vermont’s Deerfield Valley attracts outside investors to the region devastated by Hurricane Irene in 2011

Hermitage Club Base Lodge

The scope of the Hermitage Club development also attracted out of state investors to the area who saw the vision that Jim Barnes, president and founder of the Hermitage Club would bring to the community.

The Hermitage Club announced today a direct spin-off benefit of their $94 million infrastructure development in the southern Vermont towns of Wilmington and Dover. Dale Ribaudo, senior vice president of the club said, “To accommodate additional guests, the Hermitage Club purchased and renovated several commercial properties: the Inn at Sawmill Farm, the Nordic Hills Lodge, and the Horizon Inn,” Ribaudo stated, “The scope of the Hermitage Club development also attracted out of state investors to the area who saw the vision that Jim Barnes, president and founder of the Hermitage Club would bring to the community.”

Upon learning of the major investment that the Hermitage Club was making in the communities of Wilmington and Dover VT, Lorista Holdings LLC, a Connecticut based investment group, became interested in downtown Wilmington, which had been devastated by Hurricane Irene and long-time economic downturn. Lorista sought input from residents and town officials to guide them in the development of their projects. Lorista was selected as one of the recipients of the Wilmington Fund's downtown revitalization grant program and was also named as a recipient of the State of Vermont Downtown and Village Center Tax Credit program. Lorista's first project, the renovation of the historic Vermont House Inn, was completed and re-opened in December 2014. Lorista also purchased the Wilmington Home Center / Professional Building, and the former Ponchos Wreck. All three commercial properties were long standing Wilmington businesses prior to hurricane Irene.

Nicholas Lombardi, Managing Member of Lorista Holdings, stated that "understanding Jim's vision for the Hermitage Club and the Deerfield Valley helped us identify Wilmington as a viable opportunity for revitalization. Wilmington has embraced the economic resurgence that was spearheaded by the Hermitage Club. The support of Wilmington's residents, business owners, town officials, and local non-profit organizations like Wilmington Works, is a unique and beneficial combination. Working together, we believe that Wilmington will continue to grow as a place for residents and visitors to enjoy for many years to come."

Prior to the hurricane, the towns of Wilmington and Dover were economically depressed – Wilmington saw a 16% population decrease in population from 2000- 2010, primarily due to lack of jobs, and Dover’s experiences were similar. According to the ‘Summary of the Strategic Economic Development Plan for Dover and Wilmington, Vermont’ developed by the Tri Town Economic Development Committee in December 2009 and assisted by Mullin Associates Inc., “the towns are in an economic climate of gradual decline that will only continue if they do nothing. They are able to survive recessions and times of severe distress but are unable to regain that which they have lost and are not growing in new areas. The decline is slow and subtle, but constant. They have no choice but to change if they wish to remain vibrant and maintain their quality of life.” Then Hurricane Irene hit – 48 out of 57 buildings were flooded in the Wilmington’s historic business district.

Enter the Hermitage Club - five years after the release of the ‘Strategic Economic Development Plan for Dover and Wilmington’ the Hermitage Club has helped the Deerfield Valley meet many of the recommendations of this extensive study.

In the spring of 2014, the Deerfield Valley Chamber of Commerce released the Deerfield Valley Economic and Demographic Prospectus - This report was designed to “help prospective entrepreneurs and investors assess the current economic trends in the region.” This report noted, “there is a new sense of optimism pulsing throughout the community,” and referenced the extensive contribution of the Hermitage Club. The summary stated, “Unlike historic real estate expansions, these investments intended to build infrastructure for long term, sustained growth in the region.”

About The Hermitage Club
The Hermitage Club at Haystack Mountain is a 1,400-acre enclave in the Deerfield Valley of Southern Vermont. The Club, located in the towns of West Dover and Wilmington, VT, provides members with four seasons of private mountain activities, luxury accommodations and a worry free, safe environment for families of all generations. The exclusive private club community celebrates the outdoors and family fun, with activities ranging from alpine skiing and boarding to cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The Club has also recently added a variety of summer water and mountain adventure activities including hiking, swimming and kayaking in addition to golfing at its 18-hole championship golf course. The Club opened a new 80,000 square foot Clubhouse in December 2014. The facility includes multiple dining options, a full fitness area, spa, children’s center, bowling alley, 45-seat movie theatre, GoPro editing suites and a retail store. The new clubhouse, combined with the residential construction taking place at The Club, qualifies as the largest real estate construction project in southern Vermont and has attracted the interest of those interested in Vermont ski resort real estate. The Hermitage Club is the fastest growing company in Vermont and was recently named to Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in the United States.

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