Originally published July 10, 2013.
The state’s northernmost city, better known for its economic struggles than its leisurely pursuits, has been generating mostly positive news of late. Chief promoter of this land of plenty is Bill Stenger, president and CEO of Jay Peak Resort. He’s been utilizing the federal EB-5 program — which gives green cards to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in economically depressed rural regions across the U.S. — to attract $600 million of development projects to the area.
“Today, we’re looking at a community that has a lot of qualities to it, a lot of business opportunity,” says Stenger. “With patient capital and a diverse range of jobs, we’re going to really thrive.”
Stenger’s indoor water park is up and running, but Newport is waiting on Walmart; AnC Bio, a South Korean company that manufactures artificial human organs; a German window manufacturer; a hotel and conference center; and an expanded airport. Those developments are expected to create more than 5,000 jobs, from high-level tech positions to dishwasher and construction gigs. In a city with fewer than 5,000 residents, that’s a game changer. Is Newport ready to be a destination? We packed our bags and drove north to find out.