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Ragged Mountain Resort Approved for EB-5 Investment

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has designated the New Hampshire EB-5 Regional Center, LLC as an approved regional center under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program for the towns of Andover, Hill, Danbury, Wilmot, New London, Sutton and Newbury. This designation will enable the New Hampshire EB-5 Regional Center to solicit investments in approved Capital Investment Projects by non-U.S. citizens at a minimum of $500,000 each, which investment must be used to spur job creation.

Along with the regional center designation, USCIS designated the Pacific Group’s Ragged Mountain Resort Project in Danbury, New Hampshire, as an approved Capital Investment Project.  Ragged Mountain Resort is expected to raise at least $35 million in new investment through the EB-5 program to renovate, expand, develop and operate the ski resort, creating at least 700 new jobs. 

“We have one of the fastest growing economies in the United States and our workforce ranks among the best educated in the nation, which makes New Hampshire attractive to investors. This designation creates even more opportunities to invest in New Hampshire and its people. It will help expand and strengthen one of our great skiing destinations, Ragged Mountain Resort, and help create jobs,” Gov. John Lynch said.

“We are confident that once prospective immigrant investors learn about Ragged Mountain Resort and its approved Capital Investment Project, they will be excited about the opportunity,” added David Strong, President of the New Hampshire EB-5 Regional Center and Manager of the Pacific Group. “Our experienced leadership and development team, including the Regional Center’s founder, the Pacific Group, make Ragged Mountain a project that prospective EB-5 investors can trust to provide the jobs and return they expect.”
The Pacific Group has been responsible for billions of dollars in commercial real estate development and construction of resort properties. Its management, affiliates and partners have constructed more than 1,000 projects throughout North America, including Empire Pass at Deer Valley, Utah; Copper Mountain Village, Colorado; Wolf Creek Ranch, Utah; Village at Squaw Creek, Lake Tahoe, CA; Village at Mammoth, CA; and Ritz Carlton North Shore, Vancouver, Canada.

George Bald, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, said, “We congratulate the New Hampshire EB-5 Regional Center and the Pacific Group on their efforts, which have led to obtaining this important designation. Once the investment is secured, Ragged Mountain should be on its way to becoming one of the premier four-season resorts in the East.” Michael Bergeron of the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development provided guidance and assistance throughout the application process.

EB-5: Investment + Immigration
The EB-5 program was created by Congress in 1990 as a way to attract foreign entrepreneurs to invest in U.S. businesses in exchange for immigrant visas. By investing either $500,000 or $1,000,000 in a new or troubled business and by creating a minimum of 10 jobs for U.S. workers, an alien investor can obtain green cards for himself and his immediate family. 10,000 immigrant visas are allocated through the EB-5 program annually, but these have been greatly underutilized in the past. The category has been growing in popularity.  In 2008 just 1,443 visas were obtained, which surged to 4,218 visas obtained in 2009, but the number decreased in 2010 to 1,885. In both 2009 and 2010, the greatest numbers of EB-5 visas were issued to investors from China, South Korea, Great Britain/Northern Ireland and Taiwan.

There are two ways for an alien investor to obtain lawful permanent resident status under the EB-5 category: through the Basic Program or the Regional Center Pilot Program.
While the Basic Program requires investment in a commercial enterprise located anywhere within the U.S., the Regional Center Program requires investment in a regional-center-affiliated, new commercial enterprise or a troubled business within a designated regional center. (Regional Centers are USCIS-designated geographical locations defined as economic units, public or private, involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment.) The Basic Program requires that the aliens’ investment directly create 10 new full-time jobs, whereas this requirement in Regional Center Program may be satisfied by indirectly created job opportunities to the local job market due to the investment. Most of the EB-5 visas in the past year were issued through Regional Center Programs, such as the New Hampshire EB-5 Regional Center and the Ragged Mountain Resort Project.

For more information on the New Hampshire EB-5 Regional Center, visit www.NewHampshireRegionalCenter.com or call 603-768-5700. For more on creative funding opportunities and other business assistance, contact the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development at 603-271-2591.

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