Major Projects Team

Guiding clients on their critical path to success.

Strategically stacking legal talent to meet the unique challenges of your enterprise, DRM’s Major Projects Team provides coordinated services that keep your venture on track. By deploying uniquely tailored, inter-disciplinary teams adept at streamlining transactional, real estate, utility and other complex projects, the Major Projects Team leaves no stone unturned.

When both depth and breadth are required, DRM delivers.

Major projects arise in any business or venture. The stakes are high, and the job must be done properly, cost-effectively, and on time. Whether your project is a major transaction, a complex real estate development, or any other endeavor with important issues demanding high-quality attention, DRM has a deep bench of attorneys with the knowledge and capacity to handle any challenge that arises.

In northern New England, DRM is uniquely positioned to lead major projects to successful outcomes. Our recent experiences include: ski area redevelopment; solar, telecommunications, hydro and natural gas siting projects; and nuanced corporate and real estate transactions that require the innate ability to navigate the web of regulatory law. 

Our depth and breadth allow us to establish a specially tailored team for each major project that can adapt as circumstances require over the course of the project. Working with the client and its consultant team, we guide the project from beginning to end.

Recent Accomplishments

Our team has been active in the resort industry for the last several years. Here's a sampling of some of our key projects:

AIG | Mt. Mansfield Company

Downs Rachlin Martin represented Mt. Mansfield Company and its affiliates in the sale of the iconic Stowe Mountain Resort to Vail Resorts. Having long represented the AIG-affiliated entities at Stowe through a wide range of real estate, tax, litigation and other matters, DRM’s Major Projects Team was familiar with the challenges that lay ahead. DRM led the real estate, permitting and regulatory components of the transaction and rounded out its broad role by providing a complement of additional practice area counsel, including labor and employment, intellectual property and governmental affairs.

The sale of Stowe required a monumental effort to separate and transact the Mountain Operations of Stowe, which were conveyed to Vail, from the existing and ongoing real estate development activities retained by AIG-affiliate, Spruce Peak Realty. The effort involved dozens of cross-easements and other agreements, and it required the distillation and transfer of almost countless permits, operating licenses and other regulatory and third-party rights and approvals. The efforts of the DRM team led to a timely and efficient closing of one of the most high profile transactions in recent Vermont history.

SP Land Company | Killington Resort

The DRM Major Projects Team was brought in to assist SP Land Company with its new Killington Village Master Plan after permitting and court setbacks. This required environmental, subdivision, zoning and Act 250 approval of the multi-phase real estate development project, including relocation of the Resort’s day-skier parking, construction of the first phase of a new Killington Village, and master plan approval for future phases of the project.

Working with both SP Land and the Killington/Pico Ski Resort Partners, the Major Projects Team developed a multi-pronged strategy leading to issuance of all necessary permits after proceedings before local permitting agencies and the Vermont Environmental Court. DRM closed the deal by working with SP Land to resolve all outstanding disputes with the primary project opponents, leading to a mediated settlement and a series of transactions consummating the resolution and dismissing all court and permit proceedings.

Peak Resorts | Mt. Snow

For many years, DRM has represented Mt. Snow on a variety of litigation matters, from construction-defect litigation resulting in a settlement advantageous to Mt. Snow, to obtaining a multi-million dollar verdict in a suit brought on a nationally-known sports broadcasting company. DRM has also defended Mt. Snow against claims brought by a residential owners association and expeditiously obtained a declaratory affirmation of Mt. Snow’s rights to a necessary snowmaking pond.

The Major Projects team continues this engagement with Mt. Snow’s newest endeavor: the Carinthia Base project. Working with Mt. Snow and its consultant team, the Team was able to secure necessary Act 250 and other permits for the first phase of Mr. Snow’s long-term master plan, including a new base lodge, residential buildings and parking at the Carinthia Base. This effort required resolving Environmental Court litigation and working with local citizens and government agencies.

Burke Mountain Academy

DRM has a long-standing history with the Burke Mountain ski area handling real estate transactions, permitting hurdles and negotiations with the state of Vermont since the 1970’s. Additionally, DRM was transaction counsel for the acquisition of the ski area by Burke Mountain Academy. This work involved aiding in the formation of ownership and management entities, the assignment of the state lease and even more permitting work. The legacy of DRM’s continued relationship with Burke Mountain continues today.

Currently, the Major Projects team is heavily involved in the multiple facets of making Burke Mountain a US Ski and Snowboard regional development site – the first in the Northeast. At present, DRM is negotiating several agreements that will strengthen the BMA Alpine and Nordic ski program and provide significant benefit to the ski area and the greater community. Additionally, DRM advised on the formation of Burke Racing Inc., a non-profit, tax-exempt supporting organization of BMA. DRM also assisted Burke Racing’s successful grant application to the Northern Borders Regional Commission for the purchase of a new lift, further enhancing the BMA ski program and the ski area’s infrastructure.

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