State Officials, Hedge Fund Address Public Concerns Around Mount Sunapee Lease

Aug 23, 2017

Protestors outside an informational meeting Tuesday night at Mount Sunapee Ski Resort.
Credit Britta Greene / NHPR

About 100 people packed into the lodge at Mount Sunapee Ski Resort Tuesday night for an information session about Och-Ziff, the controversial hedge fund that's newly involved in the resort’s ownership.

The ski area at Mount Sunapee sits within the state park, but is privately run under a lease agreement with the state. Och-Ziff, which was recently involved in high-profile criminal proceedings surrounding foreign bribery charges, bought the leaseholder last year.

Because of the way the Sunapee deal was structured, the state wasn't formally notified of Och-Ziff's ownership for months.

Representatives with the hedge fund came up from New York for the meeting Tuesday night, joining state officials in responding to public concerns. But afterward, Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky said he had mixed feelings about the information presented. “I appreciate everyone coming and I appreciate some of the disclosures,” he said, but “some of it was couched in terms that lead me to believe everyone wasn’t totally forthcoming.” 

Och-Ziff's ownership is not likely to change, but Volinksy said he’d like to alter the lease to prevent a similar transfer from happening in the future.