Coup in the making at Hermitage?

REFORMER FILE PHOTOThe Hermitage Club at Haystack Mountain.

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DEERFIELD VALLEY — Hermitage Club members are attempting to take ownership of the company, according to a source familiar with the situation.

A webinar is scheduled this week and a meeting of members will be held at the end of the week to discuss a proposed transaction, the source said.

In August, Hermitage founder and CEO Jim Barnes said he owned the majority of the company that runs a private ski resort at Haystack Mountain, a real estate group, and various inns and restaurants in the Deerfield Valley. The company has faced financial troubles in recent years as it struggled to pay contractors, taxes in two towns and water/sewer bills. Also, a former employee has filed a whistleblower complaint against the company's management, alleging illegal real estate activities.

At a meeting Sunday, Barnes asked members to provide another $3,000 to cover payroll through April 1, according to the source. The request comes about five months after members were asked to contribute an extra, one-time fee of $10,000 to cover debts owed to vendors and contractors. The shortfall was attributed to poor weather during the 2015-16 winter season, state permitting delays and a slow membership drive.

Attempts to reach a company spokeswoman Monday were unsuccessful.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at

@CMaysBR on Twitter

and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.