WhistlePig Whiskey Founder Buys Green Mountain College in Vt. at Auction for $4.5M

The Poultney, Vermont, college closed last year due to declining enrollment and financial challenges

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Green Mountain College, which closed last year because of declining enrollment and financial challenges, has sold at auction for $4.5 million, much lower than the $20 million original asking price.

Raj Peter Bhakta, the founder of WhistlePig whiskey in Shoreham, had the winning bid on Tuesday. He would not discuss what he planned to do with the campus.

“We’re going to do great things in Poultney and Vermont and in America, and we’ll have more to say later,” he said.

Green Mountain College had occupied a prominent spot at the end of the main street for 185 years in the town of about 3,300 people.

Sarah Pelkey, the Poultney town economic development coordinator, said the town is possibly a little disappointed that the winning bid was so low.

Officials with Green Mountain College announced Wednesday it would close after the spring semester, leaving students devastated.

“It’s a beautiful space, a beautiful campus and somebody definitely got a steal today,” she said. “So, hopefully, they will be the right people for the community and they will all be able to integrate into what happens here.”

Green Mountain was among three private colleges in Vermont that closed last year due to declining enrollment. The others were Southern Vermont College in Bennington and the College of St. Joseph in Rutland.

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