In a letter hand-delivered to the Hermitage and James Barnes, and posted at the Hermitage Club House, Vermont Department of Taxes Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Hannon said the Hermitage Club's authority to collect income withholding, rooms and meals, and sales and use taxes has been revoked "for reasons set forth in our letter dated March 27, 2018."
According to the order, the Hermitage is not allowed to conduct any business, to include "selling memberships, paying employees, including security, daycare, and maintenance personnel, renting rooms, collecting greens fees, and selling taxable meals."
In a letter in reply to Hannon posted next to the order, signed by Barnes as founder and chairman of Hermitage Inn Real Estate Holding Company, Barnes acknowledges receipt of the letter and says the company is in compliance with terms, but notes the building maintenance is provided by a contractor, and there may be member activity at the club house over the weekend. "We notified members of the club that they could remove their personal belongings from their lockers over the course of this weekend and they have arrived to complete the task. There are no employees assisting with this effort."
The Hermitage Club was initially shut down by the tax department on Thursday, March 15, for failure to pay Vermont rooms and meals, and sales and use taxes. Liens filed by the Vermont Department of Taxes at the Wilmington Town Clerk's Office indicate the Hermitage Club owes more than $700,000 in unpaid taxes to the state.
On Friday, March 16, the Hermitage made a partial payment to the state, and obtained permission to open on Saturday, March 17.
But by the following Monday, March 19, the club was shut down again after it missed another payment under their agreement with the state. On Wednesday, March 21, the Hermitage Club announced that another deal with the state had been reached, and they would be "fully operational" for the weekend of March 24.
On March 26, Barnes announced the "successful completion of the 2018 ski and snow sports season."