JAY, Vt. – Vermont’s Jay Peak ski resort is continuing its $125 million development that includes a hotel, lodge and indoor water park funded mostly by foreign investors who were given U.S. residency permits in exchange for their money.

Resort officials and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who has promoted the EB-5 investor visa program in Congress, broke ground Wednesday on the second phase of the project. Officials say it includes the largest water park in the Northeast and a new 120-room hotel, a lodge with 57 luxury suites, an indoor ice arena and clubhouse for a golf course which have been completed since December.

The project is funded with minimum $500,000 investments from about 250 investors from 43 countries. In exchange for the investment, the investors are granted conditional green cards that can lead to permanent residency if the projects create jobs.

“It’s through the program known as the EB-5 foreign investment program that we’ve been able to accomplish this,” said Bill Stenger, president of Jay Peak. “We’ve been able to welcome over 240 investors, from 43 countries, representing $120 million of equity capital, not a cent of taxpayer money, all private equity, all dedicated to the development of a brand here in Jay Peak.”

The foreign financing is supporting two new lodges at Sugarbush ski resort in Warren, construction of a new medical manufacturing facility in Newport and a water filter company in Windsor. It will help Jay Peak become a four-season resort.