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Old 07-26-2022, 12:11 AM   #101
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Opposed yes. But the number of seats in each of their districts suggests that they have a very good chance of reelection.

Personally, I would just like to know what the long term game plan is.
If operations are totally taken by a private company... what is the purpose of the GAC... and would any private company be willing to invest the time and resources under that construct?
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Old 07-26-2022, 06:20 AM   #102
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If operations are totally taken by a private company... what is the purpose of the GAC... and would any private company be willing to invest the time and resources under that construct?
My guess is that in that scenario, the Gunstock Advisory Commission would meet once or two a year to review an operator's annual operating plan and expansion proposals. The Sunapee Advisory Commission performs this task for the state.
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Old 07-26-2022, 06:52 AM   #103
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Hey y'all ..... just look-ee here .... this latest Gunstock bru-ha-ha done made it into www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunstock_Mountain_Resort ...... where it says ....

"On the night of July 20, 2022, the entirety of the resort's management team resigned due to overreach by thr Gunstock Area Commission after members of the commission tried to take a "larger stake of control" over the daily operations of the resort along with accusations of disrespecting the resort's staff. The following day, the resort closed "until further notice".

Seems that Gunstock would be a nice spot to build a gambling casino run by the NH-Lottery with all profits, after expenses, going to fund local NH public schools. This would be a year 'round activity, gambling, and attached eating and entertainment, in all 12-months and daily weather. And, you can bet it would be a busy happening place-to-go ..... long time home of the Belknap Indian Lost Nation tribe ...... ugh! ...... to that! ...... holy cow-a-bunga! ..... such a stupendous suggestion! ....
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Old 07-26-2022, 04:48 PM   #104
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WMUR reported at 4:00 pm that resignations were requested from Strang and Ness, who then walked out of the meeting. No indication at that time of a response. It appears from the WMUR vignette that management will return if Strang and Ness are gone. We shall see.
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Old 07-27-2022, 07:19 AM   #105
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That is correct. I was there at Gunstock yesterday. 300 residents and employees on hand. Two of the commissioners and the crowd urged Strang and Ness to resign which would lead Gunstock management to come back. They didn’t sign resignation papers they were handed, and eventually they both walked out prior to the meeting being formally adjourned or listening to public comment. Here’s a recap.
https://www.wmur.com/article/gunstoc...eting/40723461

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Old 07-27-2022, 08:26 AM   #106
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I just spent the last half hour trying to figure this thing out, and, man, what a mess.

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Old 08-01-2022, 11:07 AM   #107
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I realize the press and public opinion has been vilifying the county Delegation and in particular Reps Sylvia and Silber. I do not know Michael Sylvia but I know Norm Silber. Firstly, he is a GREAT attorney. Very sharp and effective. Secondly, he is a man of integrity. Yes, he is conservative and not shy about it. People have a hard time separating the person from his political positions. Bottom line is that he is a good man who wants what is best for his constituents. (BTW, he does NOT want to privatize Gunstock. My suspicion is that he didn't sign the pledge because he won't be bullied into it.)
Norm wrote a whole article about how privatizing Gunstock is his dream...

https://granitegrok.com/blog/2021/10/i-have-a-dream

I understand that for everybody there is a person vs. politics aspect, but I don't understand why people blindly defend the politics side because they like them as a person.

And note, when "selling gunstock" is discussed, it is always in the context of the operations as the land cannot be sold. So when he and others say "of course we aren't considering selling Gunstock" they are being extremely disingenuous.
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:49 AM   #108
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Even more disingenuous as we would need to find a private party willing to take the risk of paying the county even more than the current formula.
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:57 AM   #109
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Not sure how anyone can take Norm seriously when he says George Soros is funding opposition to he and Sylvia's desires for the place.

That's crazy town right there. No way Soros has even heard of Gunstock nevermind cares about it.
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Old 08-01-2022, 01:06 PM   #110
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I can only relate to you my experiences with Norm. I asked him directly if he wanted to sell Gunstock and he said no. This was after the Granite State Grok article. Perhaps he changed his mind. Perhaps he was thinking of his constituents. I don't know. During the course of our discussions, he never mentioned George Soros, so I'm not sure where that comment came from.

I read the Grok article and didn't disagree with a word he said. The private sector should own and manage Gunstock. Maybe the reason why Gunstock is recently successful is because it is managed like a private entity although ultimately accountable to the tax payers. However, there were a number of years in which Gunstock lost a lot of money. At least back then, as a Belknap county resident, I could get a discount ski pass. Now I get nothing.
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Old 08-01-2022, 01:45 PM   #111
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Norm's Shadowy Groups and George Soros conspiracy theory:

"And it is worthy to note that the principal political consultant to the shadowy group trying to interfere with proper legal oversight of Gunstock, granted to the Gunstock Area Commission by the General Court in 1959, has ties to organizations believed to be funded in large measure by George Soros."

https://www.wmur.com/article/stateme...staff/40681060
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Old 08-01-2022, 02:04 PM   #112
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Maybe it's true. Who knows? There are many instances that something that is farfetched at the time were proven to be true. Also, there are many instances of something that is false but promoted as being true that were ultimately proven to be false. Do you know for sure that "the principal political consultant to the shadowy group trying to interfere with proper legal oversight of Gunstock . . . has ties to organizations believed to be funded in large measure by George Soros." Who is the consultant and who has funded him/her?

Regardless of this rabbit hole, my original post was that all of this could have been avoided if the Commissioners and the full time staff of Gunstock were more cooperative and transparent at the beginning of the new relationship with the county delegation. Their reluctance to an audit fueled the distrust that we are now witnessing.
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Old 08-01-2022, 04:47 PM   #113
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So Norm is completely open to releasing those legal counsel e*mails so as to avoid and ''distrust'' and focus on ''cooperation and transparency''?
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Old 08-01-2022, 05:08 PM   #114
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Again, nothing to do with the genesis of the initial distrust. The delegation asked for billing documents and was blown off. Happens all the time in conflict (litigation) -- why should I be cooperative if the other side isn't being cooperative. I am assuming the delegation isn't cooperating because the Commissioners and full time staff aren't cooperating.

The tone was set by the initial request. The Commissioners and the full time staff thought they had no accountability to anyone, including the delegation.
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Old 08-01-2022, 07:03 PM   #115
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Because we are judging them on their actions... and not the actions of the others.

My honesty and integrity is a matter of my actions, not the opposite party.
So Silber is showing a lack of honesty and integrity.

And you are confusion elected county commissioners with appointed Gunstock Area Commissioners.

The County Commissioners seeking the information are not the GAC that the delegation has only general oversight of.
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Old 08-01-2022, 07:22 PM   #116
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And note, when "selling gunstock" is discussed, it is always in the context of the operations as the land cannot be sold. So when he and others say "of course we aren't considering selling Gunstock" they are being extremely disingenuous.
It's disingenuous to suggest a entering into a lease with a private operator is "selling Gunstock." While the ski operations have always been managed by the county, food & beverage operations were leased to a private operator (most recently Centerplate) for a long time. No one has suggested that Gunstock was partially sold, or bought back, because of that lease.
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Old 08-01-2022, 08:08 PM   #117
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No private entity has been willing to propose, never mind prove financial stability, to enter such a lease. Discussion has always centered on activities not directly tied to the slopes.

So a private hotel and restaurant would be in the scope of the current privatization... but for reasons not transmitted to the public... was considered privatization run amok.

It may have been with further study that the proposal was not financially or legally viable... but it never got to that stage.

So they would need to transmit what the privatization plan is...
Is it all or nothing? Because in that case, they should be working to tell Centerplate that either they lease the entire area or get out... but it seems that they are willing to privatize pieces - so why not these pieces?

I can hypothesize, but not know for sure.
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Old 08-02-2022, 07:56 AM   #118
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Default Changes are happening

Monday night meeting. Gunstock opens.

Strang resigns. New Commissioner Denise Conroy sworn in.

https://www.wmur.com/article/new-gun...-8122/40776657
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Old 08-02-2022, 10:41 AM   #119
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Now the question of what happens with this oft mentioned audit that will embarrass everyone. I suspect it disappears.
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Old 08-02-2022, 11:48 AM   #120
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Now the question of what happens with this oft mentioned audit that will embarrass everyone. I suspect it disappears.
We haven not heard any evidence or even credible assertions that an audit will embarrass the management team. Let's all just breathe a sigh of relief that the lunacy appears to be over, at least for now
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Old 08-02-2022, 03:59 PM   #121
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my original post was that all of this could have been avoided if the Commissioners and the full time staff of Gunstock were more cooperative and transparent at the beginning of the new relationship with the county delegation.
And this all could have been avoided if the Delegation had appointed suitably qualified and experienced Commissioners who could control their temper, speak civilly to the management team, and refrain from creating a toxic work environment.
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Old 08-02-2022, 04:30 PM   #122
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I guess the full time employees are the first ever to work for a demanding boss or a demanding board of directors who demanded accountability and transparency. I didn't realize they were such snowflakes.
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Old 08-02-2022, 04:43 PM   #123
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The delegation works for us... where is the transparency?
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Old 08-02-2022, 04:46 PM   #124
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And this all could have been avoided if the Delegation had appointed suitably qualified and experienced Commissioners who could control their temper, speak civilly to the management team, and refrain from creating a toxic work environment.
Even worse, they hounded two(?) excellent commissioners off the Board
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Old 08-02-2022, 04:50 PM   #125
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I guess the full time employees are the first ever to work for a demanding boss or a demanding board of directors who demanded accountability and transparency. I didn't realize they were such snowflakes.
Since Day and Co had the stones to bet their livelihoods on the stand-off, maybe a different metaphor than snowflake is in order?
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Old 08-02-2022, 05:04 PM   #126
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Yes, the delegation is accountable to the taxpayers. However, the delegation appoints the commissioners who in turn appoint the full time personnel. Maybe the issue is that with a delegation demanding accountability, the full time staff were worried that they would be unable to award themselves big fat bonuses with "management" breathing down their neck. I would further add that these bonuses were awarded to the top level management only. They weren't too concerned about individuals who do the day-to-day work that makes Gunstock great during the season. (I have a relative who has a very important job that is key to the success of Gunstock during the winter and he like his peers were snubbed.) The top management were concerned only about themselves.
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Old 08-02-2022, 07:08 PM   #127
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As I stated... the Delegation is not being questioned about the GAC... that battle is more than lost.

The Delegation is being questioned by the County Commissioners... which they do not appoint... on legal expenditures that they did not have the authority to make.

So Silber is like that Gunstock Management team that doesn't want any oversight... but it doesn't work that way.
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Old 08-02-2022, 08:01 PM   #128
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Yes, the delegation is accountable to the taxpayers. However, the delegation appoints the commissioners who in turn appoint the full time personnel. Maybe the issue is that with a delegation demanding accountability, the full time staff were worried that they would be unable to award themselves big fat bonuses with "management" breathing down their neck. I would further add that these bonuses were awarded to the top level management only. They weren't too concerned about individuals who do the day-to-day work that makes Gunstock great during the season. (I have a relative who has a very important job that is key to the success of Gunstock during the winter and he like his peers were snubbed.) The top management were concerned only about themselves.
It's funny that you continually cast aspersions on the management team with no evidence ("Maybe the issue is..."), yet you ignore the long public, factual record of bad behavior by Silber, Sylvia, and their cronies. It's as if you think none of us have been following the story for months...
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Old 08-02-2022, 10:42 PM   #129
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A think the major concern is that the County Commission will hold firm.
Without revealing the emails, I believe the legal firm was working for Silber and Sylvia and not we, the taxpayers.

The two of them should pick up the $30K...
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:17 AM   #130
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Well, the game plan is to bypass the free staters in a legal way. So far the AG allows the majority of the Belknap Commission to overrule the Silber/Sylvia even tho they have the lead seat.

So far, Belknap Commission voted out Strang, Ness resigned, and Day is back! We still have a way until the November elections. The Delegates led by Sylvia will put up a fight, but I think the Commission has enough power to overrule. Especially with the NH AG and Gov. Sununu on their side.

A good number of season pass sales were refunded. Soulfest sued Gunstock and hopefully, Day can make amends. Soulfest has also expressed they will not return. Almost a month of park revenue was also lost. Valued employees who have found another job may not return. Consider this a challenge, not failure.

What's next? Well, the Democratic Party has been meeting weekly to solidify its party. The Republicans are splintered and need help. There are plenty of independents that can switch for the Primary and choose non-free staters to run. This and the November election will choose the direction.

I think voters learned a lesson. Choose candidates wisely and vote!
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Old 08-03-2022, 08:17 AM   #131
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It isn't the AG.
The Delegation has budgeting authority...
But the County Commission has spending authority.
The two are different.
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:08 AM   #132
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Right. In this thread there are varied references to the ":Commission" and it is not always clear if the post refers to Gunstock Area Commission, appointed by the delegation (State Reps) or the
County Commissioners who are elected as a separate office. County Commissioners are more like Selectmen, but at the County level, is the best I can describe it.
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:24 AM   #133
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It's funny that you continually cast aspersions on the management team with no evidence ("Maybe the issue is..."), yet you ignore the long public, factual record of bad behavior by Silber, Sylvia, and their cronies. It's as if you think none of us have been following the story for months...
Do you deny that the management team awarded themselves big bonuses without seeking any approval? That's a fact, I think. As I stated, I am close with a long term employee. The management isn't as wonderful as news and social media projects. They are difficult to work for and do not value low level employees. That's a fact, although it isn't published.

The point of my comments is that this is not a black and white situation. The news and social media has chosen a side and has decided to pillory the other side. The "factual record of bad behavior by Silber, Sylvia" is a result of the media's bias reporting. There is nuance in this situation. You have decided which side you are on. Just know that it isn't as clear cut as you think. (I'm reminded about statements made on this Forum about Russian collusion back in the day.)
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:41 AM   #134
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They spent $50K with no authority to do so.
The County Commission covered up the original $20K; but wants more information on the other $30k.

Bad behavior by the Management does not cover for bad behavior by Sylvia/Silber.

That would be like arguing that cheating at the Academy is acceptable because you saw someone else cheat.
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:57 AM   #135
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Good that Gunstock is open again.

The new GAC member’s husband is a ski instructor at Gunstock, a good sign.

Lots of finger pointing for a while.

Unlikely, however, that the free staters have lost sight of their objectives.

Alan
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Old 08-03-2022, 12:10 PM   #136
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Quote:
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Do you deny that the management team awarded themselves big bonuses without seeking any approval? That's a fact, I think. As I stated, I am close with a long term employee. The management isn't as wonderful as news and social media projects. They are difficult to work for and do not value low level employees. That's a fact, although it isn't published.

The point of my comments is that this is not a black and white situation. The news and social media has chosen a side and has decided to pillory the other side. The "factual record of bad behavior by Silber, Sylvia" is a result of the media's bias reporting. There is nuance in this situation. You have decided which side you are on. Just know that it isn't as clear cut as you think. (I'm reminded about statements made on this Forum about Russian collusion back in the day.)
I have not written anything about bonuses--if you have a newspaper article or minutes of a meeting or any sort of substantiation that money was spent improperly, other than an anonymous person supposedly in the know, please share. Otherwise you should not assert malfeasance.

Similarly, unless you can point to specific reporting that is wrong, you should not criticize LDS et al. They appear to have provided great coverage here
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Old 08-03-2022, 12:15 PM   #137
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A good number of season pass sales were refunded. Soulfest sued Gunstock and hopefully, Day can make amends. Soulfest has also expressed they will not return. Almost a month of park revenue was also lost. Valued employees who have found another job may not return. Consider this a challenge, not failure.

What's next? Well, the Democratic Party has been meeting weekly to solidify its party. The Republicans are splintered and need help. There are plenty of independents that can switch for the Primary and choose non-free staters to run. This and the November election will choose the direction.

I think voters learned a lesson. Choose candidates wisely and vote!
- There is zero data showing that a "good number of season pass sales were refunded."
- Soulfest did not sue Gunstock.
- Soufest announced they were moving to a new venue well before the management resignation.
- Then adventure park was closed for 10 days, not a month. The mountain coaster had already been closed for repairs prior to the management resignation.

This situation is already messy enough. Please don't propagate false or unsubstantiated claims to make political points.
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Old 08-03-2022, 12:46 PM   #138
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I have not written anything about bonuses--if you have a newspaper article or minutes of a meeting or any sort of substantiation that money was spent improperly, other than an anonymous person supposedly in the know, please share. Otherwise you should not assert malfeasance.

Similarly, unless you can point to specific reporting that is wrong, you should not criticize LDS et al. They appear to have provided great coverage here
You are unwittingly making my point. (I am assuming you meant "I have not seen anything written about bonuses".) You haven't seen anything written because the LDS is covering only one side of the story. Although I do seem to recall seeing something about the bonuses in the LDS.

The Granite Grok reported --

"The general manager of Gunstock, who is already believed to be the highest-paid employee in Belknap County government, with a base salary of $180,250 per year + benefits, received a cash bonus of an additional $40,000.

With a base salary of $123,600 + benefits, the Gunstock Chief Financial Officer received a cash bonus of $23,484.

And 3 other employees , with base salaries of $95,004; $96,096; and $71,774 (all plus benefits) received cash bonuses of $18,069; 17,370 and $10,000, respectively.

Total bonuses paid to all employees added up to $151,873, but most of those bonus monies went only to the “top” people."
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Old 08-03-2022, 01:37 PM   #139
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It was in the LDS.
A letter from Norm Silber on September 22nd of last year.

Performance Bonuses would also happen under a private operation.
The County of Belknap would only receive whatever the formula for payout was... and I believe that GAC followed that formula.
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Old 08-03-2022, 04:21 PM   #140
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Do you deny that the management team awarded themselves big bonuses without seeking any approval? That's a fact, I think.

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You are unwittingly making my point. (I am assuming you meant "I have not seen anything written about bonuses".) You haven't seen anything written because the LDS is covering only one side of the story. Although I do seem to recall seeing something about the bonuses in the LDS.

The Granite Grok reported --

"The general manager of Gunstock, who is already believed to be the highest-paid employee in Belknap County government, with a base salary of $180,250 per year + benefits, received a cash bonus of an additional $40,000.

With a base salary of $123,600 + benefits, the Gunstock Chief Financial Officer received a cash bonus of $23,484.

And 3 other employees , with base salaries of $95,004; $96,096; and $71,774 (all plus benefits) received cash bonuses of $18,069; 17,370 and $10,000, respectively.

Total bonuses paid to all employees added up to $151,873, but most of those bonus monies went only to the “top” people."
Your first post suggests there was something improper. According to your second post, the Grok (which is not a real newspaper, but obviously a political organization), did NOT report that anything about the bonuses was improper, they only reported the bonus amounts.

As for the amounts--$220,000 is definitely a lot of money, but that is likely less than a private sector CEO of an operation the size of Gunstock would earn. Similarly, big bonuses going to the top people--this is also like the private sector. You should be careful what you wish for...
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Old 08-03-2022, 05:04 PM   #141
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Do you deny that the management team awarded themselves big bonuses without seeking any approval? That's a fact, I think.
It's not a fact. It was voted and approved by the Gunstock Area Commissioners.

"He added that this year’s fiscal budget allowed for performance bonuses, contingent upon the results of the financial audit and he would be asking for a vote to release those funds."

"Motion: Commissioner Gallagher made a motion to approve the release of
allocated funds for recommended bonuses based on the completion
of the independent financial audit.

Second: Commissioner Dumais.

Discussion: Commissioner Gallagher commented that the audit now validates
that Gunstock will be returning close to $250,000 to Belknap
Country because of the good work that was done this year. He said
this is a significant increase to the $175,000 that Gunstock would
normally send to the county and should be recognized.

Vote: All in favor. Chair Kiedaisch voted as proxy for Commissioner
McLear."

https://www.gunstock.com/upload/phot...9.21-draft.pdf


Edit: ready for the next moving of the goalposts "they shouldn't have done that with taxpayer money" or "why did the senior staff get the big bonuses and the rest of the staff got scraps"

Seriously, if you get your information from Norm you really have to question all of it, he is not a trustworthy individual.

Edit: oh I see that we have already been quoting GraniteGrok, Norm's favorite website "oh this is too much to pay a county employee wah wahh". Show me any other county employees that run a Net Profitable business that has increased revenues by millions of dollars!

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Old 08-03-2022, 06:10 PM   #142
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From Gary Kaidasch April 1990

He said there are no plans for real-estate or condominium developments on the mountain.

“We’ve seen the sins of those ways,” he said.

He said the company is committed to running the mountain based on its services, namely skiing.
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:02 PM   #143
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As for the amounts--$220,000 is definitely a lot of money, but that is likely less than a private sector CEO of an operation the size of Gunstock would earn. Similarly, big bonuses going to the top people--this is also like the private sector. You should be careful what you wish for...
The general manager of Cannon Mountain made $89,559.50 in 2021.
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:53 PM   #144
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The general manager of Cannon Mountain made $89,559.50 in 2021.
State Employee... not exactly a group being operated like a private business.
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Old 08-04-2022, 09:18 AM   #145
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The general manager of Cannon Mountain made $89,559.50 in 2021.
I have no idea of the specifics on that particular situation, but that is an insanely low amount of money for a person with that kind of job.

More importantly though--if keeping executive pay low is important to you, the last thing you should want is a for-profit group on the mountain. Corporations pay their executives much more than states, cities, nonprofits; and also much more than middle managers. As a beneficiary of this disparity, I'm not complaining, just pointing it out
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Old 08-04-2022, 03:03 PM   #146
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It's not a fact. It was voted and approved by the Gunstock Area Commissioners.

"He added that this year’s fiscal budget allowed for performance bonuses, contingent upon the results of the financial audit and he would be asking for a vote to release those funds."

"Motion: Commissioner Gallagher made a motion to approve the release of
allocated funds for recommended bonuses based on the completion
of the independent financial audit.

Second: Commissioner Dumais.

Discussion: Commissioner Gallagher commented that the audit now validates
that Gunstock will be returning close to $250,000 to Belknap
Country because of the good work that was done this year. He said
this is a significant increase to the $175,000 that Gunstock would
normally send to the county and should be recognized.

Vote: All in favor. Chair Kiedaisch voted as proxy for Commissioner
McLear."

https://www.gunstock.com/upload/phot...9.21-draft.pdf


Edit: ready for the next moving of the goalposts "they shouldn't have done that with taxpayer money" or "why did the senior staff get the big bonuses and the rest of the staff got scraps"

Seriously, if you get your information from Norm you really have to question all of it, he is not a trustworthy individual.

Edit: oh I see that we have already been quoting GraniteGrok, Norm's favorite website "oh this is too much to pay a county employee wah wahh". Show me any other county employees that run a Net Profitable business that has increased revenues by millions of dollars!

If Gunstock will be returning close to $250,000 to Belknap Country. is that before paying out $150k in bonuses to the Senior mgt and staff,
if not would only mean $100k coming back to Belknap residents.

The US Census 2021 population for Belknap County states to be 65,000.
If the actual net profit to be returned is $150k, that equates to about $2.30
per person, if profit is actually $250k, equates to $3.80. I don't know what to do with all this money ?

Actually, Gunstock municipal support relies heavily on Gilford for Police,Fire and Ambulance. That said, I hope Gilford receives more than their fair share of this profit, whatever it may be.
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Old 08-04-2022, 04:12 PM   #147
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The $250K is before.
And any municipality providing any services is allowed to bill.

If you use an ambulance or a fire department they will bill you directly or your insurer.
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Old 08-04-2022, 04:33 PM   #148
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The $250K is before.
And any municipality providing any services is allowed to bill.

If you use an ambulance or a fire department they will bill you directly or your insurer.
So the net profit returned to Belknap Count residents is actually $150k, after paying bonuses... IMHO think these salaries & bonuses for 'County' employees is excessive, but this is just my opinion.

Thanks John for the explanation, much appreciated !
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Old 08-04-2022, 05:08 PM   #149
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I have no idea of the specifics on that particular situation, but that is an insanely low amount of money for a person with that kind of job.
1) Ski industry pay tends to track much lower than other sectors. Nevertheless, Cannon is a larger facility than Gunstock.
2) Government employment typically carries robust benefit packages. I do not know what the benefit packages are at Gunstock, but I suspect they are much more generous than other mid-sized ski areas.

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More importantly though--if keeping executive pay low is important to you, the last thing you should want is a for-profit group on the mountain. Corporations pay their executives much more than states, cities, nonprofits; and also much more than middle managers. As a beneficiary of this disparity, I'm not complaining, just pointing it out
If Gunstock were leased to a private operator, executive and staff pay wouldn't be taxpayers' issue. The lease proceeds would be. If using the Sunapee model, Gunstock would provide the county with significantly more revenue than the current model, while offloading the risk of bad seasons and bad debt.
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Old 08-04-2022, 09:52 PM   #150
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So the net profit returned to Belknap Count residents is actually $150k, after paying bonuses... IMHO think these salaries & bonuses for 'County' employees is excessive, but this is just my opinion.

Thanks John for the explanation, much appreciated !
No. It is $250K, plus enhancements based on a formula.

It works like a standard lease deal.

Gunstock is a county-owned assets, but it works like a private entity with the GAC being the principle and the County Commission leasing the property to them.
After they pay the ''lease'', the GAC can use the revenue in any way they feel will enhance the future of Gunstock.

The management must be worth the salary... they only resigned for a short period and the new GAC went out of their way to hire them back.
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Old 08-04-2022, 09:59 PM   #151
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1) Ski industry pay tends to track much lower than other sectors. Nevertheless, Cannon is a larger facility than Gunstock.
2) Government employment typically carries robust benefit packages. I do not know what the benefit packages are at Gunstock, but I suspect they are much more generous than other mid-sized ski areas.

If Gunstock were leased to a private operator, executive and staff pay wouldn't be taxpayers' issue. The lease proceeds would be. If using the Sunapee model, Gunstock would provide the county with significantly more revenue than the current model, while offloading the risk of bad seasons and bad debt.
The lease proceeds are the only thing we should have been worried about even without it being privatized. It wasn't like they were violating the ''lease''; they made the payments as specified.
No private operator has ever even offered to take over the area, so your point is moot... since that option doesn't exist and wishful thinking will not make it happen.

The only privatized options placed on the table have been for food and lodging. There is an occasional look at further rec formats, but many of those come and go.

But all of that is over... the management team are back, the GAC is reformed, and all that is left is the $30K that will most likely end up in the lap of Silber and Sylvia.
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Old 08-05-2022, 05:49 AM   #152
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The lease proceeds are the only thing we should have been worried about even without it being privatized. It wasn't like they were violating the ''lease''; they made the payments as specified.
That is not an accurate statement. It was only a few years ago (different management team & GAC) that Gunstock refused to make payments to the county. And there's also history of Gunstock not covering its debt payments (again, different management team & GAC).

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No private operator has ever even offered to take over the area, so your point is moot... since that option doesn't exist and wishful thinking will not make it happen.
Also not an accurate statement. Without an RFP or RFI, private operators aren't going to make an offer. If the county ever decided to issue an RFP, there would be quite a few qualified responses.
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Old 08-05-2022, 07:16 AM   #153
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So we punish the GAC and management team for what others did in the past?
WOW.

The new GAC, appointed by the current delegation with the blessing of Silber/Sylvia, could have made such a request... it chose to rehire the management team.

Your horse is dead.
The only open item on the agenda is the $30K.

No private entity with any financial backing is going to support an out of the way ski area that has no room for expansion in the food and accommodations area... even Sunapee had large lawsuits against the State on the issue.
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Old 08-05-2022, 09:34 AM   #154
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Sunapee under Vail is the perfect example of exactly what we don't want to happen to Gunstock. I'm sure it makes a lot of money, but Vail runs that place like garbage. Very slow and timid on snowmaking, horrible F&B operations, uncomfortably crowded and considerably more expensive than Gunstock.
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Old 08-05-2022, 10:21 AM   #155
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It is apparent that what I do not know about the legal entanglements between the delegation, the County Commissioners, the Gunstock Area Commissioners, and the full time staff can fill volumes. I appreciate the education.

However, at some level, doesn't the county delegation control the finances of the county budgets? And if so, are there mechanisms in place for setting salaries and awarding bonuses? For example, did the senior leadership of the Sherriff's department or the county nursing home receive merit bonuses. I guess I shouldn't have much heartache about the bonuses if they were awarded in a proper manner.

And why is the GAC and the full time employees against an audit? I was a managing partner in a law firm for 8 years. If one of my partners, or our firm's bank, wanted to audit our books, I would welcome such a request. If I went kicking and screaming against it, wouldn't that raise issues to the other stakeholders?

And finally, why is the GAC making political contributions? Shouldn't a government owned entity be agnostic?

Last edited by Major; 08-05-2022 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 08-05-2022, 10:28 AM   #156
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It seems to me there is a critical distinction between Gunstock and other government agencies. Gunstock is a profit generating business. Other government agencies are taxpayer funded necessary evils. Government usually does not “own” or run businesses and the current mess surrounding Gunstock is a prime example of why not.

The philosophy of a business is that it is profitable to all involved. Owners (in this case the County), managers, affiliated vendors, etc. It is absolutely normal that the management of a corporation vote itself bonuses and significant salaries. The expertise of these people is in demand and if the success and profits they generate are not shared with them, they will go elsewhere.

Government does not make a profit. It does not generally understand the necessities of business. They talk about “accountability to taxpayers” and demand audits so they can niggle over small things to assume control over something that they have NO idea how to manage. An example is the $500 campaign donation to Sununu. This is a typical action for a business to take. It is a TINY issue that would have been a Nothing Burger to a business. Even for Gunstock, this should have been a simple suggestion to management that in the future the Commission would prefer that no political donations be made. But government officials can’t solve problems like that. They must make it into some type of major, disruptive problem.

As to an audit, the Country is receiving $7+ M? in earnings from Gunstock this year and has gotten good money in the past years. The resort has a good reputation and improving facilities that draw more customers. Are the people wanting an audit saying that they get NO financial reports from management? That’s absurd. What an audit will be used for is to deep dive for spending that a business would routinely make but government might not. Then the government troublemakers will make ridiculous attacks on management.

Let’s think about the likely outcome of this. The current management gets fed up and leaves. Any decent managers would look at this mess and want nothing to do with it. They can make more money elsewhere. Gunstock would probably end up with political cronies that have no clue how to run the place. Profits would drop and the facilities would go downhill.

Instead of a fishing expedition audit, maybe the politicians should respectfully sit down with the management and ask them about any expenditures they might want more information about.

Government in charge of a business is a bad idea. Government micromanaging a business to government standards is a disaster.
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Old 08-05-2022, 11:54 AM   #157
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It seems to me there is a critical distinction between Gunstock and other government agencies. Gunstock is a profit generating business. Other government agencies are taxpayer funded necessary evils. Government usually does not “own” or run businesses and the current mess surrounding Gunstock is a prime example of why not.

The philosophy of a business is that it is profitable to all involved. Owners (in this case the County), managers, affiliated vendors, etc. It is absolutely normal that the management of a corporation vote itself bonuses and significant salaries. The expertise of these people is in demand and if the success and profits they generate are not shared with them, they will go elsewhere.

Government does not make a profit. It does not generally understand the necessities of business. They talk about “accountability to taxpayers” and demand audits so they can niggle over small things to assume control over something that they have NO idea how to manage. An example is the $500 campaign donation to Sununu. This is a typical action for a business to take. It is a TINY issue that would have been a Nothing Burger to a business. Even for Gunstock, this should have been a simple suggestion to management that in the future the Commission would prefer that no political donations be made. But government officials can’t solve problems like that. They must make it into some type of major, disruptive problem.

As to an audit, the Country is receiving $7+ M? in earnings from Gunstock this year and has gotten good money in the past years. The resort has a good reputation and improving facilities that draw more customers. Are the people wanting an audit saying that they get NO financial reports from management? That’s absurd. What an audit will be used for is to deep dive for spending that a business would routinely make but government might not. Then the government troublemakers will make ridiculous attacks on management.

Let’s think about the likely outcome of this. The current management gets fed up and leaves. Any decent managers would look at this mess and want nothing to do with it. They can make more money elsewhere. Gunstock would probably end up with political cronies that have no clue how to run the place. Profits would drop and the facilities would go downhill.

Instead of a fishing expedition audit, maybe the politicians should respectfully sit down with the management and ask them about any expenditures they might want more information about.

Government in charge of a business is a bad idea. Government micromanaging a business to government standards is a disaster.

JeffK makes some good points. You may be right on different scales, BUT in NH there are examples of government run businesses that are successful. Obvious to most is the state liquor outlets. Another is the state park system which is self supporting. In Hillsborough County the county nursing home is a profit maker.

If I remember correctly, when Mueller, et al, started leasing Sunapee, it was pretty shabby and the renewable 10 year leases allowed them to invest in fixed assets that led to more skiers and other improved revenues. Nobody wanted to lease Cannon, but the money from Sunapee that went to Cannon improvements led to increased skier visits and revenues there too.
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:03 PM   #158
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It is apparent that what I do not know about the legal entanglements between the delegation, the County Commissioners, the Gunstock Area Commissioners, and the full time staff can fill volumes. I appreciate the education.

However, at some level, doesn't the county delegation control the finances of the county budgets? And if so, are there mechanisms in place for setting salaries and awarding bonuses? For example, did the senior leadership of the Sherriff's department or the county nursing home receive merit bonuses. I guess I shouldn't have much heartache about the bonuses if they were awarded in a proper manner.

And why is the GAC and the full time employees against an audit? I was a managing partner in a law firm for 8 years. If one of my partners, or our firm's bank, wanted to audit our books, I would welcome such a request. If I went kicking and screaming against it, wouldn't that raise issues to the other stakeholders?

And finally, why is the GAC making political contributions? Shouldn't a government owned entity be agnostic?
The Delegation approves the County budget... but does not set salaries/etc; that is the County Commission, an elected body.

The GAC hires for Gunstock and approves their budget... the Delegation only has the authority to appoint the GAC members on a specified format.

Gunstock is independently audited every year and has been for many years. Ness stopped this year's annual audit... when he became chair. The full time employees/management hasn't really expressed opposition to the audit.

The political contributions were approved by the GAC... which approves the budget for Gunstock.
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:25 PM   #159
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The Delegation approves the County budget... but does not set salaries/etc; that is the County Commission, an elected body.

The GAC hires for Gunstock and approves their budget... the Delegation only has the authority to appoint the GAC members on a specified format.

Gunstock is independently audited every year and has been for many years. Ness stopped this year's annual audit... when he became chair. The full time employees/management hasn't really expressed opposition to the audit.

The political contributions were approved by the GAC... which approves the budget for Gunstock.
Okay, I think we are getting somewhere. Thank you for the helpful information. I have a few more questions.

The Delegation approves the budget, I get that. I work better with analogies. In my firm, the firm's directors set salaries and bonuses for the firm's staff (assistants, paralegals, HR, IT, Accounting, etc.). As a member of the Management Committee, we reviewed the directors' recommendations and made changes that we saw fit to make. So I guess I'm asking does the Delegation have the ability to change a budgetary item or to make suggestions to expenses, including salaries? If so, it appears to me that the Delegation has some level of control of these issues. If not, then that's fine too, I guess.

I read today in the LDS that Gunstock is subject to an annual audit that is authorized by the GAC and conducted by a third party. In reading between the lines, it appears that the new leaders of the Delegation wanted to conduct its own audit with it's own third party auditors. Again, using an analogy, let's say Gunstock was a private entity, and was the subject of a sale to a Buyer. If Gunstock denied the buyer's request for an independent third party audit, but instead insisted that the Buyer rely on Gunstock's own third party audit, wouldn't that raise red flags? I go back to a statement that I made earlier, if I ran a business (which I do), I would welcome any and all audits to establish trust and transparency. The last thing I would do is rely on "we've always done it this way and you should be happy with it" mentality. And to my earlier points, wouldn't have the GAC and the full time management been better off taking this approach rather than being insulted?

And finally, you did not answer my question about the political contribution. I read, like you, that the GAC approved (and has always approved) this type of political contribution. I get it. That doesn't make it right. Gunstock cannot have it both ways -- being treated as a private entity and as a public concern -- it is a public concern and the appearance of impropriety of dolling out political contributions far outweighs its benefits.
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:29 PM   #160
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So we punish the GAC and management team for what others did in the past?
WOW.
I don't think anyone is suggesting the GAC and management team be punished for actions for which they were not responsible. The past is relevant to the delegation, in that they a fiduciary responsibility to ensure protect taxpayers by ensuring these problems don't recur.

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No private entity with any financial backing is going to support an out of the way ski area that has no room for expansion in the food and accommodations area.
Wachusett is one of the most successful ski areas in the country and its operator has virtually no ability to expand. The operator bid on the New Hampshire areas (Cannon/Sunapee) knowing they'd have to focus on existing operations.


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JeffK makes some good points. You may be right on different scales, BUT in NH there are examples of government run businesses that are successful. Obvious to most is the state liquor outlets. Another is the state park system which is self supporting.
The NH state park system is self-supporting in name only. It is heavily subsidized from the general fund on a capital basis and also has significant deferred maintenance.


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If I remember correctly, when Mueller, et al, started leasing Sunapee, it was pretty shabby and the renewable 10 year leases allowed them to invest in fixed assets that led to more skiers and other improved revenues. Nobody wanted to lease Cannon, but the money from Sunapee that went to Cannon improvements led to increased skier visits and revenues there too.
Both ski areas had numerous qualified bids. The Cannon lease was supposed to be awarded at the same time as the Sunapee lease, but an unknown party was able to get the state to pull it at the last minute.

Sunapee was a 20-year lease with two 10-year automatic renewals. Without the millions in Sunapee revenue (and millions in general fund dollars), Cannon would have been in jeopardy.

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Sunapee under Vail is the perfect example of exactly what we don't want to happen to Gunstock. I'm sure it makes a lot of money, but Vail runs that place like garbage. Very slow and timid on snowmaking, horrible F&B operations, uncomfortably crowded and considerably more expensive than Gunstock.
Vail was a dumpster fire in New Hampshire last year. That said, Gunstock was no bargain at $96/day.

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As to an audit, the Country is receiving $7+ M?
No, the county receives about $300K from Gunstock from the most recent fiscal year.

I believe the $7M figure is what's in the bank, which I suspect is a lot of "restricted" cash (e.g. 2022-23 season pass revenue). A much better situation than a few years ago, when Gunstock couldn't get through the off-season without a county-backed bridge loan.
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Old 08-05-2022, 01:46 PM   #161
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Wachussets? A little different than out-of-the-way Gunstock.
And the operator, Okemo, sued the State for the expansion...
so what they ''knew'' seems to be different than what you are projecting.

But if you feel strongly about it...
Suggest to the GAC that you would like to lease the area...
Lay out formal proposal and bring forth your financials to show you can cover it... and maybe they will.

Other than that... the horse is dead.
The only issue is the $30k.
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Old 08-05-2022, 03:43 PM   #162
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Wachussets? A little different than out-of-the-way Gunstock.
Both are mid-sized, day-trip areas located less than two hours from millions of people, and are facing capacity issues with their current footprints. Some might suggest that Wachusett has perfected the model.

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And the operator, Okemo, sued the State for the expansion...
so what they ''knew'' seems to be different than what you are projecting.
That's not quite what happened...

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But if you feel strongly about it...
Suggest to the GAC that you would like to lease the area...
Lay out formal proposal and bring forth your financials to show you can cover it... and maybe they will.
Members of the GAC and Belknap County Delegation have both expressed the opinion that they do not have the authority to lease the ski area.
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Old 08-05-2022, 05:06 PM   #163
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One is 50 minutes, and the other wouldn't have any effect on hotels/motels/STR if it were closer.

So again the papers got it all wrong?

If they don't have the authority to private lease... then why are you focusing on leasing it like Sunapee?
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Old 08-05-2022, 05:32 PM   #164
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Comparing Gunstock to Wachusett is disingenuous. Wachusett has millions more people within an hour drive than Gunstock.

Rocket is focused on a lease for the same reason as Sylvia. That's his ideology. He has a website fully devoted to ripping the state for how they run Cannon. Even links articles from right wing propaganda "news" agency Granite Grok

http://www.taxpayersforcannon.com/news.php
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Old 08-05-2022, 05:33 PM   #165
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One is 50 minutes, and the other wouldn't have any effect on hotels/motels/STR if it were closer.

So again the papers got it all wrong?

If they don't have the authority to private lease... then why are you focusing on leasing it like Sunapee?
Right! Maybe lease is the wrong word? I'm sure if there were an RFP issued, two parties could come up with an imaginative agreement/arrangement. It just takes willing participants. With all due respect to the delegation,, not all members of the delegation are willing. At the state level, Administrastyive Services has expertise that the ;legislature can look to. I'm not sure Belknap County has a parallel body. There are/were some very experienced folks on the GAC. I hope a level of trust there can be re-established.
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Old 08-05-2022, 09:02 PM   #166
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I think lease is the word...
But for it to be worthwhile... the county is going to want more than they are currently getting, and private company is going to want a return on investment that is not hampered by the preclusion of vertical and lateral integration.
Because that is the way that you expand the profit potential over time.

The old GAC, and I believe if they are honorable - the new GAC, will seek the same path.
It will be up to the county to work out a better lease with those improvements.

But as it stands... the $30k is the only thing really yet to be resolved.
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Old 08-06-2022, 05:47 AM   #167
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I think lease is the word...
But for it to be worthwhile... the county is going to want more than they are currently getting, and private company is going to want a return on investment that is not hampered by the preclusion of vertical and lateral integration.
Because that is the way that you expand the profit potential over time.
The old GAC, and I believe if they are honorable - the new GAC, will seek the same path.
It will be up to the county to work out a better lease with those improvements.
The biggest obstacle for a lease arrangement would likely be the bureaucratic process, e.g. determining a legal method to pursue it (since I don't think any GAC member claims to have that ability). There are definitely ways for the county to maximize its net proceeds from Gunstock while offloading risk. That said, I think there would be huge issues if the county attempted to let a lessee pursue the ambitious master plan as presented last year.

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But as it stands... the $30k is the only thing really yet to be resolved.
It sounds like there are quite a few open issues that need to be resolved, but the legal mess does seem to be an open issue.
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Old 08-06-2022, 09:32 PM   #168
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And to my earlier points, wouldn't have the GAC and the full time management been better off taking this approach rather than being insulted?
If you believe Silber, Ness and Strang, they were just "asking questions and providing oversight"

If you believe just about everyone else including the majority of Gunstock staff, Ness and Strang were using this sham "audit" approach as a way to legitimize their toxic micromanagement behaviors and harassment of the management team.

I believe the latter, so don't think that the full-time management team should have just gone along with it.
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:50 AM   #169
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The biggest obstacle for a lease arrangement would likely be the bureaucratic process, e.g. determining a legal method to pursue it (since I don't think any GAC member claims to have that ability). There are definitely ways for the county to maximize its net proceeds from Gunstock while offloading risk. That said, I think there would be huge issues if the county attempted to let a lessee pursue the ambitious master plan as presented last year.



It sounds like there are quite a few open issues that need to be resolved, but the legal mess does seem to be an open issue.
Having the ability doesn't change the financials... and whether it is all leased, or just portions, the food and accommodations part will need to be on the table. The campground should be seeing net positive revenue... but the only way to expand that is horizontally over more acres... while the hotel would go vertical. We may see it at the lodge rather than the peak... but without disrupting operations, that would be really hard... and a very complex lease.
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Old 08-07-2022, 02:27 PM   #170
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Having the ability doesn't change the financials... and whether it is all leased, or just portions, the food and accommodations part will need to be on the table. The campground should be seeing net positive revenue... but the only way to expand that is horizontally over more acres... while the hotel would go vertical. We may see it at the lodge rather than the peak... but without disrupting operations, that would be really hard... and a very complex lease.
I'm not understanding the first part of your message.

With regard to existing and future operations, as well as the campground, this has been encountered before. Mt. Sunapee also has a campground. I don't believe slopeside lodging in the park was ever a consideration with the lease.

I don't understand the push to build a hotel at Gunstock. What is the point of having a county-operated mega-resort? Doesn't Gunstock better serve county residents if it's an affordable, accessible, minimally-developed day-area?

I certainly get why certain developers would like to build a premium hotel up on the Overlook, but should county land be used for that purpose?
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Old 08-07-2022, 03:11 PM   #171
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The leasee had attaching property that the State was not willing to allow either.
The lawsuit ended that.

To increase the accommodations at Gunstock in the current format, you would need to expand the campground (more acres) or build vertically at the lodge (disruption of current business).

And no, it better serves residents if it can support higher payments to the county... as most residents do not ski.

But even a private operator would tell the GAC/Delegation, that to keep slope fees low enough... with rising need for snowmaking and the amount of energy that goes to such... you are going to need something that subsidizes it.
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Old 08-07-2022, 03:40 PM   #172
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To increase the accommodations at Gunstock in the current format, you would need to expand the campground (more acres) or build vertically at the lodge (disruption of current business).
To increase accommodations? There are essentially no accommodations during ski season, apart from two cabins that sleep a total of 8 adults.

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And no, it better serves residents if it can support higher payments to the county... as most residents do not ski.
If the primary goal of Gunstock is to provide higher payments to the county, then it should have been leased long ago.

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But even a private operator would tell the GAC/Delegation, that to keep slope fees low enough... with rising need for snowmaking and the amount of energy that goes to such... you are going to need something that subsidizes it.
If Gunstock were to maintain its current footprint, there wouldn't be much more snowmaking capacity needed. Likewise, there would be LESS energy needed due to advances in snowmaking energy efficiency.

The proposed hotel is not the panacea for the county. That said, it could be one heck of a moneymaker for a private developer, especially if the county foots the bill for the infrastructure (it won't be cheap to get the road and utilities halfway up the mountain).
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Old 08-07-2022, 04:14 PM   #173
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Odd, Gunstock is showing winter camping.
https://www.gunstock.com/camping/winter-camping/

It could never find anyone with the financials to lease it.
The new GAC had the option to go that way... but I think they know that no private equity is willing to do so... if not they could talk to Goddard.

The same footprint will require more snowmaking... as we are seeing less natural snow. The efficiency increases will not keep up with the price increases.

All things being constant... slope fees will need to rise.
Lower fees for county residents would need to be offset with higher fees for non-residents.
If you lose some non-residents due to the higher fee, and other options for them, you have to increase the fees for the remaining non-residents starting the cycle again. At a certain point, there aren't any non-residents to transfer the costs to.
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Old 08-07-2022, 07:55 PM   #174
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Odd, Gunstock is showing winter camping.
https://www.gunstock.com/camping/winter-camping/
I think you'll find very few people who consider winter camping to be "accommodations" at a ski resort.

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The same footprint will require more snowmaking... as we are seeing less natural snow.
The 2000s saw quite a few good winters in terms of natural snow, whereas the late 80s/early 90s, early 1980s, early 1970s, early 1950s, late 1940s, and mid-to-late 1930s were rough. Gunstock has more favorable weather than successful ski areas south of here have survived, and probably wouldn't need a dramatic increase in snowmaking to maintain a viable product in the event of sustained mild winters.

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The efficiency increases will not keep up with the price increases.
You previously said "the amount of energy that goes to such," which does not comport with advances in snowmaking energy efficiency. I agree that energy prices are a major concern and are going to put significant upward pressure on pricing.
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:14 PM   #175
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Arrow Sunday, August 14: Belknap County Day

From https://www.gunstock.com/calendar/ .... next Sunday, August 14, 10am-4pm is Belknap County Day with a FREE scenic chairlift ride or a FREE mountain coaster ride .... click on 'Belknap County Day'

Maybe this can become a Gunstock, show your Belknap County support day, or something, plus the price is very reasonable ... it's free! .... .... and shake hands with either the Gunstock Team management or with the 'free-stater', local state reps ...... someone for everyone ..... hoo yuh want? ..... what yuh want? .....
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Old 08-07-2022, 11:08 PM   #176
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I think you'll find very few people who consider winter camping to be "accommodations" at a ski resort.


The 2000s saw quite a few good winters in terms of natural snow, whereas the late 80s/early 90s, early 1980s, early 1970s, early 1950s, late 1940s, and mid-to-late 1930s were rough. Gunstock has more favorable weather than successful ski areas south of here have survived, and probably wouldn't need a dramatic increase in snowmaking to maintain a viable product in the event of sustained mild winters.


You previously said "the amount of energy that goes to such," which does not comport with advances in snowmaking energy efficiency. I agree that energy prices are a major concern and are going to put significant upward pressure on pricing.
Well, if you check the latest... you will notice the sled dog races cancelled and snowmobiling on this side of the lake to be a bit ''iffy''.

So they need to make snow... especially for Thanksgiving vacation and Christmas vacation... but also to replenish a base during the February vacation as that is when the sled dog derby gets cancelled.

As for the camping... that is all they have... thus the room for expansion. And as you stated... the winter camping isn't going to cut it; thus a hotel.

They can't just easily expand the number of customers, as they will run out of parking lot and create havoc on the transit corridor equal or worse than what happens in Meredith during the summer... one of the big complaints at Sunapee. So they need to get more money from each customer, and that is done by lateral and vertical integration.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:17 AM   #177
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Default ........ Exit 21, revisited!

If Exit 21 was actually built back in 1968, as was the plan, it would have gone from Route 93 to the Laconia extension that is close to Gunstock.

Exit 21 would probably be known as the exit to get to Gunstock Ski Area.

www.wikipedia.org/wiki/interstate_93 ..... with 44 exits on NH-Route 93, the never built Exit 21 is the only ghost exit that never happened.

Exit 21 ...... never made it ...... for some unknown reason? ...... which does not help Gunstock, too much? So, looking at the list of exits in the Route 93-New Hampshire list in Wikipedia, just take a good look at that Exit 21 that easily takes you to Gunstock. ..... what exit? ..... where is Exit-21? .....

Driving up Route 93 with its' 70-mph speed limit, is a quick, brief trip up the road to three other NH ski areas, further north, with larger trail systems ...... Route 93-Exit 28: Waterville Valley ..... Route 93-Exit 32: Loon Mountain ...... and Route 93-Exit 34: Cannon Mountain.

Here's a ski magazine article on Ski-93, New Hampshire from 2015..... http://www.powder.com/latitudes/ski-...e-free-or-ski/ ..... and guess what ..... the Gunstock Ski Area is NOT even mentioned. For Gunstock to appear in a ski magazine named 'Powder.com' ...... that magazine name should be changed to 'Wet Slush.com' to be honest ....
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:46 AM   #178
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So they need to make snow... especially for Thanksgiving vacation
Gunstock has never counted on Thanksgiving for any measurable revenue.

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They can't just easily expand the number of customers, as they will run out of parking lot and create havoc on the transit corridor equal or worse than what happens in Meredith during the summer... one of the big complaints at Sunapee. So they need to get more money from each customer, and that is done by lateral and vertical integration.
If parking is the limiting factor at Gunstock, why did the master plan propose to dramatically expand the ski area for more skier visits?
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:59 AM   #179
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They make snow for Thanksgiving... so a cost without revenue is questionable tactic.

My point on the parking is that at some point, it maxes...
That point is being made up at Sunapee.

The Master Plan included building more parking and using the hotel funds.
https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...e9076bd6e.html

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Old 08-08-2022, 05:18 PM   #180
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They make snow for Thanksgiving... so a cost without revenue is questionable tactic.
They are not making snow for Thanksgiving. Gunstock has never counted on Thanksgiving for any measurable revenue. For small- to mid-sized areas, November snowmaking operations are generally about 1) testing/training and 2) building base if there are good windows. Snowmaking output is exponential; if you get cold, dry weather, you'll put down a lot more snow than at marginal temperatures. Some recent Novembers provided the best pre-Christmas windows for that.

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My point on the parking is that at some point, it maxes...
That point is being made up at Sunapee.
Sunapee is planning to add another lot this year, so they haven't reached their max. Likewise, if parking capacity was the primary concern at Gunstock, why would they be spending all of this money to pave the existing lot, rather than expanding parking?
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Old 08-08-2022, 05:24 PM   #181
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Driving up Route 93 with its' 70-mph speed limit, is a quick, brief trip up the road to three other NH ski areas, further north, with larger trail systems ...... Route 93-Exit 28: Waterville Valley ..... Route 93-Exit 32: Loon Mountain ...... and Route 93-Exit 34: Cannon Mountain.

Here's a ski magazine article on Ski-93, New Hampshire from 2015..... http://www.powder.com/latitudes/ski-...e-free-or-ski/ ..... and guess what ..... the Gunstock Ski Area is NOT even mentioned. For Gunstock to appear in a ski magazine named 'Powder.com' ...... that magazine name should be changed to 'Wet Slush.com' to be honest ....
Ragged is also not mentioned. Gunstock and Ragged are mid-sized areas located south of the White Mountain and will never offer 2,000+ vertical feet like Cannon/Loon/Waterville.

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If Exit 21 was actually built back in 1968, as was the plan, it would have gone from Route 93 to the Laconia extension that is close to Gunstock.

Exit 21 would probably be known as the exit to get to Gunstock Ski Area.

www.wikipedia.org/wiki/interstate_93 ..... with 44 exits on NH-Route 93, the never built Exit 21 is the only ghost exit that never happened.

Exit 21 ...... never made it ...... for some unknown reason? ...... which does not help Gunstock, too much? So, looking at the list of exits in the Route 93-New Hampshire list in Wikipedia, just take a good look at that Exit 21 that easily takes you to Gunstock. ..... what exit? ..... where is Exit-21? .....
Interesting thought. Similarly, exit 19 not being a full on/off certainly didn't help the former Highlands ski area.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:54 PM   #182
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They are not making snow for Thanksgiving. Gunstock has never counted on Thanksgiving for any measurable revenue. For small- to mid-sized areas, November snowmaking operations are generally about 1) testing/training and 2) building base if there are good windows. Snowmaking output is exponential; if you get cold, dry weather, you'll put down a lot more snow than at marginal temperatures. Some recent Novembers provided the best pre-Christmas windows for that.


Sunapee is planning to add another lot this year, so they haven't reached their max. Likewise, if parking capacity was the primary concern at Gunstock, why would they be spending all of this money to pave the existing lot, rather than expanding parking?
Because a parking lot needs to be repaved once in a while, and to expand horizontally means to extend the season. Sort of like the campground did without you even noticing.
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Old 08-08-2022, 08:08 PM   #183
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Because a parking lot needs to be repaved once in a while, and to expand horizontally means to extend the season. Sort of like the campground did without you even noticing.
Repaved? Gunstock's parking lot is not paved.
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Old 08-08-2022, 10:22 PM   #184
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My experience skiing Gunstock only dates to 2009, but they have never opened for Thanksgiving weekend and really shouldn't. The business won't be there 9 years out of 10. Thanksgiving isn't a profitable weekend for most ski areas. It's a marketing budget spend for basically everywhere but Killington or Sunday River.

But almost all major areas start blowing snow Thanksgiving weekend even without intention to open. It's left in stockpiles which are more resilient to melting out. Then it's an added bonus to push out when a place like Gunstock is ready to go for it and open second weekend of December.

It's not a bad formula
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Old 08-08-2022, 11:44 PM   #185
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Repaved? Gunstock's parking lot is not paved.
The last time I was up, I parked on pavement right off from Alpine Way.
I've never been to any of the other parking areas, as it was a small group called in by Goddard to seek investment by Goddard.
It never really went anywhere as we were told that we should not expect a return on our investment.

You would pave... as they do roads... to lower the maintenance factor.
Middleton Meredith is now all paved for the same reason.
Having large unpaved areas turned out to not be suitable to early spring conditions.

As for Thanksgiving... they would need to find more income.
If they don't expand the amount of time open, then they need to expand the number of customers, and resources max unless you can find full value customers during the current slow periods (guessing weekdays).

Without some sort of expansion, the only option would be higher lift tickets.
Belknap taxpayers are going to expect more revenue from the site... and aren't going to focus on subsidizing some residents' recreational pursuits.

That is what this whole ''privatize'' thing was about... getting more revenue from the area into the county.
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