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Old 10-31-2021, 02:26 PM   #1
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Default Gunstock Expansion Plans

Any thoughts about Gunstock looking at a major expansion? I for one question their strategy considering skier participation has been in decline for the past 10 years. I went to Gunstock a few times midweek and the place was dead quiet Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Maybe some basic upgrades on the lifts might be nice.
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Old 10-31-2021, 02:57 PM   #2
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I haven't seen the whole plan, but since most of it will be done with private money... not really sure that the Gunstock Commission will get what it envisions.
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Old 10-31-2021, 03:35 PM   #3
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Here's an article about the expansion


https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...db8370eef.html
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Old 10-31-2021, 04:32 PM   #4
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I read the article, but that is all I had.

It appears that the hotel and mountain top restaurant would be a private partnership. And upgrading the road to the top would only be viable if those two (or at least one of the two) exist.

Snow making and lift upgrades aren't really that controversial.
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Old 10-31-2021, 08:33 PM   #5
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I don't quite get it. With a vertical drop of only 1300', Gunstock is never going to match Loon, Waterville, and Vermont areas as a premier destination. Plenty of areas >2,000' are well worth the drive, especially if staying overnight
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Old 10-31-2021, 09:43 PM   #6
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Default Amenities

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Originally Posted by FlyingScot View Post
I don't quite get it. With a vertical drop of only 1300', Gunstock is never going to match Loon, Waterville, and Vermont areas as a premier destination. Plenty of areas >2,000' are well worth the drive, especially if staying overnight
It's not all about vertical drop. I always thought of Gunstock as my "home" area, but I liked some of the others for amenities. Loon had none, but Waterville and Bretton Woods had summit or slope-side dining among other things. It wasn't all about vertical. Gunstock has long had great grooming (esp. noon groom) as well as shorter drive times from southern bases.

Gary Kadaiesch (sp?) and family have a long history of developing and supporting the ski industry. He's the perfect one to lead this effort.
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Old 10-31-2021, 11:27 PM   #7
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Default Moved on some years ago

We used to have season passes to Gunstock - over time they sort of raised the prices (expected to some extent) and reduced the benefits so for the last few years we get the Epic Pass.

Besides being cheaper, you get access to many New England very good resorts (including Stowe - albeit that one with some date restrictions) as well as many world class resorts out west if you can find a way out there (We do each year). No brainer for us.

Can't understand/justify paying that kind of money $699 for such a tiny mountain with no partner resorts. Just Crazy!
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Old 11-02-2021, 07:53 AM   #8
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Default Gunstock

There is private money think Rusty Mclear. He is on the commission. So I'm not surprised.

Gary Kiedash (spelling) has an impressive resume regarding the ski industry. He even take credit at HEAD to bringing shaped skis to market!

Tom Day, the present Manager of Gunstock retired from WV, and Gary convinced him to work for him.

So I can see where this is leading to. Great if you have the terrain to support it, but being so close to the ocean you have a short season. Not a great idea.

I grew up on Gunstock. What attracted me is the small mountain feel yet the big mountain skiing. Take a look at all the other resorts. Crowded during the week, mega crowds on weekends. It's been a decade that I enjoy skiing these mountains. Once they change Gunstock to a 'mega' resort, it will be a disaster. I may have to change to Tenney or Ragged Mountain. Both are great skiing! I even bought the Indy Pass and I expect to try a number of Indy ski areas.

Tom made some significant improvements since he took over. Moving the ski rental shop from the cellar is a great step. Investment in ski grooming equipment and snowmaking is another. Prior season the snow sports park was the first to open for the season. Last winter, they were able to open the Panorama. This season Tom promised the whole mountain will be open on the first day! Bold statement!

As a lifelong resident of Belknap County, I would like to see it cater to Belknap County not to the world.
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Old 11-02-2021, 08:33 AM   #9
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Default

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Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
As a lifelong resident of Belknap County, I would like to see it cater to Belknap County not to the world.
This is how I feel about most everything today, but can Gunstock exist without coming up with new revenue streams? I don't know much about Gunstock, per se, but I know ski hills in the Northeast are having a tough go of things, which is why they've all attempted to find summer uses, such as terrain parks, etc.

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Old 11-02-2021, 10:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadHopper
As a lifelong resident of Belknap County, I would like to see it cater to Belknap County not to the world.
No offense but it is called tourism and without day trippers or weekend/weekly renters heading to Gunstock and paying full ticket prices it would not be able to operate. They are not staying afloat by selling early buy season passes and Belknap resident passes.

If Gunstock can keep the old school vibe it has while adding some amenities to attract more tourists dollars more power to them.


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Old 11-02-2021, 10:51 AM   #11
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Default Gunstock Expansion Plans

Not a skier, so I don’t know all the particulars, but why is the Gunstock ski area owned by the taxpayers? Would it not benefit the county if it was privately developed


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Old 11-02-2021, 12:50 PM   #12
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Smile Gunstock Expansion Plans

Imbued by the earlier years Penny Pitou, Egon Zimmerman, my family frequented the area often. The single chair lift / try me trail were outstanding for individual solitude. The old T-bar for Smith and Phelps, look at all of the great improvements that have been made over the years.
Last all season pass sometime around '68 or '69.
It should be an asset to the County, and to day trippers from Boston going to "Gunny" for the day.
I was ultimately very glad when the new double chair increased the uphill capacity. The old chair at one point used to give me nosebleeds at the highest span between pylons. What did I know at the time, just a snot nosed kid having a great time on the boards.
Shall we talk about the Arlberg......
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Old 11-02-2021, 06:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinnisquamZ View Post
Not a skier, so I don’t know all the particulars, but why is the Gunstock ski area owned by the taxpayers? Would it not benefit the county if it was privately developed


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The posted article explains the means by which the county acquired it, and the payment made to the county.

There were many more ski hills in the region, all privately owned... they no longer exist.
The land will always be county-owned, but the business is a tough gig.
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Old 11-02-2021, 09:36 PM   #14
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Default Parallel?

As a parallel, Cannon seems to be doing very well. The issue, whether public or private ownership, is how to make money year round. There used to be a "Profile House" Hotel near Cannon, which as was often the case, burned. NH should allow a new resort hotel in that area. The plan to expand resort hotel at Gunstock is a great one and follows what has been successful elsewhere. Does the Arlberg site have enough land for a golf course? There are other nearby places that could compliment. The team in place is excellent at regional development. I hope they move forward with all due haste. Maybe Kimball's Castle will come back after all with increased regional activity.
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Old 11-02-2021, 10:18 PM   #15
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As a parallel, Cannon seems to be doing very well. The issue, whether public or private ownership, is how to make money year round. There used to be a "Profile House" Hotel near Cannon, which as was often the case, burned. NH should allow a new resort hotel in that area. The plan to expand resort hotel at Gunstock is a great one and follows what has been successful elsewhere. Does the Arlberg site have enough land for a golf course? There are other nearby places that could compliment. The team in place is excellent at regional development. I hope they move forward with all due haste. Maybe Kimball's Castle will come back after all with increased regional activity.
I think it is around 10 acres. The inference I believe is to the history of the area. The Arlberg and Gunstock inns were built, along with the Acres, when Gunstock Ski Area was expected to boom. This was of course long before AirBnB.
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Old 11-03-2021, 05:39 AM   #16
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Gunstock Mountain and Belknap County could maybe build a mountain hotel high up atop their mountain that is similar to the A.M.C. http://www.outdoors.org/destinations...ghland-center/ in Crawford Notch which is on the site of the old Crawford House hotel that burned down in 1977.

Only build it so there's NO road for cars going up there, and hotel guests need to hike up the Belknap-High Line trail with their suitcase...... yahhhh! ...
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Old 11-03-2021, 09:00 AM   #17
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Default Alberg

The old Alberg Inn site across from Gunstock has quite the history.
https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...9dac3e089.html

There was a rope tow on the site in the 40s and 50s
http://www.nelsap.org/nh/arlberg.html

I knew Karl and his son and daughter, Rick and Kristine. Wonderful family! Spent many an evening after skiing at the Alberg with Penny Pitou ski instructors. Many Austrians such as the Buttingers and Zimmermans.

Around 2010, I assist a developer in factfinding for the property. He imagines the Hotel and a condo complex in the back, both retail and residential. The Gunstock delegates were all for it. The sticking point is sewer access. The town of Gilford refuses to extend the sewer line in front of Alpine Ridge road up the hill to the Alberg property. The developer's father was the one who built Gunstock Acres, Cherry Valley condominium and Pier 4 at the Weirs.

The Gunstock Inn started back when WPA was building the Belknap Recreation area in the 30s. The barack as it was called housed the WPA workers. It even had a rope tow on the hill in the back. Eventually became the 'club house' for Gunstock Acres HOA.
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Old 11-04-2021, 09:34 PM   #18
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Default Gunstock expansion

Just one thing I don't understand about this. In some years Gunstock has suffered heavily from lack of snow, warm days, and rain. If I wanted to make money, as Gunstock says its motive for the expansion is, I wouldn't invest in an industry that relies totally on cold weather. Of course, Gunstock has expanded their year-round activities, but this expansion seems to be about skiing.
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Old 11-04-2021, 09:42 PM   #19
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Default An earlier thread

Perhaps you missed an earlier thread on this subject. See the thread here:
https://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums...ad.php?t=27566

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Old 11-04-2021, 10:26 PM   #20
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The ability to make snow changes the outcome.
Activities that rely on natural snowfall tend to suffer and those people go looking for something else to do.
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Old 11-05-2021, 02:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I don't quite get it. With a vertical drop of only 1300', Gunstock is never going to match Loon, Waterville, and Vermont areas as a premier destination. Plenty of areas >2,000' are well worth the drive, especially if staying overnight
I agree with you. I prefer Gunstock's low vertical drop because I am (or was) an intermediate skier. What made Gunstock attractive to me was that it's SMALL, MANAGEABLE, NEARBY, and used to be affordable for a day pass. I hated the overcrowding at Loon and having to take a train from one side to the other. Bigger is not better. Adding more trails to Gunstock would make it less rather than more attractive for me personally. This expansion will be the end of Gunstock's small, local flavor.
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Old 11-05-2021, 02:43 PM   #22
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The ability to make snow changes the outcome.
Activities that rely on natural snowfall tend to suffer and those people go looking for something else to do.
Snow making depends on cold. The ski season is shrinking at both ends. UNH has done research on the impact of climate change on the ski industry, and it doesn't look good.
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Old 11-05-2021, 05:46 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by SailinAway View Post
... What made Gunstock attractive to me was ... and used to be affordable for a day pass. I hated the overcrowding at Loon and having to take a train from one side to the other...
Once you hit 70, a season pass at Gunstock is $49. That's almost free skiing. As for Loon crowding, midweek isn't bad at all. And taking that train ride across the main parking lot to go between the gondola area and the Kancamagus (formerly quad, now 8-passenger) lift area can be avoided with a little planning on descent. Trails connect both areas.

On the downside, Loon did away with the senior break on midweek passes, nearly doubling the cost.
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Old 11-05-2021, 06:01 PM   #24
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The Barracks (sp?) and later the site of Gunstock Inn?



SEE SOME PICS OF THE OLD LIFTS HERE
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Old 11-05-2021, 06:47 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SailinAway View Post
Snow making depends on cold. The ski season is shrinking at both ends. UNH has done research on the impact of climate change on the ski industry, and it doesn't look good.
We have cold. We don't always have precipitation when it is cold... and that means less natural snow.

If I am reading it right, Gunstock's November 1st report is a base of 10-16"... I am only in Belmont, and can state for certain that our base is 0".
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Old 11-05-2021, 08:08 PM   #26
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Default ..... bring back the rope tow!

Bring back the rope tow, tee bar, and Poma platter pull lifts.

All these new chair lifts that slow down to let you on and off are so incredibly boring and NO CHALLENGE to ride!

While hanging on to a rope tow going up the steeps can be too strenuous for some, it made riding the tee bar seem like easy-peasy!

Helloooo Gunstock ...... tear down those chairlifts and replace them with a vintage rope tow, tee bar and platter pull ....... just like 1965. Riding these old lifts up the hill was just as much fun and challenge as skiing down the slopes.
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Old 11-11-2021, 02:15 PM   #27
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Default Petition - Belknap County Residents for Gunstock Ski Area

Gunstock Ski Areas is a vital part of Belknap County. It is a major employer and contributes to the local economy far beyond it's borders. It is vitally important that we do not open ourselves up to the possibility of the area being taken out of the hands of the people of Belknap County and sold to corporate entities who do not have our best interests in mind. We are asking all residents & taxpayers of Belknap County to please join us in our fight to save Gunstock Ski Area.


https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/be...s-for-gunstock
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Old 11-11-2021, 02:45 PM   #28
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Would those same jobs and community benefits you write of be still there if it was run by a private company? Just think of the taxes they would pay that are voided today


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Old 11-11-2021, 02:45 PM   #29
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Quote:
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Gunstock Ski Areas is a vital part of Belknap County. It is a major employer and contributes to the local economy far beyond it's borders. It is vitally important that we do not open ourselves up to the possibility of the area being taken out of the hands of the people of Belknap County and sold to corporate entities who do not have our best interests in mind. We are asking all residents & taxpayers of Belknap County to please join us in our fight to save Gunstock Ski Area.


https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/be...s-for-gunstock
This seems interesting and important, but you have not given us enough info to understand the situation. In your post above, you assert Gunstock may be sold--very important and debate-worthy, but the petition does not mention that. The petition asserts certain people are abusing their authority--also important, but you've offered no specifics. Please fill us in
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Old 11-11-2021, 04:24 PM   #30
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Default LDS Articles

Not sure why these are not coming up as links but here are a few articles from the LDS explaining the situation.

https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...QEv36Gnw_3_ZNk

https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...a8d654e8f.html
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Old 11-11-2021, 05:25 PM   #31
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Whoa! I agree that Silber, Sylvia, and Ness are behaving terribly. Silber's definition of "cause" and Sylvia's definition of criminal are comical. Even funnier is the delegation's statement that Ness did nothing improper because his software was not purchased. Throw these bums out!
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Old 11-11-2021, 08:09 PM   #32
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Would those same jobs and community benefits you write of be still there if it was run by a private company? Just think of the taxes they would pay that are voided today


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They would not be paying taxes. The land because of deeding is either Belknap Counties or returned to Federal. So no property tax.
The businesses that rent space on the land would pay taxes to the State as current business on the property does.
The new land renter would pay to the County a rent... and that would need to be at least as large as the current payment to the County.
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Old 11-16-2021, 07:37 PM   #33
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Once they change Gunstock to a 'mega' resort, it will be a disaster. I may have to change to Tenney or Ragged Mountain. Both are great skiing!
Sorry to say, but Tenney won't be a lift-served option this winter: Ski Areas on the Bubble - NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
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Old 12-05-2021, 09:57 AM   #34
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Default Gunstock Presentation

Did anyone attend the Saturday presentation about Gunstock expansion? Curious to hear any responses.
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:24 AM   #35
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Default Gunstock Master PLan

https://www.gunstock.com/community/master-plan/

As you can see, it will require purchasing private property and getting permission from the Belknap Conservatory Trust to make it happen.

I did not attend as I was at a meeting in Concord at the same time. I was told that many who attended appear to be in favor. There will be a Youtube video of the presentation in the near future. It will be interesting if the video will present the Q&A section after the talk.

Interesting is that the 'back side' that spills into the Weeks property was at one time the longest rope tow in history 'The Gunstock Hoist'. I faintly remember walking up and skiing down one of the trails back in the late 50's early 60's. It is pretty much now overgrown.
http://www.nelsap.org/nh/hoist.html

I can envision the expansion to the former Alpine Ridge ski area fairly easy. Gunstock purchased the land from Penny Pitou. Because of the terrain, I'm not quite so sure the value added. I can go on and on but I will leave it here.
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Old 12-05-2021, 05:47 PM   #36
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Here's a story on the meeting/proposal and a few additional maps:

Gunstock Presents $45.5 Million Expansion Proposal

The auto road and cabins (overlapping the present-day Overlook and Belknap Range hiking trails) and mid-mountain hotel may raise some concerns.
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Old 12-06-2021, 09:37 AM   #37
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So, why would anyone want to spend 45.5 million dollars, Belknap County money, to expand Gunstock ... www.gunstock.com .... when it's raining hard, today, Monday December 6 with more rain and warm temps predicted for opening day, next weekend, Dec 11-12?

For about seventy five dollars you can get an excellent pair of walking boots at the Skechers store in Tilton, and another $20 for "Yaktrax Pro" winter ice /snow traction walker elongated springs design at Ebay and you are good to go hit the Gunstock winter hiking trails.

$75 & $20 for winter walking vs 45.5-million for ski area expansion? That's a big difference? .....

Shopping the local thrift store or Walmart, winter walking boots/shoes can be, maybe, a great value! .....

Downhill skiing is a conspiracy to get you to spend a lot of money, when you actually would get much more recreational benefit by walking up and down a NH mountain hiking trail in the winter. ..... ...... and maybe bring along a pair of ski poles from the thrift store for steep walking.
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Old 12-06-2021, 10:48 AM   #38
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Default From the Union Leader 12-6-2021

From today's Union Leader newspaper, 12-6-2021:

https://www.unionleader.com/news/bus...497f23466.html

Dave

And in case the link doesn't work:

GILFORD — A plan that would significantly expand facilities at the Gunstock Mountain Resort got a warm response from a near capacity audience in the Base Lodge on Saturday that included Penny Pitou, the first American skier to win a medal in an Olympic downhill event.

The turnout came on the heels of an equally well-attended Nov. 16 meeting of the Belknap County Delegation, at which the delegation was ostensibly poised to remove three of the five current members of the Gunstock Area Commission: Chair Brian Gallagher, Gary Kiedaisch and Rusty McLear.

Earlier this year, the commissioners asked the delegation to unseat fellow Commissioner Peter Ness over allegations that Ness had an apparent conflict of interest in trying to sell Gunstock a software system his company had developed and because he was verbally abusive to employees.

In a motion filed in Belknap County Superior Court for an emergency injunction to prevent their removal at the Nov. 16 meeting, Gallagher, Kiedaisch and McLear said the delegation’s effort to replace them was retaliation for their wanting to remove Ness.

Judge James O’Neill III denied the motion, but scheduled a hearing on the matter for Dec. 23.

Opened in 1937 as the Belknap Mountains Recreation Area, Gunstock is located on land owned by Belknap County and its operation is overseen by the Gunstock Area Commission, whose members are appointed — and can be removed — by the delegation.

Made up of Belknap County’s 18 New Hampshire House of Representatives, the delegation is seemingly divided on whether to privatize Gunstock.

Under the proposed master plan, Gunstock, among other improvements, would see an increase in skiable terrain; get a new lift and a toll road to the summit; and possibly have an on-slope restaurant and hotel.

Tom Day, who is Gunstock’s president and general manager, said the vision being presented Saturday represented “a long-term project and a long-term investment” for the mountain.

“We’re not going to go and do something we can’t pay for,” he stressed.

Several speakers said the expansion proposed by the master plan would ease overcrowding while getting more people to the summit, which would be great for visitors and also for Gunstock’s bottom line.

McLear, who developed the Inns at Mill Falls and Church Landing in Meredith, which he sold earlier this year, said the Gunstock Area Commission has ideas regarding a hotel at Gunstock.

Gunstock is already “a great ski area,” McLear said, and the challenge is to “build the right kind of hotel” that would enhance it further.

Asked if the hotel would generate money for Belknap County, Kiedaisch replied that “there would be a couple bites of the apple” including lease income that would go to the county and a percentage of the hotel’s revenue that would go to Gunstock itself.
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Old 12-06-2021, 12:07 PM   #39
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Ummm...I've hiked Gunstock a few times and, like, it's not that big. Where will the "toll road" go, and how big a deal would a hotel at, what, 1,500 feet be? We're not talking about a Summit House or anything like that, right? What am I missing here?!

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Old 12-06-2021, 02:24 PM   #40
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Ummm...I've hiked Gunstock a few times and, like, it's not that big. Where will the "toll road" go, and how big a deal would a hotel at, what, 1,500 feet be? We're not talking about a Summit House or anything like that, right? What am I missing here?!

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Gunstock is a big part of the area and I welcome it. Gunstock was the first placed I skied as a teenager.

I am sure a hotel would be situated to have great views of the lake and help to make it more of a destination than a day trippers mountain.
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Old 12-06-2021, 02:49 PM   #41
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Despite being the only county owned ski area out of 3143 different counties in the 50-states, Gunstock has a lift ticket price of $96/day. Prime time NH ski ticket prices: Bretton Woods-$119, Loon-$115, Mount Sunapee-$114, Wildcat & Attitash- maybe $110(?), Waterville Valley-$110, Cannon-$99, Gunstock-$96 ...... Abenaki in Wolfeboro-season pass $50-resident/$125-non resident, no day tickets this season

Do you get what you pay for, and is it worth their high lift ticket price? ....... www.gunstock.com/explore/webcams/ ..... www.waterville.com/cams/ ...... www.loonmtn.com webcam, find it-bottom-ski & ride..... https://www.cannonmt.com/mountain/webcam-daily-photo ..... http://www.brettonwoods.com/Activiti...cams/live_cams ..... http://www.mountsunapee.com/the-moun...tain-cams.aspx ...... http://www.attitash.com/the-mountain...tain-cams.aspx ..... http://www.skiwildcat.com/the-mounta...tain-cams.aspx ....
www.whaleback.com ... http://www.wolfeboronh.us/abenaki-sk...ki-area-videos ........

Is really something that the small, local Abenaki in Wolfeboro with an old 1950's style rope tow has the most happening video page by like a hundred times more happening than all the big-money areas, put together ...... ski the best at Abenaki!

Last week I purchased an everything-everyday season pass for Gunstock and it only cost me $49 for the whole winter season. I know a super steal-of-a-deal when I see one, even though it has become somewhat normal now for NH ski areas to be at 33% open slope operation or LESS for the last week of the year, Christmas week ..... if they get LUCKY with a cold December blast of wintry weather! Do they reduce their Christmas week lift ticket prices, down by 66% ....... from $96 down to $32...... no, they do not.

Something tells me this $49-everything Gunstock pass for age 70-79 will NO longer exist next year? ...

The weather has become too WARM for making good snow in much of December! ....

Gunstock already has winter camping for skiers skiing the mountain...... www.gunstock.com/camping/winter-camping/ ..... so, what the heck they need a hotel for? Cannon Mtn, owned by the State of NH, has winter camping for skiers skiing the mountain, too..... www.cannonmt.com/amenities/winter-camping-rvs ...... for $25/night with room for seven rv's, and Cannon is a real 4081'-high mountain as opposed to just a big hill like 2244' high Gunstock ....... and you never hear that Cannon wants to build its own hotel .... do you? ...... no, you don't!
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Old 12-06-2021, 03:09 PM   #42
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Gunstock is a big part of the area and I welcome it. Gunstock was the first placed I skied as a teenager.

I am sure a hotel would be situated to have great views of the lake and help to make it more of a destination than a day trippers mountain.
Are there any destination resorts with only 1300' of drop? Sunapee is not much bigger, but it's closer to Mass. For Gunstock to be a destination, it has to lure folks from Loon/Waterville, only an hour to the north, and/or get them to drive an extra hour past Sunapee.

Poll for people who live an hour or more from Gunstock--can you see choosing Gunstock for a weekend instead of your current fave?
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Old 12-06-2021, 03:22 PM   #43
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Gunstock is a big part of the area and I welcome it. Gunstock was the first placed I skied as a teenager.

I am sure a hotel would be situated to have great views of the lake and help to make it more of a destination than a day trippers mountain.
I'm not against developing it, but I think it's important to be a bit realistic about what Gunstock is. I mean, even the Gunstock map rounds from 2,24X' to 2,300'.

Also, isn't "vertical drop" and "elevation gain" the same thing because Gunstock claims 1,340' vertical drop, but all the lit shows an elevation gain of 1,150'. I think Gunstock uses the lowest point of the parking lot/basin for that hooey.

Like I said, I'm cool with doing stuff, but let's be realistic about what Gunstock is.

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Old 12-06-2021, 04:23 PM   #44
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Default Year Round

Just remember that Gunstock is not just skiing, it is a year round resort.

Zip line to the bottom chairlift to the top.

Just a thought

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Old 12-06-2021, 05:13 PM   #45
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Just remember that Gunstock is not just skiing, it is a year round resort.

Zip line to the bottom chairlift to the top.

Just a thought

Dave
Understood, but do we think people will book hotel space to go ziplining? I can see a slope-side hotel, but a zipline-side hotel?

What do I know, though? The people involved are much smarter than I am with this stuff, so let's see how it goes!

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Old 12-06-2021, 06:36 PM   #46
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Default Not all they have

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Understood, but do we think people will book hotel space to go ziplining? I can see a slope-side hotel, but a zipline-side hotel?

What do I know, though? The people involved are much smarter than I am with this stuff, so let's see how it goes!

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I don't know how many rooms the "hotel" will have. But there are many other activities at Gunstock than ziplining. I'm sure that it will all play out for the best way to provide value and make it profitable. Unfortunately, I likely will be dead and buried before this all comes to fruition. You, on the other hand, l hope will live long enough to enjoy it all.

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Old 12-06-2021, 06:51 PM   #47
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Default Drive past ?

I was skiing at Crotched Mountain shortly after it reopened. The happy parking lot attendant asked where people were from. Then ha said "Thanks for driving past X and Y to come here today." A new lodge, drssing areas, renta shop, etc and everybody happy even before they got close to the lifts. Skiers, like golfers, want to try out different terrain, views, and appreciate up to date facilities, rides from remote parking, good marketing, etc. Year round activity is also a plus. Small areas have not survived with out merging (Mittersill, Mt Rowe). Take a look on the web for "Lost NH Ski areas. Scores are closed. The commissioners who are looking at this are not inexperienced in the industry; such projects are multi-year. Look at the time line for The Balsams. Maybe somebody will make a second attempt at Kimball's Castle?
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Old 12-07-2021, 10:16 PM   #48
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Small areas have not survived with out merging (Mittersill, Mt Rowe). Take a look on the web for "Lost NH Ski areas. Scores are closed.
Most of the lost ski areas in New Hampshire were small rope tow operations, which became obsolete with most skiers expecting snowmaking, grooming, and chairlifts. A few non-profit surface areas exist, thanks in part to donors, public funding, and volunteers, such as Storr's Hill (Lebanon), Kancamagus (Lincoln), Veterans Memorial (Franklin), Abenaki (Wolfeboro), Red Hill (Moultonborough), Prospect (Lancaster), Eustis (Littleton), and Arrowhead (Claremont).

Gunstock is unique, in that it is the only remaining ski area in Belknap County, and it can use the county's finances to keep it afloat in tough times.

Growth is not always a winning proposition in the ski industry, particularly if the ski area takes on significant debt and prices itself out of its core market.
In fact, the "build and they will come" mantra has led to many bankruptcies and closures in the ski industry. Over the years, examples of expansion-and-bankruptcy in the region include Tenney, Crotched, Temple, Ragged, and King Ridge. Other areas in the state have remained popular and viable without dramatically expanding their footprint, such as McIntyre, Pats Peak, and King Pine.
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Old 12-07-2021, 10:53 PM   #49
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Quote "Over the years, examples of expansion-and-bankruptcy in the region include Tenney, Crotched, Temple, Ragged, and King Ridge. Other areas in the state have remained popular and viable without dramatically expanding their footprint, such as McIntyre, Pats Peak, and King Pine."

Right, and some have reopened. (McIntyre, as a municipal park is different) In any event, many businesses operate under capitalized and somebody else takes over with a lower entry fee or better capitalization and becomes successful.
It's a complex issue, but leasing Sunapee (low entry fee) and applying the income to Cannon appears to have been a success for both areas. New, aggressive management at both was a plus.
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Old 12-08-2021, 08:04 AM   #50
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Default Saddleback

Saddleback in Maine is at the leading edge of modern development. Many if not all ski resorts are looking to see how this works out. So far it is a winning combination of sustainability and social responsibility.

Arctaris Impact Investors is one I would trust if the County Delegates decides to sell the property, at the very least manage future development. The investors are a lot more socially responsible than the current management.

https://www.yahoo.com/now/saddleback...162200148.html
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Old 12-08-2021, 01:20 PM   #51
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(McIntyre, as a municipal park is different)
McIntyre is leased by a private operator.

Quote:
Arctaris Impact Investors is one I would trust if the County Delegates decides to sell the property, at the very least manage future development. The investors are a lot more socially responsible than the current management.
Arctaris is reportedly a short-term owner with the focus on reopening/redeveloping Saddleback, then selling it.
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Old 12-08-2021, 07:44 PM   #52
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Saddleback in Maine is at the leading edge of modern development. Many if not all ski resorts are looking to see how this works out. So far it is a winning combination of sustainability and social responsibility.

Arctaris Impact Investors is one I would trust if the County Delegates decides to sell the property, at the very least manage future development. The investors are a lot more socially responsible than the current management.

https://www.yahoo.com/now/saddleback...162200148.html
The property cannot be sold; it would need to be deeded back to federal land. The operations on it could be leased to a private group.
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Old 07-20-2022, 09:25 PM   #53
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Default Get your rock skis sharpened

Now that the new Gunstock Commission got their way and managed to get the entire Gunstock management team to resign, we can all look forward to the money we paid for our season passes to go towards paying for the Delegations legal fees that went 150% over budget.
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Old 07-20-2022, 10:31 PM   #54
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Default Get your rock skis sharpened

Now that the new Gunstock Commission got their way and managed to get the entire Gunstock management team to resign, we can all look forward to the money we paid for our season passes to go towards paying for the Delegations legal fees that went 150% over budget.
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Old 07-21-2022, 07:10 AM   #55
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Default Preparing for a major shut down

With an experienced management team out of the way, I expect the Gunstock crew to be following suit. The Free staters will now have the opportunity to privatize the mountain. They can't sell the land as the land was deeded by the feds and that will be beyond the free staters unless they succeed in breaking NH away from the US.

The next step is the privatization of the County Home, Prison, and Sheriff dept.
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Old 07-21-2022, 08:28 AM   #56
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Ugh, but obviously not a surprise. When does the governor or some other group of responsible adults step in?

For those interested in stopping the commission before they do permanent damage--I was sent this website via email. I do not know these folks, but the whole thing is an important reminder that rational Republicans and rational Democrats have much more in common with each other than the extremists in either party

https://www.citizensforbelknap.org/
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Old 07-21-2022, 11:35 AM   #57
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Thank you for posting an update on the Gunstock debacle. I've just contacted Citizens for Belknap to volunteer my services. My motive: to stop the Free State Project. They remind me of Putin in Ukraine---taking over an autonomous region because they can, without regard for the values of local residents. Review what happened recently in Croydon to understand that the Free State Project concerns us all.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/10/u...-politics.html
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Old 07-21-2022, 11:49 AM   #58
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Sorry, I am an extremist on this issue.

I think we should privatize as much of the operation on that mountain that we can.

I don't think any private group has ever offered to take over the alpine ski operation, or any of the trails.

But retail, food, and accommodations should be as private as possible... supported by private investment, and paying a healthy rental fee to the mountain for the opportunity.

I just don't think the delegation is really on board with that...
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Old 07-21-2022, 12:41 PM   #59
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Sorry, I am an extremist on this issue.

I think we should privatize as much of the operation on that mountain that we can.

I don't think any private group has ever offered to take over the alpine ski operation, or any of the trails.

But retail, food, and accommodations should be as private as possible... supported by private investment, and paying a healthy rental fee to the mountain for the opportunity.

I just don't think the delegation is really on board with that...
Ha! You are correct--I think of you as a rational Republican with whom I have much in common...

I agree there's a fair debate about public vs private, and that there may be certain deal structures that are better for both the town and the skiers. But don't you think Sylvia and Co are operating in bad faith? (the software, the legal fees, their treatment of highly qualified board members, the utter disregard for a competent management team) Do they really seem like the guys who are going to do what's best in general?

We need skilled professionals figuring this out, not ideologues

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Old 07-21-2022, 01:42 PM   #60
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Default Governor Sununu sides with the Gunstock management team

He drafted an open letter to the Citizens of Belknap County, including calling for Sylvia, Silber, and Hough to be "removed from their positions and replaced with good people". Full letter attached. Good for the Governor to take this public stand to defend a jewel of Belknap County. True republicans like Sununu (an excellent Governor) should be just as irate at those responsible for this mess as independents and democrats. I know I am.

https://www.governor.nh.gov/sites/g/...p-gunstock.pdf
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Old 07-21-2022, 04:19 PM   #61
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Default Statement of Rep Norman Silber, Belknap 2: Gilford & Meredith

Statement of Norman Silber in response to resignation of Gunstock Mountain Resort management team

July 21, 3:30-pm, 2022

http://www.wmur.com/article/statemen...staff/40681060

This is so over my head that I have nothing intelligent to say, as usual, and leave that to anyone who knows what they are talking about? .....

How's about a downhill ski race between Rep Norman Silber and Gunstock guy, Tommy Day, and the winner becomes King of the Mountain! ...
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Old 07-21-2022, 06:12 PM   #62
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Ha! You are correct--I think of you as a rational Republican with whom I have much in common...

I agree there's a fair debate about public vs private, and that there may be certain deal structures that are better for both the town and the skiers. But don't you think Sylvia and Co are operating in bad faith? (the software, the legal fees, their treatment of highly qualified board members, the utter disregard for a competent management team) Do they really seem like the guys who are going to do what's best in general?

We need skilled professionals figuring this out, not ideologues
I have no concern for the town... they can bill for services rendered.
The delegation, each as an individual, is supposed to look out for the interests of the population within their districts.

Though I have voted for Mike every time he has run... I am not feeling that he has my best interests at heart with his latest legislative endeavors. He hasn't taken the time or effort to lay out how more dollars going into a property that I am a stakeholder is bad for me. It is possible a defining reason exists... but he should earn my vote again by explaining that reasoning.
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Old 07-22-2022, 02:46 AM   #63
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There's a lot to read here ..... http://www.nhpr.org/nh-news/2022-07-...gns-commission .... from NHPR, New Hampshire's largest news organization.

All I will say is that downhill skiing is for people who are too lazy to go cross country skiing, or go winter hiking, and will pay $104 for a seven hour, 9am-4pm chair lift ride to get up the mountain. For $104 you can own an excellent pair of winter walking boots (Plymouth Ski & Sport) and a good warm pair of winter mittens (Rand's Hardware-Plymouth) and go walk a trail in the nearby https://belknaprangetrails.org/belknap-range-trail-map/ or up in the White Mountain National Forest that has good cross country skiing and hiking for $30/year with your car windshield parking sticker.

Besides all that, an enclosed chairlift is a good place to catch a virus from another downhill skier as you sit there, protected from the wind, inside your enclosed bubble chairlift.
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Old 07-22-2022, 08:08 AM   #64
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Default Privitizing public lands

Google and Sunapee and Wachusets' privatizing did not go well through the years. Some years they ask for forgiveness and some years they made out very well and the state did not profit from it. Plus the demands the fat corporation asks for the landowners are a bit much so I don't want to get into this here. In other states and federal property when a company goes belly up the municipalities are usually held responsible for cleaning up the abandoned property.

So, Silber, Sylvia's grandiose idea may not have a silver lining. They probably don't give a s$$t as they pass it on to the next generation.

I heard that their puppet Peter Ness came barrelling in and tries to bark orders in the resort. The rank and file are getting furious. Peter is just a mediocre lawyer on the wagon thinking he knows everything because he has a PSIA certificate.
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Old 07-22-2022, 08:35 AM   #65
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Google and Sunapee and Wachusets' privatizing did not go well through the years. Some years they ask for forgiveness and some years they made out very well and the state did not profit from it. Plus the demands the fat corporation asks for the landowners are a bit much so I don't want to get into this here. In other states and federal property when a company goes belly up the municipalities are usually held responsible for cleaning up the abandoned property.

So, Silber, Sylvia's grandiose idea may not have a silver lining. They probably don't give a s$$t as they pass it on to the next generation.

I heard that their puppet Peter Ness came barrelling in and tries to bark orders in the resort. The rank and file are getting furious. Peter is just a mediocre lawyer on the wagon thinking he knows everything because he has a PSIA certificate.
Most investment professionals would say that there is ALWAYS a good price at which to sell an investment--in other words, there is definitely some number and set of conditions that a for-profit operator could offer where the citizens come out ahead.

But that does not mean that we will get that number, and there are a couple of reasons why it's unlikely. First, the for-profit operator needs to build in profit to get a return on their investment. That might be 20% of the amount invested off the top every year. So the first 20% of financial improvement goes to the money guys, not the people. Of course, it's REALLY tough to improve a good operation by more than 20%, so....Second, even if we accept the above, we need to remember that the for-profit finance guys are MUCH more sophisticated than the government guys on our side of the bargaining table. So even if we think we have a good deal, we are likely missing a few finer points, as BroadHopper notes was the case at other areas.

So I'd keep my money on Mr Day...
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Old 07-22-2022, 09:45 AM   #66
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This is absurd! When the entire management team quits, that is a crystal clear NO CONFIDENCE vote in the Commissioners!

Gunstock was well run and turned a profit and thus was used as a cash cow for Belknap County. So lets screw that formula up!

Unfortunately, the commissioners are not elected, but appointed. One of our elected Representatives actually mentioned Soros? Seriously? So the only way to correct this boondoggle is to vote out our idiotic State Representatives that voted these morons in.

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Old 07-22-2022, 11:43 AM   #67
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Default There are two sides to every story

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.)

Anyway, all of this could have been avoided if the Commissioners and the full time staff were more cooperative and transparent when the new Delegation took over. At that time, the Delegation's request for a comprehensive audit was met with resistance. This was quickly followed by the expansion plans and the outrageous bonuses the full time staff awarded themselves. Like it or not, when it comes to Gunstock, the Commissioners and the full time staff are public servants and answer to the county Delegation. It is the Delegation's right to audit the Gunstock operation and the Commissioners and full time staff did not help themselves by their resistance. They should have realized they are public servants and the key to any successful government endeavor is openness and transparency. By refusing to cooperate they projected the appearance that they had something to hide.

Like I said, had the Commissioners and the full time staff fully cooperated at the beginning, most of this could have been avoided. However, the way it stands now, it appears their lack of cooperation may have been necessary. We will see when the audit results are made public. In the meantime, I caution against making any judgments until all the facts are publicly revealed.
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Old 07-22-2022, 01:18 PM   #68
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So Silber is going to vote to release the notes and email that deals with the overspending of dollars that were not legally appropriated? Because I was under the understanding that He and Sylvia were keeping this secret.

Also... why would you think it in the best interests of the constituents not to seek private investment and more revenue into the operation?
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Old 07-22-2022, 01:48 PM   #69
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So Silber is going to vote to release the notes and email that deals with the overspending of dollars that were not legally appropriated? Because I was under the understanding that He and Sylvia were keeping this secret.
I don't know. We only discussed the underlying reasons for the present dispute. Both sides are accusing the other side of overspending on attorneys, so I am not sure if they are being difficult for the sake of being difficult. Trust me, that happens in disputes and especially in litigation.

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Also... why would you think it in the best interests of the constituents not to seek private investment and more revenue into the operation?
What I meant about the privatizing Gunstock issue was that Norm was not in favor of selling Gunstock to a third-party, which had been an accusation against him. I should have said he is not in favor of selling Gunstock. I am not sure what he thinks about privatizing services. My guess is that if it makes business sense and results in increased revenue that he would be for it. You would have to ask him.
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Old 07-22-2022, 01:57 PM   #70
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So he really isn't open on the emails... and suggesting that both sides are acting like ''babies'' doesn't really adhere to the level of elected officials.


Gunstock being sold was never really being discussed... as Gunstock can not be sold due to the means that it was gifted to the county.
Privatization of services is the only privatization that is on the table.
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Old 07-22-2022, 03:33 PM   #71
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I don't know. We only discussed the underlying reasons for the present dispute. Both sides are accusing the other side of overspending on attorneys, so I am not sure if they are being difficult for the sake of being difficult. Trust me, that happens in disputes and especially in litigation.

What I meant about the privatizing Gunstock issue was that Norm was not in favor of selling Gunstock to a third-party, which had been an accusation against him. I should have said he is not in favor of selling Gunstock. I am not sure what he thinks about privatizing services. My guess is that if it makes business sense and results in increased revenue that he would be for it. You would have to ask him.
When I asked him he said he wanted it privatized.
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Old 07-22-2022, 05:04 PM   #72
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An article that pretty much describes how we got here and how it probably won’t get any better.

https://unofficialnetworks.com/2022/...ment-resigned/
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Old 07-22-2022, 10:51 PM   #73
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Default Gunstock

You won't see me at Gunstock for a long time. Who wants to get on a chair lift at a resort filled with dysfunctional leadership and disgruntled employees? My level of confidence that critical maintenance is happening is pretty low. The focus needs to be on whatever moronic politicians appointed these Commissioners. Gotta love when the government tries to run anything.
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Old 07-23-2022, 05:53 AM   #74
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Google and Sunapee and Wachusets' privatizing did not go well through the years. Some years they ask for forgiveness and some years they made out very well and the state did not profit from it.
That is incorrect.

Wachusett and Sunapee were constantly having issues prior to moving to private operators (Sunapee in particular), resulting in taxpayer bail outs.

Wachusett has been run by the Crowley family's company for decades and is considered one of the most successful ski areas in the country.

Mt. Sunapee was run by the Mueller family's company for two decades and quickly grew into one of the most successful ski areas in the state. Lease payments were made to the state every year.

It is hard to defend some of Vail's decisions in recent years (I personally refused to patronize any of their areas last season due to their draconian vaccine mandates). Nevertheless, they have continued to make lease payments to the state every year. The Sunapee lease payments subsidize Cannon. Without the annual lease payments or taxpayer bailouts, Cannon would likely default on its debt.
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Old 07-23-2022, 08:22 AM   #75
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That is incorrect.

Wachusett and Sunapee were constantly having issues prior to moving to private operators (Sunapee in particular), resulting in taxpayer bail outs.

Wachusett has been run by the Crowley family's company for decades and is considered one of the most successful ski areas in the country.

Mt. Sunapee was run by the Mueller family's company for two decades and quickly grew into one of the most successful ski areas in the state. Lease payments were made to the state every year.

It is hard to defend some of Vail's decisions in recent years (I personally refused to patronize any of their areas last season due to their draconian vaccine mandates). Nevertheless, they have continued to make lease payments to the state every year. The Sunapee lease payments subsidize Cannon. Without the annual lease payments or taxpayer bailouts, Cannon would likely default on its debt.
It's really hard--basically impossible--for private citizens to know if they are getting a good deal with any of these arrangements. I ski Wachusett regularly, and agree it's a great hill from a customer perspective. I don't doubt that Sunapee subsidizes Cannon.

But the thing that we do not know is how much quality/revenue is due to the private company compared to the amount of profit (or loss) they are taking from citizens/skiers--it's a complex question. That's why we need professionals/technocrats leading these issues, not extremists who can't even manage their legal bills or keep a well respected management team on the job
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Old 07-23-2022, 09:49 AM   #76
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It's really hard--basically impossible--for private citizens to know if they are getting a good deal with any of these arrangements. I ski Wachusett regularly, and agree it's a great hill from a customer perspective. I don't doubt that Sunapee subsidizes Cannon.

But the thing that we do not know is how much quality/revenue is due to the private company compared to the amount of profit (or loss) they are taking from citizens/skiers--it's a complex question. That's why we need professionals/technocrats leading these issues, not extremists who can't even manage their legal bills or keep a well respected management team on the job
A good deal for the consumer should not be the scope of the delegation.
The delegation should be working for the taxpayers that vote them in... that is whom they represent.
That means they only need to determine if the leasing deal is the best they can get for each part...

The lease from Sunapee did go to Cannon. It was part of the deal being that the park system is self-funded.
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Old 07-23-2022, 06:10 PM   #77
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It's really hard--basically impossible--for private citizens to know if they are getting a good deal with any of these arrangements. I ski Wachusett regularly, and agree it's a great hill from a customer perspective. I don't doubt that Sunapee subsidizes Cannon.

But the thing that we do not know is how much quality/revenue is due to the private company compared to the amount of profit (or loss) they are taking from citizens/skiers--it's a complex question. That's why we need professionals/technocrats leading these issues, not extremists who can't even manage their legal bills or keep a well respected management team on the job
It's not quite that complex. In the case of Mt. Sunapee, it's structured as a fixed amount, plus a percentage of revenue. The state also has the right to look at the operator's books. The lease was developed by the state and elected officials (some who could probably still assist).

Not only did the state get a guaranteed revenue stream, but it no longer has the risk associated with bad winters and capital investments. Perhaps more importantly, the ski area was no longer tax exempt (meaning the towns, county, and state collect property taxes on the millions of dollars of lifts, buildings, snowmaking equipment, etc. installed by the operator).

The state lease arrangement has more oversight than government management. Mt. Sunapee's operator would never get away with putting a mid-mountain hotel on undeveloped public property in their master plan.
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Old 07-23-2022, 06:51 PM   #78
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Do you have a link? As the State Park is still tax exempt. The buildings and improvements are like any lease/rental... when it is over the landowner assumes ownership of all improvements. There may be local or county property tax payments on the private property around the area that is owned and developed by the corporation... and the new lease suggests more land will be added to the State Park.

The State pays five years of transition property taxes for newly acquired park property... but after that nothing.

So I think the State would love a huge capital development of a ''mid-mountain'' hotel if it increased their lease revenue and meant a future capital asset when the lease came to an end.
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Old 07-23-2022, 07:33 PM   #79
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It's not quite that complex. In the case of Mt. Sunapee, it's structured as a fixed amount, plus a percentage of revenue. The state also has the right to look at the operator's books. The lease was developed by the state and elected officials (some who could probably still assist).

Not only did the state get a guaranteed revenue stream, but it no longer has the risk associated with bad winters and capital investments. Perhaps more importantly, the ski area was no longer tax exempt (meaning the towns, county, and state collect property taxes on the millions of dollars of lifts, buildings, snowmaking equipment, etc. installed by the operator).

The state lease arrangement has more oversight than government management. Mt. Sunapee's operator would never get away with putting a mid-mountain hotel on undeveloped public property in their master plan.
I agree with your qualitative description. But (and this was the point of my previous post), you have not included any numbers. Without the numbers, and a bunch of additional analysis, it's impossible to know if the deal is better or worse. I'm pretty sure the two of us would agree on that.

If we were leaving the analysis to experienced, rational professionals--former ski area and hospitality CEOs, bankers, etc--I'd be comfortable that they would evaluate this stuff appropriately, starting as you have above.

But the people on the commission today have shown themselves to be irrational and dogmatic. They appear to be eager to privatize for the sake of privatization--this is a recipe for giving money away to to the for-profit operators.
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Old 07-23-2022, 08:08 PM   #80
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I agree with your qualitative description. But (and this was the point of my previous post), you have not included any numbers. Without the numbers, and a bunch of additional analysis, it's impossible to know if the deal is better or worse. I'm pretty sure the two of us would agree on that.
$150K/year at the start of the lease (1998), adjusted thereafter for inflation, plus 3% of revenue. The original RFP and lease are on various state web sites.
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Old 07-23-2022, 08:21 PM   #81
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Do you have a link? As the State Park is still tax exempt. The buildings and improvements are like any lease/rental... when it is over the landowner assumes ownership of all improvements. There may be local or county property tax payments on the private property around the area that is owned and developed by the corporation... and the new lease suggests more land will be added to the State Park.

The State pays five years of transition property taxes for newly acquired park property... but after that nothing.
From the 2015 Master Development Plan:
"Mount Sunapee has paid the Town of Newbury approximately $2,225,000 in local property taxes, and has paid the Town of Goshen approximately $245,000 in local property taxes in the 16 years of the lease. Prior to the 1998 lease agreement, the Towns of Newbury and Goshen received no local property tax payments from the ski area"
"Mount Sunapee has paid the State of New Hampshire approximately $1,855,000 in Rooms and Meals taxes since 1998, and stimulated substantial additional Rooms & Meals tax revenues from the Sunapee region for the benefit of the State’s General Fund. Mount Sunapee has paid the State of New Hampshire approximately $1,257,000 in Business Profits Taxes"
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Old 07-23-2022, 08:48 PM   #82
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Hi rocket,

These are interesting, but they are only half of the equation. You need to compare these numbers to the profit the government would have earned if it was operating Sunapee itself. And of course, there are a huge number of details that may make either set of figures misleading...

Not asking you to to that here, as the real question is Gunstock and how a for-profit operator would compare to the current team/structure. Cheers
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Old 07-23-2022, 09:23 PM   #83
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These are interesting, but they are only half of the equation. You need to compare these numbers to the profit the government would have earned if it was operating Sunapee itself. And of course, there are a huge number of details that may make either set of figures misleading...
The state was often losing money on a P&L basis (which is distorted due to state accounting excluding some huge expenses from ski area books, such as depreciation and interest), as it still does at Cannon in bad years. Not only that, but the state struggled to provide the capital needed to modernize Sunapee and Cannon.

In the end, the Muellers invested heavily in Sunapee (new lifts, new lodge, massive snowmaking improvements), and the lease payments helped to provide capital (along with general fund dollars) for Cannon improvements. Cannon is still lagging, with an aging lift fleet and visible accumulated depreciation.
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Old 07-24-2022, 02:21 AM   #84
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The Muellers had 600 acres of private land to develop once they won a decision that allowed them to connect it to the ski area by use of more of the state park.

That isn't something readily available to a leasee of Gunstock.

They would need the right to develop the county land... as per the master plan of the previous GAC.
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Old 07-24-2022, 08:44 AM   #85
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What a mess. This audit should be completed, if it shows improprieties the bad actors should be prosecuted. If it shows that the mountain is well run, which I suspect will be the case, this commission should be fired. A commissioner wanting employee's phone numbers is a little wacked if you ask me.
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Old 07-24-2022, 08:56 AM   #86
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Want to avoid the ugly politics of skiing Gunstock..... https://www.wolfeboronh.us/abenaki-ski-area ... ...
.... the way home town skiing should be! ...... price $20. .... $8-Wolfeboro residents ..... and it has a wonderful ROPE TOW that challenges you on the ride up.
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Old 07-24-2022, 11:57 AM   #87
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Is this right? The commissioners and management team were "forced out" and the area is closed? Now, refunds will be due, and revenues will be lost. Fall season passes will drop off or cease completely. The list goes on. If current delegation members (State Reps) are opposed in the September primary, that's your chance to nominate somebody else, and in November you can change the entire slate, or at least get rid of some of them. Unfortunately, the numerous websites that detail state rep voting records focus on state house votes, and tracking down how reps voted in their dual capacity as county delegates is harder to evaluate. I guess somebody would have to comb through the minutes of the County Executive Committee meetings.
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Old 07-24-2022, 01:32 PM   #88
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I think the number of seats for each of the districts means that they will win their primaries.

Mike is being challenged by Travis. I like Travis... native born.
And being younger, I see him more as the future of our area.
I voted for them both in the last election... but they were in different districts.

As an Independent, I have never voted in the primaries.
I think it is up to the party to get its candidates and positions in order.

So I can't honestly tell you which one will be the Republican candidate come November.
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Old 07-24-2022, 02:12 PM   #89
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The Muellers had 600 acres of private land to develop once they won a decision that allowed them to connect it to the ski area by use of more of the state park.

That isn't something readily available to a leasee of Gunstock.

They would need the right to develop the county land... as per the master plan of the previous GAC.
They were originally proposing to expand eastward within the state park, but were halted by a well-organized opposition group. The private land they acquired to expand into on the west is the Goshen portion of the property tax figures previously listed.

Presumably if Gunstock ever when to bid for a lease, the topic of expansion would need to be covered (e.g. Alpine Ridge, Eastside).
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Old 07-24-2022, 02:18 PM   #90
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Is this right? The commissioners and management team were "forced out" and the area is closed? Now, refunds will be due, and revenues will be lost.
Four of the five commissioners remain (the one who was involved with the hiring of management resigned at the same time as management). Multiple members of management resigned at that meeting, but one of the people listed as "resigning" at the meeting had already departed from Gunstock weeks earlier for a new job.

Prior to the closure, the ziplines were open Thursday-Monday. The Mountain Coaster was already closed for mechanical repairs.

Special events are still proceeding as planned and the campground remains open. Ski season is 4+ months away.
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Old 07-24-2022, 02:23 PM   #91
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I think Descant meant the original commissioners... not the replacements brought in by this delegation.

Four months might seem a long way off... but I am working a lumber yard and already working on our winter plans and buys.
Retail operations generally plan at least a season ahead.
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Old 07-24-2022, 03:02 PM   #92
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Yes, plan ahead. A lot of ski passes are sold in the summer and early fall because of deep discounts that disappear as snowfall approaches. Gunstock, and others, are no longer just ski areas. Adventure parks, campgrounds, and other year round activities are the norm. Getting people on site regardless of ski conditions is important which is why so many places add townhouses, condo's hotels, etc. This is hospitality industry, no longer ski industry.
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Old 07-24-2022, 05:53 PM   #93
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Gunstock, and others, are no longer just ski areas. Adventure parks, campgrounds, and other year round activities are the norm.
I recollect Tom Day telling the commission that summer operations aren't profitable (I don't believe he was including the campground in that statement).

Under prior management, they ran the summer attractions 7 days a week. Gunstock got by without them in 2020, and now they've been curtailed to Thursday-Monday, with some attractions being abandoned completely (Segways, E-Bikes, Water Wars, Summer Tubing, etc.). It's now basically the ziplines/treetop tour/mountain coaster.

That's not to say that Gunstock should be a ghost town in the summer, but the millions of dollars in summer investments haven't necessarily been a profit center.
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Old 07-24-2022, 06:14 PM   #94
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Were those investments from the county or private?
Privatizing items like that would be what I would suspect.
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Old 07-24-2022, 06:26 PM   #95
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My family and I enjoyed an afternoon at Gunstock last fall...some hiking and the zip line. It was quite busy but not overwhelmingly so. A low-stress way to have some fun. We were thinking of doing the zip line again later this summer but with everything I'm reading here, I'm putting the kibosh on that. Why?

Safety.

I felt safe last fall, but I'm not so sure now. You don't lose a lot of key leaders at once and expect the experience to be the same as before. While you'd hope safety would be the last thing to be compromised, I'm not putting myself one hundred feet in the air unless I feel reasonably secure about doing so. As of now, I don't.
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Old 07-25-2022, 06:08 PM   #96
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This Tue. July 26th, at 10am the GAC will be meeting to discus whatever…meanwhile 7 senior managers, 3 department managers and some others have resigned. The mountain remains closed and not one public statement has been put out what the GAC plan is and when Gunstock will reopen. When will they get it, no one wants to work for the current GAC “leadership”. Time for Ness and Strang to go to back writing wills and handing out aspirins and let qualified people run a profitable business.
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Old 07-25-2022, 06:42 PM   #97
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This Tue. July 26th, at 10am the GAC will be meeting to discus whatever…meanwhile 7 senior managers, 3 department managers and some others have resigned. The mountain remains closed and not one public statement has been put out what the GAC plan is and when Gunstock will reopen. When will they get it, no one wants to work for the current GAC “leadership”. Time for Ness and Strang to go to back writing wills and handing out aspirins and let qualified people run a profitable business.
Thanks for the update. Looking forward to a report of GAC action tomorrow. Perhaps if the GAC resigns, the delegation can act quickly and rehire lost management, and appoint new GAC. There were some very competent people there who may still be available.
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Old 07-25-2022, 10:29 PM   #98
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I doubt that is going to happen the current GAC was put in place by the delegation.
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Old 07-25-2022, 10:32 PM   #99
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Sort of "a spider on the wall" as to this issue, but all I can say is "Wow: you asked for it, you got it."

When you vote idiots into office they do idiotic things.
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Old 07-25-2022, 11:23 PM   #100
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I doubt that is going to happen the current GAC was put in place by the delegation.
Understood. Maybe some will see that change is needed? We may find out in just hours. Or, in the September primary. Are any of these delegates opposed?
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