Green and Gold Town Hall Meeting October 5th, 2013
At 5:00pm Chair Elkind called the meeting to order. Present were trustees Stetson, Holtan, Godwin, Lesure, Anderson, Jondro and Palola. President Jamey Wimble, Eric Friedman and approximately 80 shareholders were also in attendance.
Chair Elkind welcomed the assembled, thanked the board for their work, Stark Mountain Foundation for their help, Jay Appleton for his contributions on the mountain and the loyal and dedicated employees of MRG.
President Wimble and Trustees Stetson and Holtan gave a powerpoint presentation.
Jameyexplained that preseason sales are ahead of last year, the second season of the pub being open weekends continued to improve and will be open again next year. MRG will continue the joint college pass and the “Add Mad” pass with Sugarbush. Jamey is also optimistic that the Farmer’s Almanac will be correct in their prediction of a cold, snowy winter.
The crew did extensive work on Bunny and created a few new areas where they can store snow to help extend the spring season.
Other summer projects included base area bridge and culvert work, Web site ecommerce upgrades and remodeling the pub’s kitchen. There is work planned on the basebox chimney which will be funded by SMF.
Trustee Stetson gave a Facilities committee update. He explained what they heard from shareholders, what they did to address concerns and displayed updated renderings.
The primary feedback was to cut costs, “Mad River–Ize” the design, keep the ski school in the basebox, maintain parking and improve ambulance access. The committee addressed those issues while decreasing costs substantially.
Trustee Holtan gave a Fundraising committee update on the results of the survey. She noted that the survey is just one way the Board is reaching out to the Mad River community and seeking input.
The 104 comments on the patrol building were incorporated in the latest design. They included: “Simple, functional, true Vermont” style that is MRG, follow design input from the patrol director, ensure that MRG has considered all options including renovation and expansion of existing structure.
Survey results on terrain showed that 79% of respondents favored acquiring the 19Th and 20th. Comments generally included: It would be great but other capital items may be more important, would depend on price, and MRG needs to own this land.
She reported the survey respondents showed strong support for maintaining mountain operations followed by Basebox and Ski Patrol building work. Snowmaking was rated the lowest priority.
The survey also showed near unanimous support to use fundraising and strong support for selling shares to pay for capital expenditures. Borrowing and raising ticket or pass prices were not as well supported.
The next step will include interviews with a cross section of the MRG community.
A review and presentation of the planning study will be done in January.
Trustee Palola asked those assembled to consider running for the board or to encourage qualified shareholders to consider it.
The group seemed impressed with the presentation and a short question and answer session followed.
Q. How much have the costs changed with the revision?
A. Decreased by $900,000
Q. When will the actual floor plan be done?
A. The revised rendering is done but still subject to change.
Q. 1.How do we approve the plan cost and 2. do we consider debt?
A. By a vote of the shareholders and that would be partially determined by the success of the fundraising campaign.
Q. Will the facilities project and fundraising campaign be done in stages or all at once?
A. In stages.
Q. Is an elevator required in the new patrol building or basebox?
A. We are hoping for a variance in the patrol building, it will be required in the basebox.
Q. How much is an elevator?
A. Approximately $125,000
Q. How did the resort do last year?
A. A small overall loss.