Ski hill is non profit

Dear Sir:

My Mountain Co-op keeps touting itself as a not-for-profit organization and seems to think that designation will somehow create more income for the Shames Mountain ski hill.

Dear Sir:

My Mountain Co-op keeps touting itself as a not-for-profit organization and seems to think that designation will somehow create more income for the Shames Mountain ski hill.

They seem to believe that more people will want to go skiing there because they won’t be giving any profits to those greedy investors who have been running the ski hill for the last 10 years. Those greedy investors who risked a lot of their own money to get the ski hill started. Has MMC stopped to consider that, although not intentionally, the ski hill has been a non-profit organization for many years? The group of five presumably smart businessmen have tried for 10 years to at least make it a break-even business but have continuously had to subsidize it from their own pockets.

Now why is that? Obviously it is because, year after year, the expenses have exceeded the income. Although I don’t know for certain, and I’m sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, I don’t believe the investors have been drawing any form of income from the ski hill, so how is calling itself a “not-for-profit organization” going to save money in any way?

Management and staff aren’t going to volunteer for a pay cut. Utility companies aren’t going to give them a reduced rate. Costs will stay virtually the same.

So income will have to be increased enough to cover the annual shortfall. Try as they might, the current owners just haven’t been able to draw enough skiers to cover expenses at the current rates of ski passes. Even though there may be world-class powder, the area is just too remote and has too small of a population to attract enough skiers to make the business work, for profit or not. So prices will have to increase.

If there is, say, a 30 per cent shortfall between income and expenses every year, then prices will have to be increased, in advance, by 30 per cent. Skiers will complain, of course, but that is the price that must be paid to ski in great powder on an uncrowded ski hill.

As for the city contributing $200,000, that would be absolutely pointless if the ski hill can’t support itself on an annual basis.

The city has much more important things to do with our money.

Hudson Bay Mountain in Smithers used to be a busy place before Shames Mountain opened up. Now we just have two struggling ski hills in the area.

Maybe one will have to close for a while, unless MMC becomes a “willing-to-cover-the-losses-out-of-our-own-pockets” organization.

On second thought, they could both do a lot better if they made a deal to be open or closed on alternate years.

Dan Wiley,

Terrace, B.C.


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