Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes: January 16, 2021
MEETING MINUTES HISTORIC ARCHIVE
Board of Trustees Meeting
Mad River Glen Cooperative
Date: Saturday, January 16, 2021, 5:00 PM EST
Location: Online – Zoom
Attendees: Matthew Milan, Barclay Rappeport, Matt Lillard, Andrew Carey, Carol Pierce Leigh Michl(depart 6:35pm), Ron Shems (depart 6:30pm), Meg Schultz, Brad Noble, Shareholders: Brian Stern, Matt Minno, John Stetson, Mike Boland, Paul Springbob, Brian O’donnell, Eli Godwin, Annika Holtan
5:05 PM Matthew Miland Call to order, shareholder comments : Eli Godwin commented that the email updates have been welcome this year and presented nicely. Additionally having the Zoom information/agendas available easily on the website has been appreciated.
Consent Agenda Items
Approve minutes for December 2020 Board Meeting.
III. Reports and Discussion
Management Report (Matt Lillard): We have been in need of snow – despite this we managed to open on time and remain open. Matt gave kudos to the team/staff and skiers in dealing with COVID protocols thus far.
The scanners are up and running. IT/ticketing is awaiting upgrades which were to have been delivered mid-December. These upgrades will smooth out the on-line customer experience.
Tickets are sold out for tomorrow (50 were sold) and it’s anticipated that this will be the first ‘crowded’ day. Additional tickets are available for sale to shareholders.
BaseBox has been lightly trafficked with few people going inside. The pub has not had strong traffic. The Snack Shack is up and running fully at this point.
Marketing has been doing a strong job with the challenges of lack of snow.
Snowmaking will resume this week on Lark & S-Turn, which will hopefully complete snowmaking for this season.
Retail sales have been down in person, but on-line remains strong.
Seasonal programs have been going well. Kids lessons are private lessons only at this point. The women’s and men’s programs have begun and are going well. The race program is doing well and Harwood’s ski team will now be training at MRG. Mid-week ski programs for local children has been well attended.
Repair shop has been doing a steady business of repairs.
Patrol has been doing a great job managing and opening terrain.
Cricket Club has been slow.
The Naturalist Program has a new naturalist who will be running weekend sessions.
Finance Committee Report (Brad Noble); (see attached)
COVID & poor weather have limited ticket and Base Box sales. Season pass and program refunds did have an impact on finances.The Coop is applying for an additional PPP loan of $540K. Discussion ensued regarding PPP loan/forgiveness and amortization of this loan if not forgiven.
Leigh Michl suggested that we consider creating a forecast for the remainder of the year based on the current reality and include that forecast in the comparisons to actual so we have some basis to evaluate our performance
2021 Operating Model Scenarios Discussion (Matt Lillard/Brad Noble):
The board had a discussion regarding potential operating models that could be adopted in response to the operational challenges of low snowfall and COVID-19.
eManagement’s most recent forecast (prepared with relatively conservative assumptions) indicate that most of the rainy day fund would be depleted prior to fiscal year end, but the line of credit would remain unused. Leigh Michl commented that low snow/pandemic is certainly the type of circumstance that would qualify as a “rainy day.”
The consensus of the board was that it would be premature, and potentially uwise, to enact dramatic changes to operating expenses at this time. Reasons cited include the fact that (1) seasons pass sales have consistently grown as skiers have grown more confident that would be open and conditions good, (2) our long term, loyal employees provide significant value, (3) improved weather could significantly change our standing, and (4) many skiers have gotten “hooked” on Mad River based on experiences during unusual times/conditions. In addition, the potential availability of the additional PPP loan, combined with the high probability of forgiveness of the first PPP tranche, further improves the future cash outlook.
tMatt and his team are starting the conversations regarding worst case vs best case scenarios. Ultimately, Mad River Glen will rely on the community that has been built through the years and express appreciation for this community.
Shareholder Brian Stern if the CoOp should draw on the LOC vs depleting the rainy day fund. Matthew suggested that Andrew Snow could evaluate this.
Strategic Planning Committee Report (Andrew Carey): see attached. The team has been doing extensive research throughout the ski industry comparing MRG to other similar ski areas.
Matt Minno presented the key business questions: General Operations, Community Engagement, Industry Trends, Sustainability. Suggestion to move Mission/Purpose to be a key question as well and to include Brand.
Andrew Carey also suggested we look to industry experts outside of the ski areas and into other facets of the ski industry. Matt Lillard suggested checking in with John Tobin regarding weather and snow at MRG. Mike Boland suggested Stuart Winchester (Storm Skiing Journal.)
2021 Board Development Discussion (Barclay Rappeport/Matthew Milan)
Discussion regarding consolidation of questions and bio to fewer questions and limiting it to one page.
Open Items & New Business
Shareholder Eli Godwin asked if information of in-state vs out of state refunds issued had been gathered.