5:05 PM Call to order, shareholder comments (Matthew Milan)
Joe Perella thanked Jon Cohen & Matt Lillard for the current uphill route which has been recently implemented during operating hours.
Will Kriewald, introduced himself as an attending Trustee candidate.
Consent Agenda Items
Approve minutes for February 2021 Board Meeting (Matthew Milan)
Reports and Discussion
Management Report (Matt Lillard): The season has been going well and the COVID protocols that were implemented early on have proven to work well to keep staff and guests safe and comfortable. Matt offered kudos to the staff for doing an amazing job this season.
Admin: part of the long awaited Point of Sale System update has been implemented. The scanners that were implemented as part of COVID requirements have gathered quite a bit of data which will be analyzed in the off season. Leigh questioned if the data will be anonymized to protect privacy.
Basebox is doing better than forecasted, while the Snack Shack has proven successful. The current plan is for normal operations this summer with the pub being open starting Memorial Day Weekend and continuing operations until Columbus Day.
Marketing – Freeski event was well attended and successful. Additionally, the Rockefeller’s Challenge went off well and was a great event. The next big project for the marketing department is the new trail map including new on-mountain signage and trail maps. Additionally, the website will receive some updates through the summer.
Mountain Ops – kudos to the grooming team! The lifties have been doing a great job as well. Pending the approval of the Capital Expenditure Budget, e offseason work will include additional snowmaking on Bunny and ongoing work on the “bridge building”.
Retail continues to be strong despite lower foot traffic.
Ski School’s seasonal programs finish this weekend. Midweek programming was strong with the Graybeard Men’s program and Women’s Tele & Midweek programs, which were well attended.
Race is finishing up programs this weekend and hoping to host the Kandahar race next weekend, weather and conditions permitting.
Rental/Repair: seasonal rentals were well received and the repair shop continues to be busy.
Patrol: Continues great work and has been instrumental in creating the new uphill route.
Cricket Club: The Club was able to stay open all year despite restrictions imposed by COVID protocols.
Naturalist Program: The program was well attended this year and we look forward to continuing to develop this program.
The current operating plan is to try to continue the season through at least April 4, conditions permitting.
Finance Committee Report (Brad Noble): Brad reviewed his February Treasurer’s Report which noted improved stronger financial results coinciding with great weather and skiing to end up with a solid month financially. The two PPP loans should allow the Co-Op to continue summer operations and necessary construction without having to utilize the rainy day fund or line of credit. The Co-Op has applied for forgiveness for the first PPP loan and will follow up with the 2nd.
Spring Season Pass Pricing Discussion & Approval (Matt Lillard): Mad River Glen Management seeks approval to launch spring Season Pass sales for the 2021-2022 Season. Spring Season Pass sales are a great way to capture excitement from this ski season and lock in passholders before everyone turns their attention to summer. Revenue from spring sales helps the Cooperative get through the summer months without needing to use its reserves. Since starting spring pass sales in 2019 we have seen steady growth in sales and expect that to continue.
Matt anticipates starting the sale on 4/12, but it could be as early as the 6th. Aiming for the Monday after closure and running until the end of April. There will likely be changes to the product line up for next year and it is unclear whether Mad Card and other discount products will be offered. The Spring Pass will be the best and lower cost way to enjoy a season at Mad River. The $99 junior,12 & under pass will return as well.The Teen Shareholder Pass will be listed as well.
The proposed Spring Rates are equal to 2020 Autumn Rates. Fall and winter rates are still TBD.
Barclay moved to accept the spring pricing as presented, Matt Milan 2nd. Unanimous consent.
Capital improvements Budget Discussion (Matt Lillard): Matt proposed Capital Expenditures of $412,000 for the next 12 months (including $208,500 that will be financed by grants and excluding the final groomer payment scheduled for 2022). The proposal includes the two over $50,000 capital expenditures requiring specific board approval (discussed below). Basebox Roof $150k: At the time the roof wasn’t actively leaking and we were unsure of the financial situation as we were only halfway through the building projects and in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The decision was made to hold off on any large roof repair until a later time. During the 2020-2021 Season the roof starting leaking badly. The leaks are due to a compromised roof system that doesn’t hold in heat and doesn’t shed water. The roof requires repair prior to the 2021-2022 season. This project will entail removing all of the roof layers on the north side of the main part of the Basebox down to the structural decking. The roof will then be built back up with proper insulation and a new membrane roof with a 20-year warranty installed. As part of the project, we will commission a study by our architectural firm, including an engineer, to study and develop building wide plans for roof work over the next 10 or so years. The goal is to make sure all work is coordinated to provide the cooperative with an efficient and functioning roof system for years to come. Funding will be from our operating reserves and has been built into our cash flow projections. The cooperative has the funding and now is the time to complete this project.
New to MRG Groomer: $250K: Through extensive search with both Prinoth and Piston Bully we have found a groomer that will fit in nicely at Mad River Glen. It is a 2018 Bison X (Prinoth) demo machine with ~1400hrs. While this machine will cost more than the POP budget management feels the cooperative is better served by this purchase. It will be the newest groomer MRG has purchased since the 1970’s. It has low hours and has been maintained by Prinoth as a demo machine since it hit the snow. The groomer has all of the features we were looking for at a better value than anything else we found. Additionally, we were able to secure a favorable financing package with interest free payments over the next 9 months. The financing package enables the cooperative to use grant funding to cover the first two payments. The Co-op is scheduled to pay the last $100,000 payment in January 2022.
Matthew Milan made a motion, seconded by Carol Pierce, to approve the FY21 Capital Expenditure Budget as proposed, including the FY22 groomer payment. The motion was approved unanimously.
Strategic Planning Committee Report (Andrew Carey): continuing working on the 5 key areas: current strategic plan, community engagement, industry trends and sustainability. John Skelly offered some examples of anchor statements and discussed bringing them to focus groups.
Annual Meeting discussion (Barclay Rappeport): there will be a candidates Zoom forum, TBD – Barclay will organize early this week with the candidates to find an acceptable time. The Annual Shareholders meeting will be on Zoom and will be livestreamed on Facebook. There will be no in person meeting.
Action Items/Shareholder comments
Eli Godwin suggested that in lieu of our annual meeting shareholder picture, we do a Zoom screenshot. He additionally suggested that any accolades given at the meeting to shareholders also include those shareholders who rigorously adhered to VT guidelines regarding travel and COVID, even as it affected their ability to use their pass or ski at the mountain.
Open Items & New Business There was no new business