After due notice, a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Mad River Glen Cooperative was convened at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2009 on the third floor of the Basebox at Mad River Glen Ski Area (“MRG”) in Fayston, Vermont.
Trustees Lars Bruns (Treasurer) Jim Elkind, Liz Godwin (Secretary), Geordie Hall, Betsy Jondro, Jed Kalkstein (Vice-Chair), Gary Lange, George Lesure, Bill Reynolds (Chair), were present. Also present was President Jamey Wimble. There were zero shareholders in attendance.
8:10 Call to Order
Trustee Reynolds called the meeting to order at 8:10 a.m.
8:12 Management Report (Jamey Wimble)
Mad River Glen won the 2009 NSAA marketing award for the longest-running campaign slogan: “Ski It If You Can.” Marketing Director Friedman is receiving the award this week at the NSAA conference. This is a great honor and national recognition.
Industry-wide, ski areas’ revenues were down for this season. Jay, Smuggs, and Okemo reported declines, which is very uncharacteristic of them.
We have added some cathodic protection to one of our diesel tanks due to changes in state regulations. This will decreases corrosion of the metal underground.
President Wimble and Jay Appleton will be taking a walk with Joe Nelson, our forester, to see how we are doing with our forest management and determine if we should make any adjustments.
The Single Chair has been nominated for the Preservation Trust of Vermont (PTV) preservation honor award for 2009. This is a great honor and we should hear the outcome soon.
President Wimble is working with Efficiency Vermont on ways to reduce our energy consumption. One possibility being explored is a system that would be installed on our electric feed to increase our power factor and lower our electricity costs. He is also speaking with our electrical contractor about this because some of these will have effects on DC motors, of which we have two (Lift 2 and Single).
We have sold three shares in the month of April against a budget of one, and a total of thirteen shares YTD. There are nine shares on the list to be tendered and we have handled three hardship requests this fiscal year.
April was a good P&L (profit and loss) month. Cash is at $600,000 at the beginning of May. We will have limited capital money available due to a lean year. President Wimble was asked about the progress on reduction of comp tickets for this past year. He will have those data within the week.
8:30 Capital Expenditures
President Wimble reviewed the following proposed Capital Expenditures as reviewed by the Finance Committee and proposed to the Board:
Our Tier I (high-priority) list includes:
·Bridge planks for various bridges on the mountain (e.g. Bunny bridge)
·Repairing/replacing the southeast-facing roof of the building housing the rental shop
·Floor mat replacement inside the Basebox
·Cricket Club windows
·Point-of-sale (POS) system for the bar
·Lift 2 bullwheel bearing
·Fuel fill protection
·Cathodic protection for diesel tanks
Trustee Jondro brought up the importance of having a POS that can interface well with our current system; this would enable innovations such as gift cards, on which APR money could be loaded as well. Ideally, these could be used in the bar, Basebox, and General Store. Trustee Bruns noted that the expense of a fully-integrated system would approach six figures. Trustee Kalkstein asked about the possibility of not fully integrating the systems but instead implementing swipe cards in places that are able to accommodate them and manually entering payment information. Trustee Hall advocated planning for implementing this type of technology within next few years. Trustee Bruns noted that we would need a significant return on investment (ROI) to justify cost. Trustee Jondro volunteered to help President Wimble in developing a long-term plan.
Trustee Hall reiterated that the Board needs to seriously look at the list and prioritize; Trustee Reynolds and Trustee Elkind suggested incorporating this into a Strategic Plan meeting.
Trustee Kalkstein pointed out that priorities such as “greening up” are limited by available money, and that there are many projects that take precedence because they are essential to operations/safety/etc. President Wimble noted that an additional $13K would have to be spent in order to use 100% recyclable paper products. Trustee Hall advocated strongly for working on our “greening” projects that will have an ROI attached to them. Trustee Reynolds reiterated that there were several volunteers who were already going to look into such projects (Trustee Jondro and Trustee Elkind).
As for the bar stools, it was suggested that we could sell the old ones and pay for new ones that way.
The bullwheel bearing on Lift 2 is eleven years old and CTEC recommends changing them every ten years.
Fuel fill protection is a state requirement to prevent overfilling.
Jamey mentioned that the fixing the I-beams under the office building is not in Tier I. That will be a six-figure project – we will have about two, maybe three years before that must be done.
George LeSure volunteered to coordinate SH volunteers.
Trustee Bruns reviewed the recommendations of the Finance Committee (FC) and the cash flow projections for the remainder of the fiscal year. The FC is very concerned about capital spending given the economic climate, cash on hand, etc. They recommended spending only on items that are a “must-fix.” The Finance Committee recommended approving $45k in capex for the following items; trail bridge planking, rental/repair roofing, ski shop rental skis, Lift 2 bullwheel bearing, and fuel tank fill and cathodic protection.
Trustee Bruns noted that we face spending nearly $4M in the next 20 years. Trustee Hall warned that we will have to look at developing a business model that will enable us to “keep the doors open.” He suggested a Board retreat/brainstorming meeting regarding this.
To adopt the recommendation of the FC as indicated on Tier I as amended by the FC, the balance to be tabled until after the budget discussion.
9:35 Committee Reports
The Board Development Committee had nothing to report.
The Executive Committee approved one hardship request.
The Finance Committee (FC) will meet this Friday, May 22nd from 7:30-9 am to review the proposed budget. The minutes of their last meeting are posted. This year, FC minutes and invitations to FC meetings will be issued to Board members in order to facilitate exchange of information with the Board.
9:45 SH comments
Trustee Jondro congratulated Marketing Director Friedman and his team for their award on the “Ski It If You Can” slogan and a job well done. She also extended thanks to Betsy Pratt for starting said marketing campaign.
The Board extend their sympathies to the Prescott and Clark families on the passing of Dave Prescott – Mad River icon, 45-year volunteer ski patrolman, and father of Leigh Clark of the Ski School and Link Prescott, also a longtime volunteer patrolman. We will miss seeing Dave’s face on the mountain.
9:50 AM Trustee Jondro, Trustee Hall, and President Wimble departed.