Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes: October 17, 2020
MEETING MINUTES HISTORIC ARCHIVE
Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
Mad River Glen Cooperative
Date: Saturday, October 17th, 2020 8:00 am
Present: Matthew Milan, Ron Shems, Brad Noble, Barclay Rappeport, Carol Peirce, Meg Schultz, Andy Weis, Andrew Carey, Matt Lillard, Leigh Michl, Shareholders: Mike Boland, Tom Heeter, Hallie Stephenson, Josh Bewlay
8:03 AM Call to order, shareholder comments: There were no shareholder comments.
Consent Agenda Items
Approve minutes for September 2020 Board Meeting
III. Reports and Discussion
Management report (Matt Lillard): Matt recognized the admin and marketing team for the amazing job they have done handling strong and steady business levels which are unprecedented. Pass sales have been suspended as of 10/15 to give time to evaluate and prepare for ticketing. The VT state guidance has just been released within the last 24 hours. Matt will provide insight later this week regarding the guidance.
Pass sales were up 43% over last year. Midweek passes doubled. The current task will be to evaluate numbers and capacity. There is a high likelihood that the season will start with no general ticket sales on weekends. Discussion surrounding pass sales vs daily traffic. There is anticipation of stronger mid-week days. The state has only provided guidance on inside capacity at this point. At level 4 and below, MRG will staff the entrances to regulate capacity. Level 5 is relatively normal operations. Level 1 is worst case.
Share sales have continued to be strong.
The Base Box enjoyed a good foliage season despite limited operations. Foliage rides were steady and strong.
Marketing and events will be switching over to communication regarding the upcoming season.
All lifts except #4 are inspected. 4 will be done soon. Snowmaking plan is ready to go after 11/1 when weather permits. Groomers are in service.
General store continues to be strong. Capacity is 4 people in the store at a time.
Ski School, Race & Freeski programs are starting to shape up. There will be COVID protocols in place for programs. There will be new options in ski school as well to mitigate lunch time programs.
Rental/Repair is implementing new guidance. There is anticipation of advance reservations for rental.
Patrol will start moving into their building this week, pending certificate of occupancy. Ski school will start building in racks etc on their side. The state is providing guidance on employment for ski areas. MRG will hold steady to the VT travel restrictions. There will be latitude for seasonal employees who will not be able to meet their required days due to these restrictions.
Cricket Club will operate on advance reservation only and only at the very highest levels of open status.
Naturalist program is developing new programs.
Finance committee report (Brad Noble): Highlight is that going into October cash position is very strong. The LOC has not been touched and the rainy day fund remains strong. Share sales remain a big part of the strong position. Retail and pass sales have compensated for loss of Base Box revenue at the end of the season and through the summer.
Discussion of COVID Operations Plan and Communications (Matt Lillard): There are five different operating plans. Level 1 is worst case and Level 5 is best.
Level 5: Encouraging people to change in their cars and minimizing inside time in the Base Box. The café will be open, social distancing will be maintained. Food service will be open. The Pub will be hosted all season long. The beer window will be open, but you will need to sit or go outside – no loitering in the building. Again, ticket sales at the very beginning of the season will be limited to shareholders until a pattern is established.
Level 4 is generally the same but with more staff interaction to maintain traffic flow and enforce the Level 5 rules.
Level 3 moves away from bag storage, but still allows people to enter the lodge, but at limited capacity.
Level 2 – spaces will be closed off, services are reduced. Capacity would be 25% of Level 5 limits. Food sales would be to go only. No changing in the lodge or bag storage.
Level 1 – lifts and restroom access only.
The goal is to continue to run programs at all levels, but timing may be shifted to minimize inside time. Programs will be using the ski school lunch area as a warming area. Social distancing will be enforced. The BirdCage will also have a corner designated for ski school warming. There will be outside heaters as well. The Kent Thomas nature center will also be available as a warming station. The patrol hut at the top of the double will be available as well as the Starks Nest.
Staff will be given guidance regarding interactions with guests – Matt is working with managers to develop training. COVID levels will be part of the snow report and posted on the website.
Refunds – Leigh brought up clarifying the sliding scale refunds. Andrew Snow is recommending holding some season pass revenue aside to plan for any eventualities.
Discussion of an email that the board received from a customer who has traditionally purchased Mad Cards regarding ticket access for adults who have children with passes. The solution proposed would be to allow parents who have purchased children’s passes to purchase tickets. Currently the options are to purchase a share or to purchase a season pass (prior to the deadline.)
General Manager 2021 Goals Discussion (Matt Lillard, Matthew Milan)
1) Successfully Manage the ski area through the Covid Pandemic.
Keep staff and guests as safe as possible while operating the entire season
Manage ski area to limit financial losses
2) Oversee the completion of the Base Area Projects
Manage project financials to ensure best outcome for the cooperative
3) Work with Strategic Planning committee to develop a new plan for the cooperative
Make sure staff is included in the planning and has opportunity to help shape the plan
4) Find ways to retain our new passholders beyond the 20-21 season.
Strategic Planning Committee Discussion (Matthew Milan, Andrew Carey): Andrew Carey will chair the committee. Meg, Ron, Leigh & Brad have expressed interest in joining the committee. From a management side, Matt L has some people in mind. Shareholder Jeff Whittingham has also expressed interest in this committee.
Board Email Addresses (Matt Lillard): since MRG has moved to G-Suite and away from Slack, one of the drawbacks has been limited access for those without an @madriverglen email address. Matt will be establishing these for the board.
Open Items & New Business
Review open items & new business
2021 Board Development (Barclay Rappeport)- email has gone to Ry to be included in marketing message.
Suggestion to move the November meeting to 5pm instead of 8am.
Ron has further information on the by-law language after discussions with a representative from VT Special Olympics.
10 AM Adjourn – Matt moved to adjourn, Leigh 2nd. Meeting adjourned.