Mad River Glen Cooperative Board of Trustees Meeting
SATURDAY, MAY 14TH 2016
After due notice, a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Mad River Glen Cooperative was convened at 8:00am on Saturday May 14th 2016 on the third floor of the Base Box at the Mad River Glen Ski Area (MRG) in Fayston, Vermont.
Call to order
In attendance: Board – John Stetson, Eric Palola, Meg Hourihan, Ron Shems, John Tobin,
John Eberlein, Jon Anderson, Annika Holtan, Russ Bowen. Also present were President Jamey Wimble, Eric Friedman and approximately 5 shareholders.
Welcome & shareholder comments. Chair Stetson welcomed the assembled, thanked Trustee Holtan for bringing freshly baked muffins and gave a special welcome to shareholder Deri Meier who was in attendance.
Review & approve minutes of April 3, 2016 (Action).
Motion to approve minutes by Trustee Hourihan, 2nd by Trustee Bowen.. All in favor.
Management report (Jamey)
The outside staff returned from April furloughs and began work on the mountain. A heavy rain storm in April caused some erosion on the lower mountain and that is what they are repairing now. Mostly just labor work so no added expense.
There has been much talk about the ice flows this season that kept the mountain closed. There was only one weekend that it stopped us from running and the skiing would not have been good over all. We were closing midweek at that time anyway. We had many freeze thaw cycles causing water bars to freeze up allowing water to come to the surface. Many other ski areas I spoke with experienced the same issues. We will continue to do trail maintenance as we always have to make improvements.
Ski areas across the east are feeling the stress of the winter. VSAA is reporting the worst numbers in their 35 years of business. Jay Peak needed $7-$11 million dollars to make it through the summer. (Not just because of EB-5 program) Peak Resorts are experiencing heavy layoffs. Gunstock is asking the bank for $1 million dollar loan to make it through the summer. Bolton owners are pouring their own money into the mountain to make it through the summer and the list continues.
As painful as the winter was MRG is in better position than many. I received a call from Camden Main Snow Bowl which has a budget half the size of Mad River and they experienced heavier losses then us. His comment to me when I gave him my projections was “How did you do that”.
The campaign costs, new snow cat and BAMP planning costs are significant contributors to our cash position and need for the line of credit.
I will be sending a grant request to SMF to cover the summer mowing crew. This will be about $20,000 in budget relief. It would not be part of the POP campaign.
Our snowmaking motor has been sent out to be rebuilt. We heard a noise in it last season. This will come out of normal summer budget.
We are trying to make some additional income with the Basebox this summer. We will be open Thursday – Sunday. Thursday is burger night and will be doing Sunday brunch 10-2. No real place in the Valley to get Brunch.
No shares were sold in the month of April against a budget of 2. We have sold 18 shares YTD.
April financials are way off budget due to being closed. Cash on hand is low as of May 1. We will have to use the LOC this summer. Plan would be to pay LOC down with preseason sales and campaign income to cover the cost of the snow cat and the fundraising costs.
The Board then discussed the restaurant schedule and options on keeping it open based on sales volume. They also reviewed the issue of iceflows on the mountain and encouraged Jamey to continue searching for long term solutions. Eric Friedman commented on how good trail maintenance is at MRG and described the vicious freeze/thaw/rain cycle we experienced this winter that created the ice problems. Chair Stetson reiterated the need to do whatever we can to enable being open for skiing.
Shareholder Meier questioned how we would pay off the LOC. President Wimble stated it would come from preseason sales and campaign income. He also mentioned we may need to use the LOC if we have a poor Christmas week this year.
Finance Committee report (John T)
Review proposed budget (Jamey) (Action)
Review plans for summer spend (Jamey)
Treasurer Tobin explained that the Finance Committee had met that week and reviewed the 4 budget options presented. They had approved option C in a split vote. He recommended deferring a Board vote until June to allow for more information to be gathered. President Wimble reviewed the 4 budget scenarios that he had previously distributed to the board. A lengthy discussion ensued. The topics of spending more on advertising, the LOC interest rate, not raising Pass or Mad Card prices and the price of day tickets were covered. Looking for ways to generate revenue as well as enhancing perceived value were reviewed. The idea of raising the APR or changing it to a flat “Dues” fee was also covered.
Shareholder Geordie Hall suggested creating a five year operational financial plan. That may be discussed at the next F/C meeting.
The discussion continued with the topics of Campaign Endowment and how much revenue it would generate, raising prices in the Pub and Restaurant and how to engage more shareholders in discussing ways to raise revenue.
President Wimble explained the only Tier 1 summer spend was for $15,000 to repair the Basebox roof. After a brief discussion a motion was made.
Motion to approve $15,000 to repair Basebox roof by Trustee Bowen, 2nd Trustee Eberlein. All in favor.
Fundraising Committee report (Annika)
Trustee Holtan reported on many positive aspects of the Preserve our Paradise Campaign. The quiet phase is progressing well and she forecasts the public phase will start during the upcoming ski season. She thanked John Tobin, Eric Palola, Meg Hourihan and all the staff involved in this major undertaking.
Review & approve personnel policy revisions (Meg) (Action)
Trustee Hourihan had previously distributed to the Board the following.
Absence Notification Policy
Equipment Use Policy
Sick Leave Accrual and Usage Policy
Vacation Accrual and Use Policy
The Board had previously reviewed these Policies and after a brief discussion a motion was made.
Motion to approve all four personnel policies by Trustee Shems, 2nd Trustee Palola. All in favor.
These policies are included at the conclusion of these minutes.
Facilities Committee report
Update on Birdcage planning (Jamey)
President Wimble and Chair Stetson reported on the progress with the Birdcage project. They are searching for a design/build firm that is capable and interested in this project. They are striving to not spend any funds until the project starts.
Review and approve calendar for 2016-17
The Board reviewed the calendar for 2016-17, no changes were made.
Action item review
Departmental trends (Jamey) – completed
Planned mountain improvements for Summer 2016 (Jamey) – ongoing
Mission statement and members for parking committee (Ron)
Trustee Shems presented the Board with the following Mission Statement
Mad River Glen Cooperative
Recognition of Need and Mission Statement
The MRG Board of Trustees recognizes that:
MRG has insufficient parking for the few to several high-volume days of each season.
People will park along Rte 17 above and below the parking area on the high-volume days.
VTrans does not allow parking in the travel portion of state highways.
We must consider further parking options to meet the volume of these few to several days per season.
Therefore, the MRG Board of Trustees authorizes the formation of this Parking Committee (PC), with the stated mission to:
Work with the General Manager to advise and assist his communication and coordination with VTrans.
Define the frequency and volume of additional parking needs.
Explore expanding parking capacity and/or or alternatives to parking to accommodate high-volume crowds including:
Obtaining and/or acquisition of additional parking areas,
Shuttles and off-site parking
Managing parking for races and events , and
Explore the costs of and timeline of potential alternatives.
Develop specific recommendations and cost estimates for the Trustees, and
Make periodic reports to the trustees on the Parking Committee’s progress.
The Parking Committee shall be co-chaired by a MRG trustee and the General Manager.
The Parking Committee shall be formed effective May 14, 2016 and cease on June of 2017, unless extended by the Trustees.
Trustee Shems volunteered to co-chair this committee with President Wimble.
After a brief discussion a motion was made.
Motion to approve the creation of the Parking committee and Mission Statement by Trustee Bowen, 2nd by Trustee Holtan. All in favor.
Motion to Adjourn by Trustee Bowen, 2nd by Trustee Hourihan. All in Favor
Mad River Glen Absence Notification Policy – 5.5.16 final
Philosophy: Mad River Glen expects all employees to keep their supervisors and staffs informed when they are not able to work their regularly schedule. This is not simply a courtesy but is a business planning, work accomplishment need. If you are a supervisor of other people, they need to know if you aren’t coming to work (vacation, illness, emergency, etc.) so they can plan accordingly, based on the department’s requirements, their work, how decisions will get made, etc. If you are an employee, your supervisor needs to know if you aren’t coming to work so s/he can plan how your work will get done, if other employees’ schedules need to be changed. It is every employee’s responsibility to alert their supervisor / staff.
Policy: Any employee who is not coming to work for their regular schedule will call their supervisor as soon as they know they are too ill to come in or have an emergency, etc. An estimate of when they expect to return should be provided as well.
Mad River Glen – Equipment Use Policy; 5.5.16 Final
Philosophy: Mad River Glen is a cooperative owned by its shareholders. It does not have a sole owner to grant permission nor to take liability for employees’ or shareholders’ or guests’ personal use of Mad River Glen’s equipment or assets.
Policy: Employees, shareholders and guests are not permitted to use any Mad River Glen equipment or vehicles off premise or off the clock. Assets such as trees cannot be harvested for wood for personal use by employees, shareholders or guests. Mad River Glen equipment can be used only by those employees who need to use the equipment for their job and who have been trained in the safe operation of the equipment. All employees using equipment in their job performance will use the appropriate (PPE) personal protection equipment (safety glasses, ear plugs, etc.) when they operate the equipment. Supervisors will maintain an adequate supply in the department offices.
Mad River Glen Sick Leave Accrual and Usage Policy – 5.5.16 Final
Philosophy: Mad River Glen wants employees healthy at work, able to provide their full attention and effort to their job, and not spread colds / flu to their co-workers. We expect employees to use sick days when they need them and stay at home to better recover. We also expect employees to keep their supervisor informed so s/he can do the necessary planning to ensure work still gets done, rearrange schedules, etc.
Policy: Full-time, year-round employees are allotted 5 sick days per calendar year. These sick days are to be taken used for employee / immediate family illness, medical, dental or optical appointments only. Sick days can be taken in no less than half-day increments. Sick days are not to be considered secondary or additional vacation time. Unused sick days are not rolled over to the next year and are not paid.
Any employee who is ill and cannot come to work will call their supervisor as soon as they know they cannot come in for their regular work schedule. Please provide an estimate of when you expect to return as well. Give your supervisor as much notice as possible so s/he can plan how your work will get done in your absence.
All employees are expected to schedule general wellness medical appointments off season to the degree possible. Any employee who must see a doctor during working hours will provide their supervisor with as much advance notice as possible with a minimum of 24 hours.
Any employee who experiences a medical emergency should get the care they need as soon as possible. Notify your supervisor that you will miss work as soon as you / family member are able.
Mad River Glen Vacation Accrual and Use Policy – 5/5/2016 Final
Philosophy: Mad River Glen believes that taking time off can help refresh an employee and encourages employees to take their accrued vacation.
Full-time year-round employees accrue vacation at the completion of:
1-4 years of service – 10 days’ vacation time
5-9 years of service – 15 days’ vacation time
10 or more years of service – 20 days’ vacation time
Seasonal Department Heads accrue vacation at the completion of:
3 full seasons of employment – 5days’ vacation time
Seasonal employees who are not in these leadership roles do not accrue vacation.
Vacation Use (for all employees)
Vacation taken in one year cannot exceed 25 days.
Employees may roll over 5 days of unused vacation into the next fiscal year and those days must be taken before December 1 of that year.
Vacations should be taken in the off-season (April – November) unless authorized in advance by the President/GM.
Employees who are taking a day or two of accrued vacation time will let their supervisor know as soon as possible and not later than 2 work days prior.
Employees will give a vacation request form (see forms section) to their supervisor at least two weeks in advance of when they intend to take a vacation of 5 or more consecutive days. The only exception will be in times of family or personal needs or emergencies. Communicate these situations to your supervisor and to the administrative office as soon as possible.
Full-time, Year-round Employees:
Accrued vacation time for the previous fiscal year is paid to full-time year round employees who leave voluntarily or involuntarily. The maximum accrued payout is 25 days.
Seasonal Department Heads
Accrued vacation time for the season is paid to seasonal department heads at the end of the season.
I would prefer to do this as anattachment.