Finance Committee Meeting Minutes: March 13, 2019






Finance Committee

Mad River Glen Cooperative

Wednesday, March 13, 2018


Attendance: Matt Lillard, Andrew Snow, John Stetson, Geordie Hall, Matthew Milan, Eric Palola, Deb Steines, Annika Holtan


The meeting was brought to order at 8:00 AM by Matthew Milan, MRG Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair.




Approved February 2019 minutes.


February Reports and Cash Flow Review:


Matt will review Feb week for future budgets, schools are no longer vacationing that specific week, most are taking abbreviated vacations at various times. Plowing costs higher due to ‘training’ costs, addressing that with provider.  Base Box food expenses higher than would like, will continue to work on that margin and portion control.


P/L YTD – Significantly over last year,  clean PoP account YTD, and will work forward from here on BB and summer work funded by SMF.



Open Discussion: “What risks do we see to the financial and business model viability of the Co-op over the next decade, and what opportunities do we see in the realm of finance and business model innovation during that same time period”.


Things we might focus on as a Committee with Board approval.  Weather or business model related.


Geordie and Andrew – currently looking at ski conditions – related to weather through Andrews ticket model.  Looked at five and ten year averages.  Andrew has created a ticket model with ratings 0-5 on the conditions and how they appeal to the public.  Data goes back to the beginning of the Co-op, but what they are looking back goes back to 2000 because of the availability of flash reports.  Charts sent out are a quick look at what can be done with the data.  Preliminary data and what we can use and look at in the future.  Want to look at the connection to revenue in the future.


Geordie indicated in discussion of Andrew’s chart that this work should be used for qualitative not quantitative analysis and his comment about risk was that operating income (not just ticket sales) would not cover expenses


Comments on Ikon and Epic passes and how they are affecting the resorts associated with them, and those outside the consolidated resorts.  Matt sees a lot of changes coming in the future and doubts we’ll be following any of those changes. Mathew, they are playing a game to tie up skiers early in the season to keep them from other areas.  We go against the grain.


Industry trends, skinning and touring at other ski areas are areas Matt is watching.


Matt would like us to have the APR discussion again.


Lift tickets will not cover all operating expenses, what do we need to plan for that.  Look at where we take our services revenue in the coming years.  Work on the endowment and how it can benefit MR.  Can we use the BB for additional revenue producing events with the renovations that will be occurring.


Matt would like us to look at LT operational change, a five day operating model is an example.  Look at how things could change.



Review of Stark Mountain Foundation funding criteria with Jim Elkind.


Jim Elkind gave us a refresher on SMF funding criteria so the FC understands how SMF makes decisions and how we can support the decision making process.


The mission to preserve access to recreation and the mountain’s historic value, anything surrounding this mission is what SMF will support.  Skiing for Scholars, Back country pilot program well within their mission.  SMF is a public charity, whatever they fund must predominately benefit the public.


SMF is waiting to emerge from PoP and move forward with an Executive Director to continue it’s mission.  SMF can fund supporting structure for recreational opportunities on the mountain.  Limitations to what they can do: couldn’t fund a dishwasher, stove, etc.  Not directly related to recreation, similar constraints on the Pub (entertainment related).  SMF been around since 2000, want to play a stronger roll in coming years.  They are in the process of building a cultural of philanthropy with our shareholders and patrons.


Discussion of spring 2019 season pass pricing proposal.


Sell passes at last years early season rate.  Next years pass prices have not been determined yet, minimal increase if any.  Benefit to buying in the spring and then buy programs in the fall, spread individual family cash flow.  This would benefit the office staff by relieving the pressure of fall sales.  This program will run March 18 – April 30.  Creating a new pass product for the 19-29 year olds.


Has the potential to generate 40-50% of pass revenue based on conversations with other ski areas, and will reduce our access to the line-of-credit.


Question how this might effect the end of the PoP campaign.  Need to work on the messaging.


Committee recommended the board review and approve the advance pass sale proposal on Saturday March, 16th.




9:00 am – Meeting adjourned



Deb Steines