Re: “Shames Mountain needs business model,” a letter to the editor by Jennifer Larson.
First, My Mountain Co-op does have a business model. It is a not-for-profit community service co-operative model that is clearly defined in the draft of its five-year business plan, which is available to the general public on its website.
Secondly, I take issue with how Jennifer Larson believes tax dollars should be used. Most Canadians value ‘community’ and we understand that in order for our communities to be healthy and attractive places to live, we need to use tax dollars to help provide for services that would not otherwise be available – swimming pools, skating rinks, soccer fields, parks, campgrounds, etc. Is skiing, snowboarding and backcountry access so different?
Although Ms. Larson is correct that a traditionally run ski hill in this area will have great difficulty in making money, she fails to understand that is why a not-for-profit community service co-operative model has been proposed. My Mountain Co-op’s focus will not be making money. Instead, it will focus on an affordable service to the community. The Co-op plans to cover costs by both traditional means (selling of passes) and innovative community means (volunteerism, selling of shares, corporate and government donations or grants, etc.).
Shames Mountain provides world-class access to terrain and snow. Many agree that a good day in the backcountry is better then heli-skiing at 1/20th the cost and without using noisy, polluting helicopters. Also, no other community can claim that they have “one of the deepest, most consistent snow packs in North America and backcountry access that is unrivaled” (Powder Magazine, Feb. 2009).
The above, along with the many other letters and articles supporting the co-op, hopefully provides some understanding why many think that tax dollars should be used to help ensure the success of the co-op.
Gordon Weary, Terrace, BC