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Taking a “Leap of Faith” with Public Lands Friends of Snodgrass Mountain, LLC Taking a “Leap of Faith” with Public Lands Friends of Snodgrass Mountain,

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Presentation on theme: "Taking a “Leap of Faith” with Public Lands Friends of Snodgrass Mountain, LLC Taking a “Leap of Faith” with Public Lands Friends of Snodgrass Mountain,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Taking a “Leap of Faith” with Public Lands Friends of Snodgrass Mountain, LLC Taking a “Leap of Faith” with Public Lands Friends of Snodgrass Mountain, LLC

2 Friends of Snodgrass Mountain 1,400-and-counting Business Owners, Second Homeowners, Workers, College Students, Retirees, Elected Officials, Families, Visitors 67 % Gunnison County 14 % Colorado visitors 19 % Out-of-State visitors

3 National Ski Areas Association - Model for Growth Ski Industry Skier Visits 1978/ / /07 Ski Resort Ind. Research Compendium /06 Economic Analysis of US Ski Areas - NSAA Journal – Future Demographics Colorado Ski Country USA - Mountain Stats -1994/ /07 - Colorado Skier Visits / /07 CBMR - Crested Butte Mtn. MIP Snodgrass Mtn Master Plan Status & Preliminary Concept Plan - 9/ Snodgrass Mtn Conceptual Program Summary Master Development Plan - Draft Snodgrass Mtn Conceptual Program Summary EA of Proposed Improvements - CB Mtn - 12/ Plan Amendment CBMR trail map USFS - Downhill Skiing Needs assessment - 9/ Snodgrass Mtn Geologic Hazard Assessment & Geotechnical Risk Report - 10/ Snodgrass Mtn Geologic Hazards Technical Report - 10/2006 USGS - Geologic Hazard Report Colorado Division of Local Government - Colorado Population Growth Colorado Department of Revenue - Colorado Retail Sales and Sales Tax Summaries Colorado Tourism Office - Longwoods Colorado 2005 Visitors Profile Study Gunnison County Comprehensive Plan - County Focus Groups Gunnison County Tourism Association - Branding Study Town of Crested Butte - Annual Snowfall Records Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory - RMBL News - RMBL Director Letter - RMBL Avalanche Study, Hal Hartman & Art Mears, 8/2005 Ski Area Management Magazine - Where’s all the Growth - 7/2006 Crested Butte News Denver Post - Monarch Ski Area Outside Magazine - Choice Rides, March 1998 Crested Butte Land Trust -www.cblandtrust.org Snowsports Industries America (SIA)

4 Where’s Snodgrass? Snodgrass CB Mtn. Skiable Acres 260 1,209 Vertical 1,450 3,062

5 The Snodgrass question is - What is the “Highest and Best” use of our valuable public resources? CBMR’s proposal would: Eliminate or Diminish Valuable Public Benefits Consume Water Consume Energy Consume Government/Community time and money

6 RMBL BUFFER EASILY-ACCESSED FREE RECREATION A HEALTHY MOUNTAIN ECOSYSTEM “This expansion could have dramatic negative effects on the Lab.” Dr. Ian Billick, RMBL Director, 11/05 WILDLIFE MIGRATION CORRIDOR OPEN SPACE VIEWSHED PROTECTION

7 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS FROM EXPANSION “No other prescription directly results in more stream-water depletion, wetland impacts, air pollution, permanent vegetation change, or permanent habitat loss (than ski area expansion).” Cynthia Cody, U.S. EPA Director, Denver Ecosystems Protection Program

8 IMPACTS FROM EXPANSION WATER LOSSENERGY USE CLEARCUTTINGSLOPE SHAPING & GRADING

9 INCREASED AVALANCHE DANGER Threats to Public Safety & Private Property

10 NEPA MEANS: Consumption of Limited Public Resources - Forest Service Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Gunnison County 1041 Review Joint Review Process ? Time away from important community priorities US Forest Service US EPA US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Colorado Dept of Wildlife Gunnison County City of Gunnison Town of Crested Butte Town of Mt Crested Butte CB South POA Mt CB Water & Sanitation

11 Given the BENEFITS LOST, the DAMAGE DONE and the RESOURCES CONSUMED Why expand onto Snodgrass? Given the BENEFITS LOST, the DAMAGE DONE and the RESOURCES CONSUMED Why expand onto Snodgrass?

12 CBMR says: CBMR Has Unique Problems: - “Precipitous Drop” in Market Share & Skier Visits - Fewer “Paid Skier Visits”

13 CBMR says: CBMR Has Unique Problems: - “Precipitous Drop” in Market Share & Skier Visits - Fewer “Paid Skier Visits” The “Mountain Business is Strong” Elsewhere

14 CBMR says: CBMR Has Unique Problems: - “Precipitous Drop” in Market Share & Skier Visits - Fewer “Paid Skier Visits” The “Mountain Business is Strong” Elsewhere A Snodgrass Expansion would: -Increase Skier Visits - Improve Our Economy

15 THE REST OF THE STORY CBMR’s “Market Share/Skier Visit Loss” due to: Ski Free, Shorter Season, Reduced Quality Management Actions, Not Market Forces

16 THE REST OF THE REST OF THE STORY CBMR Says... Their ‘Paid Visits’ have declined to +/- 55%, However... NSAA – “Visits attributable to paid tickets declined to 58.7% nationally this season....” Ski Industry Trend, Not CBMR phenomenon

17 CBMR Says: “The number one reason for expanding to Snodgrass is to... bring more skiers.” “Expansion onto Snodgrass Mountain... Is a substantial tool for an improved economy.” Dozens of previous Colorado Expansions Provide Ample Evidence..

18 Colorado Terrain Expansions vs Skier Visits... Skiable Acreage grew > 53% (13,000 acres) 1995/96 – 2006/07

19 Colorado Terrain Expansions vs Skier Visits... : Skiable Acreage grew > 53% (13,000 acres) Skier Visits grew < 1%/year (10% in 11 seasons) 1995/96 – 2006/07

20 Colorado Terrain Expansions vs Skier Visits... Skiable Acreage grew > 53% (13,000 acres) Skier Visits grew < 1%/year (10% in 11 seasons) - Mainly Front Range - Beaver Creek and Breckenridge 1995/96 – 2006/07

21 Colorado Terrain Expansions vs Skier Visits... Skiable Acreage grew > 53% (13,000 acres) Skier Visits grew < 1%/year (10% in 11 seasons) - Mainly Front Range - Beaver Creek and Breckenridge - Season Pass Use, Not “Paid Visits” USFS: “Discounted season passes are attracting existing skiers to ski more often, rather than attracting new (participants) to the sport.” 1995/96 – 2006/07

22 Experts Express Concerns about the ski industry’s growth potential: Colorado Tourism Office: ”The main barrier to repeat visitation continues to be the cost factors... that... inhibit travel, including significantly higher fuel prices, rising room rates, an uncertain economic outlook, and the national trend towards shorter duration trips.”

23 Experts Express Concerns about the ski industry’s growth potential: Colorado Tourism Office: ”The main barrier to repeat visitation continues to be the cost factors... that... inhibit travel, including significantly higher fuel prices, rising room rates, an uncertain economic outlook, and the national trend towards shorter duration trips.” Ski Area Management (SAM) magazine: “The NSAA’s Growth Initiative is not working... We’re not pulling in new participants.”

24 Experts Express Concerns about the ski industry’s growth potential: Colorado Tourism Office: ”The main barrier to repeat visitation continues to be the cost factors... that... inhibit travel, including significantly higher fuel prices, rising room rates, an uncertain economic outlook, and the national trend towards shorter duration trips.” Ski Area Management (SAM) magazine: “The NSAA’s Growth Initiative is not working... We’re not pulling in new participants.” NSAA: “The Rocky Mountains will experience a very modest 5.8% (<.4%/year) gain in visitation between 2004/2005 and 2019/2020.”

25 Experts Express Concerns about the ski industry’s growth potential: Colorado Tourism Office: ”The main barrier to repeat visitation continues to be the cost factors... that... inhibit travel, including significantly higher fuel prices, rising room rates, an uncertain economic outlook, and the national trend towards shorter duration trips.” Ski Area Management (SAM) magazine: “The NSAA’s Growth Initiative is not working... We’re not pulling in new participants.” NSAA: “The Rocky Mountains will experience a very modest 5.8% (<.4%/year) gain in visitation between 2004/2005 and 2019/2020.” USFS: ”It is unlikely that the Rocky Mountain region will experience any significant increase in destination visits in the foreseeable future.”

26 Large terrain expansions yet little growth in visits. Industry experts question future growth potential. Have terrain expansions improved local economies? CBMR Says: “ Snodgrass... is critical to rebuilding... a sustainable economic model for the entire community.” June 2008

27

28 Over 11 seasons, CB was #4 and CB/Mt. CB combined was #9.

29 More recently (’02-’07), Crested Butte was #2 and CB/Mt CB #4.

30 Most of Colorado’s 1% Skier Visit growth was at Beaver Creek and Breckenridge.

31 Vail and Winter Park each had net losses in skier visits.

32 Most of Colorado’s 1% growth was at Beaver Creek and Breckenridge. Vail and Winter Park each had net losses in skier visits. CBMR’s loss was due to: - Ending Ski Free - Shorter Ski Season - Poor Quality

33 Statewide Skier Visit Growth was less than 1%/year. Most of Colorado’s 1% growth was at Beaver Creek and Breckenridge. Vail and Winter Park had net loss in skier visits. CBMR’s loss was due to: - Ending Ski Free - Shorter Ski Season - Poor Quality There is no apparent relationship between Sales Taxes and Skier Visits.

34 CBMR used percentages for comparison. These Graphs compare actual Visits and Acres.

35 CBMR used percentages for comparison. These Graphs compare actual Visits and Acres. Recent and permitted additions on CB Mtn = 242 acres. Snodgrass would = 262 acres.

36 These Graphs compare actual Visits and Acres. CBMR used percents for comparison. Recent and permitted additions on CB Mtn = 242 acres. Snodgrass would add 262 acres. No apparent Correlation between Terrain Expansion, Skier Visits & Sales Taxes.

37

38 The "Leap of Faith” Colorado’s Previous Terrain Expansions Have Failed to... -Increase Skier Visits -Improve Ski Town Economies

39 The "Leap of Faith” Colorado’s Previous Terrain Expansions Have Failed to... -Increase Skier Visits -Improve Ski Town Economies Nevertheless, CBMR said on 6/9/08: - “We are assuming (expansion) will be successful.” - They ask the public to take a “Leap of faith” with our National Forests - a “Leap of Faith” that Expansion would have different results here...

40 The "Leap of Faith” Colorado’s Previous Terrain Expansions Have Failed to... -Increase Skier Visits -Improve Ski Town Economies Nevertheless, CBMR said on 6/9/08: - “We are assuming (expansion) will be successful.” - They ask the public to take a “leap of faith” with our National Forests - A “Leap of Faith” that Expansion would have different results here... Would you commit your valuable private assets to “assumptions” and “Leaps of Faith” with: - No Business Plan? - No Realistic Performance Projections? - No Risk Disclosures? - No Means of Measurement? - No Recourse? - A History of Non-Performance?

41 What is "Pre-NEPA”? GMUG Forest Supervisor Charles Richmond said: "The Forest Service has learned that with ski area expansion, it's really important to address the main issues before you get into the NEPA phase. Too many times a ski area comes up with a proposal and the Forest Service takes it into the NEPA phase, where it gets stalled. We could get caught into the NEPA process for several years. Then it's sort of a losing proposition for all the parties involved... “

42 What is "Pre-NEPA”? GMUG Forest Supervisor Charles Richmond identified: Three Snodgrass pre-NEPA “Main Issues”- Geology: under review and unresolved. RMBL concerns: unresolved (Increased avalanche dangers, transportation) Community Support: unresolved.

43 Federal NEPA process - the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Effective at evaluating alternatives, disclosing on-site impacts and defining mitigation requirements for the Physical Environment. Ineffective at evaluating Off-site, Socio-Economic factors. NEPA answers “How,” not “Why.” Community input and direction is important.

44 Friends of Snodgrass Mountain request: Follow-up Letter to Forest Supervisor Richmond: - In support of all pre-NEPA conditions. Geology RMBL concerns: increased avalanche dangers, transportation Community Support - In support of in-depth, third-party economic cost/benefit analyses that would have substantial influence in the USFS Final Decision.

45 Thank You !


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