Pajarito Ski Area

The Ski Club is talking with the County about ways to partner — the Ski Club wants water and needs more income, and the County wants economic development opportunities.  The main reason the Ski Club is talking with the County now is because the Ski Club’s finances, and the viability of the ski hill under the current business model, are not good.  The County would like to hire a consulting firm (at no cost to the Ski Club) to evaluate opportunities to further a partnership between the Ski Club and the County, to include options to increase activities on the hill, help to bring potable and non-potable water up to the hill, and other ways to help the local economy through development at the ski hill.  Before the County spends money on the consultants, they want assurances from the Ski Club that the club membership is willing to consider options — they don’t want to spend money evaluating options and then have ski club membership say no to any change.
So, the Ski Club will be sending out a ballot via mail to all Ski Club members (if you bought a season pass last year, you are still a member and will receive a ballot) asking for permission to move forward with the County in hiring a consultant to evaluate options.  Essentially, this vote needs to indicate that Ski Club membership is willing to consider new ideas.  The Board wants a majority of voters to support moving the discussion with the County forward before it gives the County the green light to proceed.
It is really important that you return the ballot and support the request.  (Believe it or not, there are some people who think the Ski Hill doesn’t need to change even though it is facing bankruptcy if it does nothing.)  It doesn’t bind the Ski Club in any way and it will give us all an opportunity to consider ways to make Pajarito an even better place for our families for the long term.  If there are opportunities identified by the consultants, Ski Club membership will have to approve them before anything would actually change or happen in the long run.  I personally think there are many ways that additional activities could be added to the hill (i.e. summer camps, more skiing programs for kids, etc.) that would be big benefits to us without significantly changing the culture and geography of the ski hill.
Please forward this information to other Ski Club members and encourage them to return the ballot, voting yes.  If you are not a current member, please consider buying a season pass to become one and at the same time, support and enjoy one of our important outdoor resources.
Thanks for considering this information.
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5 thoughts on “Pajarito Ski Area

  1. The information provided here is more extensive then provided in the letter by the ski club president (attached to the mail in ballot). The letter from the LASC president is very vague and discerning. The letter almost appears like its purpose was to confuse the reader as to what they are expected to vote for/against. I wish more details could be provided as to what the LASC is interested in having the LAC provide and what gain/loss the club may expect in the future with such an agreement. The letter from the president mentions LASC “resources”, can we have more specific details about what resources the club may gain/void? Is it property, equipment, personnel? As a ballot holder I wish more information could be provided so that we, the voters, can make a fair and reasonable judgment when we cast our vote. I personally need more information other than, “it’s better for the club considering our financial situation”, to understand what I’m voting for. It would be appreciated if the LASC board can provided more information as to what this partnership might entail, specific areas LAC and LASC see to increase economic development, and what “development at the ski hill” actually means. Some of these details may have been presented during the meeting however it would be nice to have them explained to those who could not attend the meeting. More information please.

  2. Hi, I’m not on the Ski Club Board but I attended the meeting so I can tell you what I heard. The “resources” referenced in the Board letter to members means water — potable and non-potable — needed to increase the number of days the hill is open and to make snow. Right now, their volume of available potable water meets current usage but if they were to open additional days during the season, there would be a shortage.

    The “resources” would also refer to financial resources, which would be fleshed out further by the proposed consultant. The Ski Hill needs to bring in more money to replace aging equipment and it can’t do that right now with current cash flow. That’s what I understood from the Board’s presentation.

    Finally, there were no specifics offered about what “development” would mean. That is the point of the County’s hiring of a consultant — to identify and flesh out ideas that might make sense for the Ski Hill and the County.

    All the Board is doing is asking membership to agree that if the County moves forward with a consultant, membership will be open to considering new ways to use the Hill and help the Ski Club thrive. One could argue that the Board should have just gone forward and asked the County to hire the consultant because something needs to be done to save the ski hill in the long run, but the Board is taking the extra step of asking membership if membership will keep an open mind and fairly review any proposals the collaboration comes up with. The County doesn’t want to spend the money and then have members be closed to any change, regardless of impact, so they are looking for assurances from the Board that Ski Club membership will be open to considering new options, whatever they are.

    There is nothing else membership is committing to. If and when the County and Ski Club have concrete ideas for consideration, membership will again vote on whether to proceed. It seems to me that there is no risk for members to moving forward with this proposal; voting for this process and moving it forward will likely result in some credible ways to ensure the Ski Club remains vibrant for the long run without destroying its unique culture.

    I hope this information is useful and answers your questions.

  3. I’ll simply repost here what I posted on Facebook: As a ski club member, I wholeheartedly support working with the County to explore ways in which the ski hill can develop a long-term economic strategy to its current financial woes. By developing profit centers that could sustain the Ski Hill in lean years, we’re ensuring that our most valuable, AND most under-utilized assett (Ski Hill) will survive in the years ahead for our children and their children to enjoy. The options are clear and simple – be open to change, or die. I choose life!

  4. Missed the meeting but wanted to encourage the county to consider increasing the size/depth of the LA reservoir. This may seem off topic but, given PM’s concerns about water availability, it does provide a possible solution to snow-making. The two major fires over the last decade have destroyed the canyon’s vegetation but this area holds endless year-round possibilities if a decent sized reservoir were created. Given the current drought conditions it might need to be done in phases, but eventually construct a dam that would create a recreation area that would be a major attraction to boaters and fisherman and the ski hill would benefit from its recycled runoff for snow-making…… Come on! The Corps of Engineeers is just itching for a project like this!!

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