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What would motivate you to "buy in" to a ski hill?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
The recent Red Mountain thread got me thinking about cooperative mountains. What would attract you to buying into a ski mountain? What strategies have worked in the past? And what are people willing to put up with to be part owners?
post #2 of 15
How close I lived
How much % I'd have
The price

Put up with? Not sure of what you mean. Like would I have to work there or something?
post #3 of 15

In addition to those ^^

 

I would have to know how much I'm expected to put in additionally. Being a co-op I would assume that any short falls or new purchases would be funded by the owners. The resort failing could put me with significant fiscal responsibilities. It could be run like a company though where I simply own "stock" but that has significant legal implications and potentially significant restrictions on who could buy in.

post #4 of 15

I think that say you cover the basics.  Most want to feel special for their money if they want to make such an investment into a club.  

Just like other crowdfunding, there should be some super special perks that people can use to signal how they spent their money.
Whether it's early ups, appreciation events like a special dinner, line cuts; special club room, lockers, a black card, free drinks or something; 

I think one factor, especially to get the bigger donors is some kind of mark of exclusivity and priviledge, rather than just the pure math of for $ for skiing.

 

For something like this which is physically based and where you go; there also has to be some social aspect like country clubs are for golf; where your membership buys you more than just the golfing that you could pay out of pocket for.

post #5 of 15

I bought into a little ski hill called Whistler Blackcomb Holding Co - about a month later they announced they were selling their little ski hill to another little ski hill called Vail Resorts - 41% return in 1 month was a nice motivator - just got lucky on this one.

post #6 of 15
Yeah, but now your stuck with MTN.
post #7 of 15

No way in hell. Short peak season, too dependent on weather, global warming, annoyingly difficult-to-please customers = run away.

post #8 of 15

The ownership aspect doesn't interest me at all. Hundreds, or thousands, of people trying to get a piece of the pie with no solid investment strategy? No thanks. 

If I were a cash strapped ski hill, I'd be looking to offer perks that wouldn't cost much to implement, but you could charge a pretty penny. 

Priority lift lanes, early boarding on powder days, free fat ski rentals when the report is 15"+, free coffee + pastry bar every Sunday AM, etc. etc. 

post #9 of 15

This old axiom was written for ski areas.

 

If you want to make a small fortune, start with a large fortune and buy a ski area. 

 

Would rather buy passes and tickets; that way I can still bitch about stuff.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm would be interested in "owning" for the purpose of being able to use it. When you own a house, it's yours to enjoy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

This old axiom was written for ski areas.

If you want to make a small fortune, start with a large fortune and buy a ski area. 

Would rather buy passes and tickets; that way I can still bitch about stuff.

What if your tickets were free or highly discounted in exchange for your investment? What if the ski hill ran as a community: all the jobs were scheduled, and all the members picked a few volunteer shifts a season? Maintenance and expansion would be paid for when the mountain is opened to the public midweek.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Yeah, but now your stuck with MTN.

Yeah - might bail before the deal closes, not sure yet.

 

As far as the original post, small hill - It does sound enticing to own all or part of your own ski hill - I kinda half-heartedly looked into it.  But at the end of the day, unless you have tons of discretionary cash, seems hard to pencil out a scenario that will give you a reasonable return on your $$.  For me, I would have to be able to get some reasonable return on my investment.  If I could, than absolutely would love it.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

I'm would be interested in "owning" for the purpose of being able to use it. When you own a house, it's yours to enjoy.
What if your tickets were free or highly discounted in exchange for your investment? What if the ski hill ran as a community: all the jobs were scheduled, and all the members picked a few volunteer shifts a season? Maintenance and expansion would be paid for when the mountain is opened to the public midweek.

 

Sounds like a creative way to pay for a pass, but doesn't sound like much of a return on investment and no way to get the investment returned (as in no ability to sell your shares at a later date).

post #13 of 15

Have you looked into how Mad River Glen ski area operates as a cooperative?   It's a uniquely successful situation in New England.  I am not a MRG shareholder, so someone correct me if I'm off-base on any of the following:

You pay $2000 to become a MRG shareholder.  I believe several thousand have done this since it went coop in 1995.  Believe there is a requirement to spend $200 each year to maintain your status as a shareholder.  As you see below, you still have to buy a season pass or lift ticket even if you are a shareholder.  The big motivation is that you help preserve a very special ski area with a very retro vibe.  Anyone can ski there, but no one can snowboard there.  As a shareholder you have the "honor" of sponsoring some of the most bada$$ terrain in the Eastern US and enjoy an informal "club-like" atmosphere.  Their grooming is also unusual.  Little formal snowmaking means thin cover many times, but also a curiously more enjoyable surface that doesn't have the usual glacier-like manmade snow underneath as the primary base layer.  Your ski edges grab better at MRG.  BTW, I believe a group of folks is looking at the MRG model to see if it can be done for Saddleback, ME ski area, which is struggling to find a buyer and re-open.  Saddleback has some ski terrain that is similar to MRG.

 

Quoted from MRG website:

Co-op Shareholders in good standing receive the following benefits:

  • 15% Discount on all season passes
  • 15% Discount on all Full Day Tickets
    Shareholders may purchase 12 discounted weekend/holiday shareholder tickets per share each season. They may be pre-purchased or purchased on the day they will be used. Shareholder who purchase a season pass at the discounted shareholder rate are allowed to purchase 4 weekend/holiday shareholder tickets. Shareholders may purchase a discounted midweek days ticket for themselves each day if they have not already received a discounted season pass. All shareholders may also bring one family/friend each day at the discounted rate during midweek/non-holiday periods. Midweek tickets cannot be pre-purchased and the shareholder must be present to purchase discounted tickets. 
     
     
    Regular Window Rate
    SH Adult
    SH Jr/Sr
    SH Midweek Tickets
    $60
    $53
    $49
    SH Weekend Tickets
    $75 - $55 Jr/Sr
    $66
    $51
    SH Holiday Tickets
    $79 - $61 Jr/Sr
    $66
    $51
  • 10% Discount on Shareholder Mad Cards. Mad Cards are only available until December 15 th.
  • Shareholders children ages 12 and under (as of January 1) qualify for a free season pass if the shareholder has paid their APR and registered the children before the October 15th deadline.
  • 10% Discount at the Mad River Glen Retail shop
  • Co-op Shareholders can purchase Season Tune Up Passes: $120 for 5 Tunes & $210 for 10 Tunes.
  • Free Skiing on Co-op Annual Meeting Day – Always the first Saturday in April.
post #14 of 15

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

I'm would be interested in "owning" for the purpose of being able to use it. When you own a house, it's yours to enjoy.
What if your tickets were free or highly discounted in exchange for your investment? What if the ski hill ran as a community: all the jobs were scheduled, and all the members picked a few volunteer shifts a season? Maintenance and expansion would be paid for when the mountain is opened to the public midweek.

Can not even imagine the freshie flu call-ins on a powder day.

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
What if the ski hill ran as a community: all the jobs were scheduled, and all the members picked a few volunteer shifts a season?

 

Ha! A bunch of ski bums scheduled to do work for free (not to mention powder days). Good one!

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