Originally Posted by nopainnojane
I was at a USFS meeting last year were the mountain operations manager from Sol Vista said there was no way to make Berthoud an profitable opperation, a fact that was directly disputed by a former owner/operator of Berthoud from the late '70/80's. He said it was not an easy place to operate, but viable non the less. I sure do like to ski there though.
I think you are talking about the one in October. I was at that one. I went into that meeting not knowing any of the politics, but left with the sense that the USFS had already predetermined their course of action and were holding the comments and meetings as a matter of process mostly because of their circumlocutious nonanswers to questions and other double speak (not to mention trying to silence comments that countered the "burn it down, it's hopeless" position). I found all the dirt out later when I worked with Mr. Garst's daughter.
The counter argument was from Ike Garst who ran Berthoud for several years stand up say (paraphrasing) "We never made real profitable SKI OPERATION but we were a PROFITABLE SUMMER OPERATION (sightseers and bikes) which allowed us to run the ski operations in the winter to prevent significant losses of nonoperation."
USFS knew what he was going to say and didn't want to let him speak when he asked to. It took someone else standing up to say "look. he ran berthoud pass for years now let him say his piece" before the USFS guy STFU and let Mr. Garst say what the USFS didn't want to hear (because the USFS guy behiond this is all about the back to nature stuff, but he cant win against the bigguns like VRI and Intrawest so he takes out the little ones (like he did to Geneva Basin)).
Crazy Stewardess Lady (owner of Sol Vista) is to be blamed for their sudden and last minute surprise abandonment of their use permit with the USFS not giving others time to go through the tedious red tape process of attaining a new special use permit (and we all know that people were lined up wanting to do this), thereby allowing ranger dickhead to get the lodge on the kill list. It's a tragic loss of Ski History.
I don't even think Berthoud Powder Guides nonprofitability was an issue for them (but I might be misremembering), but rather a USFS decision that massive amounts of money had to be spent to renovate the lodge.
I have the USFS Draft assesment and final assement on BP sitting on the table... read the comment letters and some of the USFS stuff... maybe I'll read the rest of their spew at some point.
I'm sure there's even more to the story. Perhaps some FoBP type will come along and fill us in.