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Should Taxpayers Subsidize Ski Areas? - Page 2

Poll Results: Should Taxpayers Subsidize Ski Areas?

 
  • 20% (10)
    Yes
  • 50% (24)
    No
  • 29% (14)
    Maybe
48 Total Votes  
post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylormatt View Post
Why not? I have to pay taxes for many things I don't use...school systems, public transportation, etc.
While you may not use them on a day to day basis, your life is positively impacted by them daily. Just think what it would be like without them.

Would subsidised ski areas have the same sort of impact on the general public? I imagine they would in some instances and not in others.
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post
As a 100+ day a year skier, I can think of MUCH better uses for government money than paying for ski areas, such as providing funding to take care for severely disabled individuals so they have a home with adequate care so they can live a marginally normal life, rather than tossing them into jail-like, impersonal, institutions. ...
Well said VA
post #33 of 52
I'm looking at Trotski's initial post and it seems this is a STATE, not FEDERAL decision. Therefore, the state must see some benefit to its economy, and I am sure it receives some. It's not like any of those areas have much else industry these days.

Although our local economy is more heavily impacted these days by our closeness to Glacier National Park than the ski resort, both are important as the timber industry fades. The "resort" brings in visitors, and now, new residents building new houses and supporting the banking, construction, medical, etc. etc. industries. The ski resort is private, but I am sure that the "rent" paid to the US Forest Service is pretty negligible. And, of course, Glacier is federal land too. So, this economy is pretty much totally based on FEDERAL government subsidy directly or indirectly. They're even building a four lane highway all the way from Missoula to Whitefish on FEDERAL funds. Why? I ask. It's not like we have much traffic! Well, it's giving jobs to people to build it and making it so much easier for the area to continue to get built up, sustaining the construction industry well into the next decade. I certainly can't think of any other reason to widen that road...oh, well maybe it gives you more time to react to deer jetting out of the woods.

But, we're certainly seeing the "build it and they will come" from our "tax dollars at work".
post #34 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post
As a 100+ day a year skier, I can think of MUCH better uses for government money than paying for ski areas, such as providing funding to take care for severely disabled individuals so they have a home with adequate care so they can live a marginally normal life, rather than tossing them into jail-like, impersonal, institutions. I can speak from personal involvement that this makes a huge difference, and actually demonstrates that we aren't hedonisticly depraved.

Nothing personal Lars, I just happen to live on the front lines.
Well, VA, you've presented a textbook example of the fallacy of the false dilemma, or Morton's Fork. Fund ski areas or deprive severely disabled adults -- let's see, which choice will most people with human rather than pig hearts choose?

How about a real choice?
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotski View Post
Well, VA, you've presented a textbook example of the fallacy of the false dilemma, or Morton's Fork. Fund ski areas or deprive severely disabled adults -- let's see, which choice will most people with human rather than pig hearts choose?

How about a real choice?
Trotski, I was thinking the same thing, just didn't know how to express it. I think most of us would trade ONE DAY of the Iraq war to benefit all kinds of domestic issues.
post #36 of 52
[Moderator voice on] If all ya all turn this into a political discussion it is likely that it will be moved to the lounge[Moderator voice off]
Carry on.:

:
post #37 of 52
Thread Starter 
The high number of people choosing "no" and "maybe" on this poll persuades me, once again, that some people just don't know their recent skiing history, or simply don't care about it, and that's totally understandable, of course -- but it's a fact, I fear. Not to say that people can't have principled disinclinations to use tax money for ski areas, but I honestly wonder how much people understand about where the whole industry sits in our history. Conservatives are always saying we need to go back to the "old days," but with these three mountains, and especially Whiteface, the "old days" were days when New York State saw a profound link between its conservation programs, tourism, and alpine skiing, and the people of New York felt strongly about supporting all three as synergistic activities.

This might all sound kind of old-fashioned and hokey now, but any Bear who knows their New York ski history will agree that alpine skiing used to have a super-high cultural profile in NY.

All three are ski areas on state parkland and all of three (apart perhaps from Gore) have fascinating histories, going right back to the beginning of alpine skiing in the USA. For pete's sake. the third Winter Olympiad, as most of you know, was held at Lake Placid. Why, because the New York mountains were THE go-to place for big money from Gotham to vacation during the winter. All those great old ski movies, such as Sun Valley Serenade, for example, represent a time when alpine skiing and winter holidays were just way more culturally prominent.
post #38 of 52
well said Trot - i voted yes - and yes, i like you
Nevils
post #39 of 52
Trotski, perhaps the responses are elicited by how the question was framed. Having worked with marketing surveys and focus groups in the past, this is delicate. The verbiage of the question can evoke a response, positive or negative. How it is put to them matters. Their life-experience, socio-econcomic status, education, etc. all factor. You undoubtedly get this.

I voted no simply because there were no parameters, although in principle, I'm on board.

I would like to think most folks would endorse conservation, intelligent development and green construction efforts. Perhaps I just don't want another Gravina Island Bridge fiasco (the bridge to nowhere). Maybe it's the thought of Halliburton building ski lifts with $125K ski chairs that never arrive.

Anyway, interesting thread. Good conversation points.
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post
It has been a long time. my understanding was that they were more flexible about environmental impact, not blocking every proposed ski area or ski area expansion as poor usage of forest lands, but seeing new ski areas as serving every Canadian well. I'm not consciously BS-ing, that is how I recall the ski industry growth issues in Canada being described. If I'm off base, let me know, as you live there and I don't. thanks.
They show far more favouritism to the environmental activists than they do the ski area developer. Environment is the new hot-button. Try just building a small 1-lane bridge across any creek, even on you own land. The resistance is overwhelming. Even on your own land.

There is no need to evaluate "usage of forest lands". The right use is simply "none".
post #41 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPat View Post
Trotski, perhaps the responses are elicited by how the question was framed.
Yep, probably right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPat View Post
I would like to think most folks would endorse conservation, intelligent development and green construction efforts.
Same here. I think most people would, yer right.
post #42 of 52
socialized skiing... what a nightmare.
post #43 of 52
Yeah cuss the goverment should be involved in everything we do. LOL you liberal nuts are so funny.

Hey maybe the government should subsidize my online gaming hobby, or my pool league.

Hey while they are at it, the government should pay for my house, my car, and my childcare. I mean why should I have to worry about those things myself?

Im calling my states democratic senators damnit, I want them to pay for my new skis.
post #44 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattongb View Post
Yeah cuss the goverment should be involved in everything we do. LOL you liberal nuts are so funny.

Hey maybe the government should subsidize my online gaming hobby, or my pool league.

Hey while they are at it, the government should pay for my house, my car, and my childcare. I mean why should I have to worry about those things myself?

Im calling my states democratic senators damnit, I want them to pay for my new skis.
OK, so the government should have no role in funding sports in any way? Fair enough opinion, but let's get this straight.
post #45 of 52
But it would be very interesting to know if Whiteface, Gore and ( Is Bellayre owned by NY State too?) are profitable or not. And if profitable, how much so and where does that money go?

NH owns Sunapee and the Muellers of Okemo run it. How does that situation work? Cannon, also in NH, is a state owned area as well. Any others in NH? Elsewhere?
post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post
this country has no safety net for less than affluent individuals, and that is deplorable and immoral.

You've got to be kidding. The Federal Govt spent $748 billion with a B dollars on social programs in this years budget.

Source:
http://www.warresisters.org/piechart.htm
post #47 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post
You've got to be kidding. The Federal Govt spent $748 billion with a B dollars on social programs in this years budget.

Source:
http://www.warresisters.org/piechart.htm
yes, if a person is willing to exist on the bottom tier and virtually be a ward of the state. I'm referring to working people, lower mid income, tough time paying $800 monthly for health insurance.
post #48 of 52
I'm sort of torn between:

Yes, by analogy to parks.
Cities obviously subsidize city parks, and it would be hard to say that cities aren't better off because of it. Of course, those are right there where the people are, and -- at least for the traditional ones -- the benefits are pretty general to the whole population. Although ... the subsidized city parks in most places include a bunch of recreatational facilities that have (like skiing) a little more "nichey" appeal: sports fields, climbing walls, bicycle velodromes ....

Then there are the National Parks. Of course, the latest trend is to make these "self-supporting" with user fees. BUT, anyone who has a vague understanding of business and finance knows they're not remotely "self-supporting" in any real sense, because the enormous capital (all that land) isn't taken into account. You could make the argument that maintaining the park lands undeveloped is a given, and a separate "activity" from the use of the parks, and that one should thous account for the use of the parks independently of the capital investment in the land.

One other thought: Isn't Winter Park actually owned by the City of Denver and administered by the city's Department of Parks (though now managed by Intrawest)? I also believe the oldest variant of what's now Summit West at Snoqualmie Pass was the "Seattle Municipal Ski Hill."

No, It's Just Subsidizing Consumption of People Who Can and Should Pay For Themselves
Not a lot of elaboration needed.

The "economic benefit" argument
is, I think, bogus. For one thing, it "proves too much." Every business generates income, jobs, makes people spend money, creates sales tax revenue, etc. By the same logic, the government should subsidize every business, including restaurants, hotels, gas stations, oil companies, real estate brokers, accountants, drug dealers .... Instead, the government does exactly the opposite of subsidizing, and taxes these businesses, either through business income taxes or with direct excise tax levies on particular businesses. Most places actually put a higher tax burden on hotels, which is completely backwards according to the "subsidize happy economic activity" theory, since they're bringing in notoriously free-spending customers and money from other parts of the country or world.

The Real World
I don't think the government really does subsidize skiing, or at least not very much. I don't know what the financial story is with those New York areas. There are some municipally-owned ski areas around, as mentioned above. Another one is Mount Ashland. When it's that local, and that small a community though, the case becomes much more similar to a city parks: there's a reasonably close identity, or at least overalp, between the group paying (city taxpayers) and the group enjoying.

As for Forest Service ski areas, the areas do pay for the land, in the form of a percentage permit fee out of their revenues. The areas buy and own all their own improvements and -- unlike national parks, but like timber companies and miners -- do at least pay some form of rent.
post #49 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post
yes, if a person is willing to exist on the bottom tier and virtually be a ward of the state.
Yeah, but isn't that inherent in the notion of a "safety net"? That is: it's a net that catches you from slamming into the ground (or, to cast the metaphor in a ski direction, flying into a lift pole) and dying, not a comfortable place to hang out. I'm not sure it's possible to avail oneself of the state's protection without being "a ward of the state."
post #50 of 52
I almost answered a giant HELL NO to this question. Then I thought of something.

Little local hills used to exist (and in some places still do) and were very simple places meant for people to quickly go to and ski for an hour or two at night, in the morning, etc. In that regard, I think subsidizing them as a city park is VERY beneficial to the community and to the sport in general.

However, resorts are a complete different matter, with something like Winter Park as a prime example. Resorts should never be subsidized and if they're losing money it's almost certainly because of mismanagement. Let them flourish or flounder as with everything else. Laissez faire.
post #51 of 52
Within the context of the Adirondacks I am for state subsidized ski areas.

Regulations that keep the Adirondack Park so beautiful and unspoiled also prevent economic growth. As a result of these restrictions, hamlets within the park are slowly dwindling as the population ages and the remaining industry is driven out. Tourism is one of the only industries left, and Whiteface and Gore help drive year-round tourism. Unless there is a massive paradigm shift in how the lands in the Adirondack Park are managed the state will forever be a part in funneling money from downstate into the Adirondack economy. I'm okay with that.
post #52 of 52
i voted maybe
personally it would be my preference that the government stayed out of any kind of "business"
but if it came down to a ski hill, hockey rink or playing fields or a needle exchange program the money goes to the sports

and as far as the CDN government being ski resort friendly...not so much, maybe the BC provincial gov't at one point?
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