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Letter: Sunapee belongs to the people


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Many media outlets have announced that Vail Resorts has a pending sales agreement to buy several ski properties, among them Mount Sunapee State Park’s ski resort. Let’s be clear: No one is buying our ski resort, which is now, and will remain, New Hampshire state property. Vail wishes to purchase “lease and operating rights” and will invest in its new acquisitions within two years with some monies coming to Mount Sunapee’s ski resort.

The state has not yet reacted to this important news. New Hampshire citizens, nevertheless, expect an official state response. A shocking lack of state oversight occurred when our ski resort lease rights were last transferred in 2017 to criminally sanctioned hedge fund Och-Ziff: That lease transfer did not receive Governor and Executive Council review and approval as called for in the 1998 lease and typically required in state contract negotiations. Additionally, the enabling legislation for that lease called for creation of a commission to oversee and regulate activities at the ski resort. That commission was never established. So, the important question remains: By whom, under what authority, and through what process, is the state overseeing this transfer of state assets?

The people of New Hampshire have a right to expect their government will exercise significant and consistent oversight of this transfer, and that this process, however long it takes, will be transparent with substantial public input opportunities.

ALAN SHULMAN

New London