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Letter: Sunapee concerns


Monday, October 15, 2018

Two decades ago, New Hampshire leased Mount Sunapee’s ski resort to private hands. This deeply flawed lease agreement began 20 years of state-relinquished management of our state park. Free public facilities deteriorated. Private promotion replaced state signage and advertising. Its lease holder built a 3-D archery course and mountain bike paths without any state oversight to ensure adequate town decision-making information. The state fixed a minimal cash flow – 3 percent of gross revenues from its leased resort – citing support for a “family business.” In 2016, the state agreed to West Bowl expansion without thorough environmental assessments and after receiving incorrect information stating Mount Sunapee’s natural environment lacked uniqueness. Finally, this lease called for creation of a commission to supervise and administer resort affairs, yet none was created; single commissioners have made decisions.

Will anything change? A pending agreement with corporate giant Vail leaves many concerns unaddressed.

Fact: Mount Sunapee’s natural environment is, in southern New Hampshire, unique and irreplaceable, yet Vail, by current lease amendment, can develop the West Bowl and fragment forever this invaluable forest community.

Will the state upgrade its pittance 3 percent take with corporate giant Vail?

Will Vail undercut New Hampshire’s revenues and local economies by developing hotels and condos on its adjacent private property?

Will Vail’s Epic pass cut state revenues?

Will the state finally establish that administrating commission?

Will New Hampshire truly honor Mount Sunapee’s conservation heritage?

N.H. taxpayers and citizens: Demand responses to these concerns.

ALAN SHULMAN

New London