Letter: A way forward on Mount Sunapee

Thursday, August 09, 2018

New Hampshire has authority over our state parks’ well-being and future. Vail Resorts wishes to be ski resort lease holder/operator at Mount Sunapee. To ensure public confidence in its transfer process, the state should:

– Enforce its lease agreement (RSA 12A.29): No transfers happen without written state approval as happened with Och-Ziff and other times.

– Assert ownership of our state park with well-located signage, replace corporate branding and install signage reflecting federal funding.

– Improve park facilities, especially ones open to the general public without fee; adequately marking/maintaining them.

– Adhere to handicapped-access codes.

– Insist that the lease holder/operator notify local communities of any ski resort changes that may impact them.

– Preserve Mount Sunapee’s unique Exemplary Natural Community Systems; lease agreement to exclude any West Bowl development threatening mountain primeval forests.

– Make no Mount Sunapee State Park decisions before establishing an oversight/decision-making commission called for in original lease-establishing legislation, correcting years when DRED commissioners made Mount Sunapee State Park decisions without any legal authority to do so.

– Publish and respond to all written and voiced public input.

– Enforce ski resort lease holder/operator’s responsibilities for equipment and public safety.

– Raise the current 3 percent of gross revenues coming to the state, originally set to help a “family business,” not a huge corporation.

– Publish the results of the audit called for by the AG.

– Ignore pressures to speed transfer processes; true public accountability requires more time.

I’ve witnessed years of secret state decision-making. It needs to cease now.


New London