Letter at Length

Mt. Ashland offers aren't fair to skiers

I regret purchasing a season pass this year, not only because Mt. Ashland never opened, but because I feel the two options given now as a remedy, are not fair, nor acceptable.

I skied at Mt. Ashland from 1980 until 2004, usually with day passes, and for 14 years, (while I worked at a local outdoor store,) with a Gold Pass. I had never purchased a personal season pass until this year, mainly because I am a backcountry skier and prefer to be away from the crowds, but also because I don't support the expansion and did not want my money going toward that pursuit.

Here are my problems with the two options Mt. Ashland has given:

First, what I purchased was the right to use the lift service and to ski in-bounds. I never intended for my money to be a donation. I donate money every year to organizations that I deem worthy, and Mt. Ashland is not one. If they stopped pursuing the expansion and began to focus on making the current mountain/lodge/parking/bar/food/operations better, then I would be slightly more inclined to support the first option of a tax deductible donation. That said, I've already filed my taxes for 2013. So I'm wondering how I could benefit from from this now?

Second, I will never buy another season pass as long as Mt. Ashland continues to pursue the expansion. It continues to drive the organization into financial ruin and divides the community. I think it's extremely misguided to think that a.) Mt. Ashland can afford to expand, or b.) Mt. Ashland would attract significantly more business because they have another lift or flatter runs. Mt. Ashland will never be a destination ski area. Local people who ski, already ski at Mt. Ashland. Why not simply make it a better place to ski within a reasonable financial plan? I will most certainly not be buying a pass next year.

It's disgraceful what the Mt. Ashland organization has done to what once was a fun, little, local ski hill. They've turned the community against each other over the fight to expand and this is just another big middle finger to the community that supports them. This "remedy" is especially horrible for the folks who, because of their limited financial situation, entered into the monthly payment plan agreement in order to purchase a season pass. And what about anyone who doesn't itemize? The first option is of zero benefit to them.

Here are two options I would support:

1.) Donate my money, (in my case $289,) to a charity of MY choice.

2.) Use my money, (again, in my case $289,) to purchase a single Ariel chair when Mt. Ashland inevitably will be forced to dismantle the entire ski resort due to bankruptcy after wasting taxpayer money and squandering donations by pushing the ridiculous expansion agenda. An Ariel chair would make a nice swing for my backyard and would give me a bit of nostalgia for the good ol' days of Mt. A.

Kelly Miller


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