Gunstock Withholds Payment to County, Requests Loan
A state representative is threatening legal action and the firing of the Gunstock Area Commission.
Friday, May 19, 2017, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
While the Lakes Region has made the transition from ski season to the summer recreational season, county owned and operated Gunstock Mountain Resort is making headlines for yet another financial issue.
According to audited county financial documents, Gunstock is required to pay "$175,000 to the County prior to March 31 of each year" as "capital contributions." Belknap County taxpayers have backed millions of dollars of Gunstock capital and operating debt and have previously bailed out the ski resort when it was unable to pay its bonds.
Belknap County's most recent audit shows $5.161 million in long term debt on the Gunstock books as of April 30, 2015. An additional $2.6 million in debt was approved three months later to fund the construction of a mountain coaster at the resort.
The Gunstock Area Commission has withheld its annual $175,000 payment to the county, claiming it is no longer contractually obligated to make the remittance. Meanwhile, the commission is requesting a $650,000 bridge loan from the county to fund off season expenses. A $950,000 bridge loan was needed for the 2016 off season.
According to the Laconia Daily Sun, State Representative Norman Silber (R-Gilford) has announced he would formally request the Gunstock Area Commission be replaced and that legal action be pursued to force Gunstock to issue its usual $175,000 county payment. In addition, Silber announced he would not vote to approve the $650,000 bridge loan until Gunstock has issued its county payment.
According to the Laconia Daily Sun, the Gunstock Area Commission is now considering paying the county the usual $175,000 as a good faith measure.
The next Gunstock Area Commission meeting will be held on Monday.