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Author Topic: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock  (Read 9098 times)

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The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« on: April 20, 2007, 08:49:11 pm »

Did anybody know that Gunstock was a Depression-era public works project before it was chosen to hold a "freedom festival"? :o

And takes money from Belknap County taxpayers whenever it feels it needs to? >:(

Oh, the bitter irony.

Quote
Gunstock, or the Belknap Mountain Recreation Area, as it was originally known, was a product of the Great Depression.  With the rampant unemployment of the 1930’s, the Works Progress Administration was conceived by President Franklin Roosevelt to provide a source of employment for worthwhile state and local projects ranging from flood control with dams, to road construction.

With great foresight, the Belknap County Legislative Delegation sought and received support from its representatives in Congress and the Senate for an ambitious recreation project in the Belknap Mountain range that would initially include a chairlift, four rope tows, cross country trails, camping facilities, hiking trails, an impressive main lodge, and several smaller buildings.

Local support for the project was almost unanimous. For every dollar put up by the county, six federal dollars were poured into the project. Belknap County’s share of the development, which took three years to complete, was a mere $70,000. The Belknap Mountain Project was designed and erected making the best uses of terrain and natural resources.  A system of roadways unobtrusively opened several hundred acres of campsites and a modern comfort station.  The single chairlift and rope tows serviced approximately 4 miles of skiable terrain, groomed and maintained to prevent erosion and to blend with the surrounding flora and fauna.  The large main lodge and other buildings in the area were built with lumber cut and milled in the area and with granite quarried from Cobble Mountain, also a part of the Belknap complex.  Architect Mitchell Dirsa designed the main lodge to reflect the spirit of the mountain with its rugged and traditional character. The structure today retains the enduring characteristics of a classic design.  "Belknap" was the focal point for skiing in New England during its early years and was the center for many exciting competitive events on the alpine slopes, the touring trails and ski jumps.  Such legendary names in the world of skiing as Torger Tokle, Dick Durrance, Mezzy Barber, Art Devlin, Rolf Monsen and many others participated in national and international events here.

As the popularity of skiing and camping grew in the 1940's and early 1950's, the county complex needed a full time management team to operate the facility. The Belknap County Legislative Delegation then passed a legislative enabling act setting up the Gunstock Area Commission, a five-person "board" appointed by the Delegation to hire a staff and set policy at the growing recreation complex.  During the late 1950's and early 60's, an ambitious expansion program began that saw development of Gunstock Mountain with a summit chairlift, three t bars, and an entirely new trail complex.  It was however, obvious by the early 1960's that still more expansion was needed to provide the services demanded by the skiing public, and so another summit chairlift was added in 1964.  In 1970, the Commission again went to the drafting board and came up with many major projects including, the creation of the Pistol complex with a new chairlift and four trails, the installation of a modern 75 acre snowmaking system, and the addition of another base lodge, now known as the Stockade Lodge.

In 1986, Gunstock launched a 10 million dollar expansion program that totally revitalized its skiing operations.  Included in the three-phase project was the replacement of four lifts, a high tech/high capacity snowmaking system, an expanded base complex, and major renovations to the trails system.  The expansion effort, a commitment to product quality and skier services, along with an aggressive marketing campaign, has brought Gunstock increased market share growth and an image of a first class operation.
 
For the first 52 years of its existence, Gunstock operated as a completely self sustaining entity.  Due to a combination of poor snow seasons and heavy debt service caused by the expansion of the 80’s, the Area has required some support from the taxpayers of Belknap County. In 1990, the Gunstock Area Commission voted to refocus the priorities of its mission to clearly reflect its intention to return Gunstock to financial independence as quickly as possible. In 2001 Gunstock Area Commissioners' entered into an agreement with the County.  “The Memorandum of Understanding” obligates Gunstock to $150,000 annual payment to the county plus a set percentage of revenue over 6 million dollars on a graduated scale. In the spring of 2003, the Belknap County Delegation approved the Gunstock Area Commissioners’ proposal for a high speed detachable quad to the summit, the relocation of the summit lift to the Pistol Area, snowmaking capabilities on Pistol and Blundersmoke and the installment of night lighting on Pistol and Blundersmoke. This new 4 million dollar expansion was completed in time and on budget for the 03-04 winter season.

In recent years, the Gunstock Area Commission and Management have been very aggressive in developing and implementing programs that will improve Gunstock's revenue generating capability through out the year. While continually improving our ability to provide a quality ski experience is on going, Gunstock has worked to improve the "other season" activity level.  An increase in the "other season" revenues have been realized through functions & outings, horseback riding, mountain biking, and the introduction of special events such as the Motorcycle Hillclimb and Oktoberfest.  In the summer of ’05, we added a few major summer functions including Soulfest, Ribfest, and the Timberman Festival.  A revised master plan was presented to Belknap County in the fall of 2006.  This plan outlines further improvements to the mountain, base complex, and camping areas.

The combination of all these activities has resulted in Gunstock Mountain Resort becoming a four season resort, enjoyed by thousands, who have come to rely on us for a superior recreation experience.

Edit: Marked it up so Lloyd could find some of the more important bits.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2007, 11:30:08 am by error »
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lloydbob1

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2007, 08:54:59 pm »

Too long to read.  A lot of nice parks are the result of those depression job programs.  Unfortunate, but, better than, say, building a prison.  When we liberate them, we will thank Roosevelt............................well.......maybe not...........
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Dreepa

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2007, 09:02:18 pm »

Read the most recent part then LLoyd.... that is interesting.  it is not snowing please give me money...
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lloydbob1

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2007, 09:18:45 pm »

I'm so jaded by the weight of all that I have witnessed since i started paying attention, that I am barely moved by this, much less surprised.

However.  I want to be the first to say: 'I told you so'  about Gunstock.   Well...........I didn't exactly tell you about the above, but,  I think.....that I implied that maybe they were a little shady ;D

OK Mike, I'm guessing by now you have fomented a plan for Gunstock like posters with the above at every campsite :o

 
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Pat K

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2007, 11:56:46 pm »

Well that is a little embarrassing. :-[
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"It's not all gonna be candy and blow-jobs"-Dale



Jason Osborne ‎"Fighting for reduction of government" is kind of like smashing your dick in a car door to reduce the pain of smashing your dick in the car door, and then getting pissed at the folks who don't want to smash their dicks in car doors as if it is their fault that your dick hurts.

"I don't recommend looking towards a government building if you don't want to see indecent behavior."  --Russell Kanning

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2007, 11:31:02 am »

You're in the middle of the worst depression in history. What do starving unemployed people want? A ski resort!

I highlighted a few things in the original for Lloyd's tired eyes.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2007, 11:32:50 am by error »
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"Hagrid"

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2007, 07:24:47 pm »

We knew the history and 'governmental' involved going in... In fact, Varrin, Rich, Russell and I discussed this while at Gunstock, including with those in charge. However, given the options available, including all of the considered choices that were 100% privately owned that had worse flaws or limits, the decision was made that this would still be the best choice.

If someone (this means you, Lloyd, Pat K, Dreepa or error) wants to find a better place for next year, given the limits and requirements and preferences of our folks, I strongly urge you to step forward and take on this task of finding a better place.  Heck, start right now if you'd like... you have all summer to close the deal.  Lord knows that Rich and Russell and the rest of us would LOVE for someone to take it on... it was a lot of time and energy to do.

If you aren't willing to take on this task, then perhaps you can sit on your hands.  Put up or shut up.

 

lloydbob1

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2007, 08:55:36 pm »

We knew the history and 'governmental' involved going in... In fact, Varrin, Rich, Russell and I discussed this while at Gunstock, including with those in charge. However, given the options available, including all of the considered choices that were 100% privately owned that had worse flaws or limits, the decision was made that this would still be the best choice.

If someone (this means you, Lloyd, Pat K, Dreepa or error) wants to find a better place for next year, given the limits and requirements and preferences of our folks, I strongly urge you to step forward and take on this task of finding a better place.  Heck, start right now if you'd like... you have all summer to close the deal.  Lord knows that Rich and Russell and the rest of us would LOVE for someone to take it on... it was a lot of time and energy to do.

If you aren't willing to take on this task, then perhaps you can sit on your hands.  Put up or shut up.

 

How we are accepted at Gunstock is more important than this little bit of it's history.  I question the ethics of all involved in keeping it a secret, however.  The subject of supporting a private business thru theft is an important subject among Porcs.  It should have been on the table.
If PF 07 is a success, I think we should make Rich and Russell permanent Porcfest  Tsars.
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Mike Brady

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2007, 11:16:18 pm »

How will I be able to live with myself knowing that I'm using such a place?  Not only that, I'll be driving to Gunstock on taxpayer funded roads. Yikes!  I'm typing this message using the internet that Al Gore invented.  The very words that I type I learned to spell at a government school.  And of course, I'm breathing air provided by the Clean Air Act!! 

 ;)

MB
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Pat K

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2007, 12:19:14 am »

I just made a small comment, a true comment
and if someone (this means you Seth ) does not like
it they can Fuck off.
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"It's not all gonna be candy and blow-jobs"-Dale



Jason Osborne ‎"Fighting for reduction of government" is kind of like smashing your dick in a car door to reduce the pain of smashing your dick in the car door, and then getting pissed at the folks who don't want to smash their dicks in car doors as if it is their fault that your dick hurts.

"I don't recommend looking towards a government building if you don't want to see indecent behavior."  --Russell Kanning

Ward Griffiths

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2007, 01:56:49 am »

How we are accepted at Gunstock is more important than this little bit of it's history.  I question the ethics of all involved in keeping it a secret, however.  The subject of supporting a private business thru theft is an important subject among Porcs.  It should have been on the table.
If PF 07 is a success, I think we should make Rich and Russell permanent Porcfest  Tsars.

I didn't know anything was a secret.  The history of Gunstock has been common knowledge since forever.  Or at least since well before I attended Laconia High School.  Didn't spend as much time there as many of my classmates back in the early 70s, as I don't ski.  Let me repeat, I don't ski.  My first winter in NH (70-71), I was too busy learning how to survive (the physical climate was a bit different from Los Angeles) and adapt (the cultural climate was a bit different from Los Angeles).  Plus, no way I could afford equipment rental (let alone purchase).  Before the end of my first winter, I had no interest in skiing.  Laconia High School resembled a convalescent hospital by February 1971 [all those kids that had been skiing since infancy, teenage hormones in Full Froth, "Hey!  Look at This!", CRUNCH!!!] and I doubt that has changed much, kids today are as stupid as kids then.  So I didn't spend much time at Gunstock, and for various reasons (financial and geographical) didn't attend the class reunions held there.
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"Hagrid"

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2007, 09:30:05 am »

I question the ethics of all involved in keeping it a secret, however.  The subject of supporting a private business thru theft is an important subject among Porcs.  It should have been on the table.

I didn't know anything was a secret.  The history of Gunstock has been common knowledge since forever.

Exactly.  It wasn't a secret.  Sorry, I guess when we didn't keep Lloyd informed about every aspect of everything being done and the pros and cons of every place we looked at, obviously instead, we formed a cabal intentionally to keep this a secret.

Russell knew about Gunstock's county-funding ties, Lloyd, are you accusing _him_ of keeping it a secret?  Mr. "I can't keep a secret"?

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2007, 10:47:57 am »

Nobody talks about things when they're common knowledge.

But for those of us who moved recently, and for those who have yet to move, it certainly wasn't common knowledge.
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"Hagrid"

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2007, 11:48:15 am »

But for those of us who moved recently, and for those who have yet to move, it certainly wasn't common knowledge.

And yet, you decided to highlight only the points that supported your slant.  What about these points?

Quote
For the first 52 years of its existence, Gunstock operated as a completely self sustaining entity.
Quote
In 1990, the Gunstock Area Commission voted to refocus the priorities of its mission to clearly reflect its intention to return Gunstock to financial independence as quickly as possible. In 2001 Gunstock Area Commissioners' entered into an agreement with the County.  “The Memorandum of Understanding” obligates Gunstock to $150,000 annual payment to the county plus a set percentage of revenue over 6 million dollars on a graduated scale.
Quote
In recent years, the Gunstock Area Commission and Management have been very aggressive in developing and implementing programs that will improve Gunstock's revenue generating capability through out the year.


That certainly doesn't sound like 'takes money from Belknap County taxpayers whenever it feels it needs to', does it?
In fact, if more governmental functions were run the way Gunstock is, we'd be in better shape. 

While 100% private is still preferable, this is still a great deal better than the way other ski areas are run that owned by the State... Cannon Mountain runs at a constant loss, and the bill(s) to lease it out were killed by both House and Senate.  Sunapee is leased out by the State, to mixed reviews.

As I said, this was still our best choice among the choices we had on the table.  If someone else wants to step up for PF08 and find a place they think will be a better choice (and they don't need to run the entire event or be the 'Czar' just FIND the right place to hold PF08), please do so.

lloydbob1

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Re: The Sad Socialist Past and Present of Gunstock
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2007, 05:18:29 pm »

Yeah, great.....Seth, did anyone ever post the individual motel rates around Gunstock?
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