February was record month for Gunstock Mountain

GILFORD — Gunstock Mountain Resort General Manager Greg Goddard told selectmen Wednesday night that February revenues set an all-time record.

Goddard, who gives selectmen a brief review of activities twice a year, said the resort is on target to reach a 3 percent revenue growth goal over last year.

"We had two great school vacation weeks," Goddard said, noting that the weather in February, while painful for the people who don't participate in winter sports, was excellent for Gunstock.

He described January as "kind of schizophrenic" with "monsoons" early in the month and extreme cold weather toward the end.

"We were able to recover (from the rains) in time to have a good Martin Luther King holiday weekend," he said.

He said there were solid season pass sales and in February the resort broke records in all revenue categories including tickets, lessons, rentals, children's activities, retail sales, food and beverage sales and Nordic events.

Gunstock's fiscal year runs from May 1 until April 30. When the books close on fiscal year 2014, Goddard said they should be on target to meet their 3 percent growth goal. With no major or unanticipated capital expenses, Goddard said they should have a good year.

"We always have something come up but expenses are in line with expectations," he said.

He told selectmen the ski season would end on April 6.

"I know that seems kind of early but most people have had enough by then," Goddard said.

With the opening of the summer adventure park and the zip line this past season, Goddard said the resort needs at least five to six weeks between the end of ski season and the beginning of the summer season to prepare the mountain and get the summit ready.

The adventure park opens on May 24, or the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend. He said permanent campers will be able to set up starting May 17.

In other Gunstock news, Goddard said the tentative date of the Tough Mudder event is the second week in September, but the event organizers are having some trouble finding parking for 5,600 people.

Last year, Tough Mudder was held on one of the hottest weekends in July and more than the usual number of participants succumbed to heat-related symptoms, taxing their own medical resources as well as those of the Gilford Fire Department.

Goddard said last year participants parked at the N.H. Motor Speedway in Loudon, however if the event is held during the second weekend of September, the speedway will not be available because it is the week before a NASCAR race and that's when the track has camper move-in day.

When selectmen asked if Gunstock would have horseback riding this year, Goddard said they wouldn't because horses and the zips lines are "incompatible,"

"I guess the horses think they are big giant birds swooping down on them," he said saying skittish horses and novice riders are also incompatible.