To The Daily Sun,

At the apparent instance of several existing Gunstock commissioners, seeking to protect their turf, there are now circulating numerous misstatements, half-truths and outright lies, so the following is offered to try to set the record straight (documentary evidence available upon request):

Are there any plans or proposals to shut down the Gunstock Ski Resort? No.

Can Gunstock be sold? No. The enabling legislation from the New Hampshire General Court is clear that no sale is allowed. 

Who owns Gunstock? Belknap County.

How much real estate tax is Gunstock required to pay to the Town of Gilford, including its share of the budget for schools and the county? $6,587 per year.

What is the estimated value of the Gunstock property from the Town of Gilford assessing office? Approximately $15 million. 

What would Gunstock’s estimated tax bill be if it were not exempt? $245,400, of which $111,300 would be for the schools, $16,800 for the county, and $69,750 for the Town of Gilford.

Who holds the power to appoint and remove Gunstock Commissioners? A majority vote of the Belknap County Delegation, consisting of all 18 elected state representatives from the county. 

Does Gunstock have to submit its budget for review or approval by the County Delegation? No. But there is pending proposed legislation that would require it to submit its budget for review & approval by the Delegation just like all other areas of county operations.

Does Gunstock have the power to borrow money or to issue bonds? No. Any borrowing or bond issuance by Gunstock must be done by Belknap County and approved by a two-thirds vote of those members present and voting.

What is the total of outstanding bonds and capital leases attributable to Gunstock on which Belknap County taxpayers are currently liable? $2,413,572 in bonds (interest rates of 2.145 percent to 4.375 percent) and $617,017 in capital leases (interest rates of two percent to 11.874 percent).

How much did the GAC have in cash and short-term investments on hand at the end of its fiscal year on April 30 of this year? $5,738,260.

How much did the GAC pay to its favored “top” employees as cash bonuses in August of this year? $151,873. 

Who is believed to be the highest paid public employee in Belknap County? The Gunstock general manager with base compensation of $180,250 plus benefits and a 2021 cash bonus of $40,000.

How much has the GAC proposed to spend to repave the main parking lot at the property? $1 million.

How much is the reported estimated cost to air condition the main lodge at Gunstock so that it could be more easily rented out during the hot summer months? $250,000. 

Has Gunstock been financially viable since its inception in 1959? No.

Have Belknap County taxpayers ever had to “bail out” Gunstock? Yes. 

What is meant by the term “good stewardship?” The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care. 

Rep. Norm Silber

Belknap County District 2, Gilford & Meredith

(1) comment

Andrew Pike

Norm, if the mountain is “not financially viable” as you say, how will a third party lessee be financially successful operating it, with the additional burden of a lease payment? If current operations don’t make ends meet with free land, it’s hard to understand how it will work financially under a lease.

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