Open letter to Mayor Dan Curtis and councillors Irwin, Curteanu and Gladish:
Others have written on behalf of Friends of Mount Sima. I am writing you on behalf of myself and my family.
On June 24, council agreed to a motion that the Great Northern Ski Society needed to show that there was more community support within the plan. In response, in eight weeks we increased season pass sales by close to 400 per cent, by reducing the cost by $100 to try and make the hill more affordable and accessible to Yukoners. The overall net result is that revenues to the hill are exponentially greater and importantly, they are guaranteed regardless of what the weather does.
Then council said that they did not trust that Yukoners would keep their word and actually pay the amounts they had pledged. We said, OK, we would only receive city funds based upon milestones that were set related to the money actually deposited into the account.
Council then asked us to find more support from the hill’s user groups. In one week they came up with an additional $60,000 to help support the hill.
Finally, we cut the budget to the point where we felt it would be unsafe to cut anymore and then shaved almost two weeks of operating days when the hill had been underused in the past. Let’s also not forget that the Yukon government was prepared to match each of those dollars provided by the city up to $70,000 so the city would leverage its investment by 100 per cent.
All of this inevitably meant that our request of the city was essentially the same amount that they said it would cost to close the hill down. The recommendation of their own administration was to provide Friends of Mount Sima with these funds.
And still you refused to support our efforts in absolutely any way.
In a straw poll to gauge the reaction of members of the business community it was mentioned that either the councillors’ business acumen is very circumspect, or they have been disingenuous all along because if they will not even put up the same dollars it costs to mothball the facility they clearly do not understand the business case or they have, or had, no intention of ever supporting the hill.
To suggest that “taking a year off” will actually be in the best interests of all the volunteers who have worked so hard is again either incredibly naive or incredibly disingenuous. You have just taken a difficult job of raising private money for the hill so that we can make it ultimately sustainable and made this job twice as hard. As another businessperson wrote, “If they don’t support it this year, why would they support it in future years?”
Despite your lack of faith in us and our achievements, we are not going to allow you to take this asset away from us, and more importantly our children, that easily. We will continue to try to raise funds and find an alternative that does not require the city to believe in or support any of our efforts.