Minutes GMNC Board 8 January
Board members attending: Tina Wilson, Dan Tille, Joe Ramey, Don Metzler, Lynea Schultz Ela, Jodi Peterson, Callie West
Guests: Ben Graves, Dave Knutson, Felix Iovanni
• Ben: now working with The Nature Connection as development director, community relations. Will work on MOU with us, they’ll be using GMNC trails for several kids’ ski days this winter. (NOTE: We should put their schedule on the website so members know when the kids will be using the trails. Also need to be sure to groom after kids programs) Holly Henriksen is running the ski program. High school groups have used hut for overnights. It’s been a life changing experience for them. Ben would like to have high schoolers be able to spend night up there again, and they want to have service projects too. Joe suggests they could cut wood for hut.
Contact: [email protected]
• Felix: Special needs skiing programs – possible collaboration between Colorado DiscoverAbility and GMNC.
• Vehicle incursion – 2 vehicles have gotten stuck trying to drive into the Skyway trails. We’ll put up a sign saying NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES.
• Dave: Went to North Fork Snowmobile Assoc. meeting on 1/7. Electric Mtn Lodge is grooming from Windy Point to Electric Lodge on Thursday nights now (trailhead is 8 miles north of Paonia). Crystal Creek near Crawford has a groomer there also, and trails on Black Mesa are groomed. NFSA is putting on an avalanche clinic at Grand Mesa Visitors Center, asks if we’ll put it on our FB page.
Treasurers Report: Callie West: $266,000 liquid assets, $9200 restricted by donors. Donations YTD for 2020 are $53,035. For 2019, the total YTD was almost the same — $53,330.
Colorado Gives Day in 2019: we received $7,080. For 2018, we received $5,358.
Trail box donations to date for this year are $1903; last year at this time they were $2076.
Membership has been flat over the past 5 years, but our income has increased compared to 2017.
Total revenue compared to last year: we’re up $1800 and our expenses are $4287 less. But we have fuel and insurance invoice expenses coming up, and groomer jacket invoices.
Adult programs: Callie West: Great turnout for clinics. Dec. 28 clinic was really full – more than 50 attending. $25 for 90 minutes. Good date for clinic – after Christmas. People who missed the clinic can take private lessons. Also have advanced clinics. Survey results – lots of positive feedback. 7 people purchased 3 pack of private lessons.
Miscellaneous discussion topics:
• Firewood: We have 25% of the original supply left. We need kindling and Firestarter at the hut. Plan to organize a wood chopping group for next weekend. Need to get a Skilsaw up there and cut some holes in the plywood at the back of the hut so you can reach the firewood.
• Board: We need another 1-3 board members. Ideally someone from the North Fork who skis with a dog. Would like another younger board member. Also someone with grant writing experience.
• Community engagement: There’s a huge community of younger people who come to the Mesa for recreation but we aren’t engaging them. They don’t go to the GMNC website or look at our kiosks. They get all their news from Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. Suggests we put our grooming costs on Facebook and ask people to donate.
We have a lot of usage that isn’t paid for – people come up, use the trails, don’t read the signs or make donations.
People appreciate having ungroomed trails at Ward. One suggested a sign at Skinned Horse trail at Ward. What about decals for cars? Free advertising for us.
• Warming hut: often contains lots of trash, stuff laying around. We need a trash can and a box for Lost and Found. Need directions for wood stove. Need dust pan and small broom. Need signage. Front door sign is missing. Joe will put up frames for signs.
• Survey: Member survey going with, need an incentive for the survey – raffle for 3 pack lessons. Dan will send Jodi the survey for feedback. Tina will do a teaser in the next MailChimp.
• Trail Map: New trail map going to print. 5000 quantity. Has Best Practices section. Signage: Best Practices and Safety for panels of kiosk. Need signage saying “Entering Skyway Trail System” with a no dogs symbol. Will also have signs saying clean up after dogs, and no walking without snowshoes.
• Gear sale page: Dan created a Nordic gear sale page for GMNC on Facebook, so we can start advertising that. We can also make that our Lost and Found page.
• Joe: nothing we can do about situation where we groom, then it snows a few inches overnight. Surprise snowfalls will result in ungroomed snow for a day until groomers can come up again.
• Early morning grooming assures that trails will be groomed, but then there isn’t time for surface to set up for skate skiing.
• Tina: real time grooming app that works w/ GPS. Dan has emailed SkiTrails.info to find out if we could use that.
• Callie: We have not gotten back to the standard of grooming that we had two years ago.
• Joe: Winslow worked with Kenton, Winslow was up there constantly and gave Kenton feedback. We can’t expect that now our volunteer operations director is up there every day.
• Dan: What is the decision process about what trails get groomed and when? Seems like we should be grooming on Fri., Sat and Sunday.
• Callie: Budget: Forecasting quite a bit more grooming expense this year to improve grooming.
• Grooming decisions sometimes don’t meet expectations of people who ski a lot. Overgrooming isn’t an issue – won’t hurt trails. Problem is not the quality of grooming, it’s the frequency.
• Need to balance regular grooming with being flexible about grooming after storms.
• Expectation should be that groomers do work on holidays – those are huge days for us, and they need to be out there grooming, Christmas Day, NY Day, MLK Day, Presidents Day, etc.
• Can we commit to always having a 5 kilometer loop groomed? Should have daily assessment of conditions and groom accordingly, rather than just saying that we will groom 3 days from now.
• Toby Morse could groom 1-2 days a week – we could add him to the grooming schedule.
• Don – will tell Rich we’d like to see more grooming on weekends (Friday through Monday), and on holidays. Send snowmobile groomers up during the weekdays. Ensure that all groomers are working at least 3 hours at a time when they come up to the Mesa.
• Joe: we should pay our groomers a 3 hour minimum (meaning they should work 3 hrs. minimum, not that we pay them for 3 hours every time they come up)
Meeting adjourned at 9 pm.
Next meeting: Feb. 13, Thursday. Callie will notify Heddles. Need to change on website too.