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Grand Mesa Nordic Council
Board Meeting
January 18, 2023

Board Members Present: Dan, Tom, Christine, Marguerite, John, Larry, Susie
Board Members Absent: Joe
GMNC Staff: Christie, Melissa
Guests: None

Dan called the meeting to order and read the GMNC mission at 6:02pm.

I. New Board Member. Dan introduced Marguerite Tuthill, a candidate to join the Board. Larry motioned for Marguerite to join the Board as the Secretary and Christine seconded, all approved.

II. Guest Comments. No guest comments.

III. December Meeting Minutes. Tom motioned to approve December minutes with the made changes, Dan seconded, all approved. Christie shared that she has uploaded the 2022 meeting minutes to the shared drive.

IV. Financials Report. Christine provided the monthly financials report, additional details were shared in the Board packet. December 2022 revenues are up 17% compared to December 21. Expenses are up by 270% compared to December 2021. This increase is largely due to the snow cat expenses being included in December 2022, whereas previously they had been paid in late summer or fall. Some local grant funding has fallen through, contributing to GMNC’s YTD actuals continuing to show at a loss.

Donations are up 18% YTD. When including January, GMNC has already exceeded YTD budgeted income from donations. GMNC is also getting set up Square and will be able to accept donations via credit card on the trails.

Christie reported she ran a lapsed member email campaign in January and it was very successful. This campaign targeted people who donated last year but had not yet donated this year. The campaign contributed to an uptick in donations. Newsletters are also creating upticks in donations. She also used Little Green Light to send out the end of year giving statements for tax purposes.

John sent finance committee details on the City of Grand Junction response to the grant GMNC submitted but the City denied. The grant was related to a snowmobile purchase that can be put off until next year. Dan shared that Dave is buying the old snowmobile. Susie brought up the need to educate the Grand Junction City Council and tourism departments about our gem of a Nordic area. Christie mentioned the need to build deeper relationships with the city council.

John has posted the quarterly investment report. Investing began in October 2022.

V. Executive Director Report. Christie provided her written report, which was included in the Board packet. Christie and Melissa are working on how to better thank business sponsors and donors. They are planning to highlight a business, volunteer, and sponsor in each newsletter.

Forest Service Update – Christie shared an update on her work with the USFS. The parking lot expansion will need members’ voices to help move the USFS towards approving the work.

Christie reviewed the 5-year Master Development Plan with the USFS. Christie will be making the requested changes and resubmitting this week. One requested change is related to adding new trails within the current pod. Once the Master Development Plan is signed, the USFS wants GMNC to share it with the public. Christie shared her plans to continue building relationships with politicians and local community leaders.

Christie discussed how the EDA and CPW grants GMNC applied for will be focused on revamping the entire trail system. The USFS received the invoice for fixing the Scales Lake Road damage and it also committed to putting port-a-potties in the parking lots.

Fundraising – Christie shared she is considering a donor event for this season. She would like Board involvement in this endeavor. Christie can distribute the GMNC overview to the Board for them to share with local businesses and potential donors. Dan recommended changing the Capital Campaign Committee into a Fundraising Committee. Members will be Dan, Christie, Susie, Melissa, Larry, John, and Marguerite. The Committee will need to develop a plan within the next week for moving forward. Christie asked the Board to share any ideas for business support or donors.

Full Moon Ski – Melissa found a sponsor for the last full moon ski of the year: Cedaredge Lodge. They sponsored $350 up front and then donate 23% of proceeds from the evening/weekend. The Denver Post reached out about including the February Full Moon Ski event in an article they are doing on these events across the state. Melissa also sends press releases and community event updates to the Daily Sentinel.

Free Ski Clinics – The free ski clinics have been a huge success. They have brought in over $500 in donations. GMNC has received great feedback from these free clinics. Some folks who took the clinics have gone on to become members and ambassadors. The board congratulated Christie on this phenomenal idea. Looking towards next year and considering how to adjust the program without growing it too large. Melissa posed the option of scholarships for lessons later in the season.

QR Code – Melissa asked about adding a QR code at trailheads. Christie will follow up with Brian.

Operations Report. Joe wasn’t in attendance at the meeting but his report was included in the Board packet. Board members were asked to send him questions via email.

Building Update. Dan and Christie shared an update on the building. Christie shared USFS’s need for 60% approval of the plan in order to agree to start the public comment period. Dan reviewed the reworking of the construction schedule with the Board. Asset recommends GMNC either break ground in June or July 2023 or wait until the summer of 2024. Dan provided two pre-construction schedules modeling breaking ground in July and September. The USFS is thinking the ground won’t be thawed until mid June. The Board discussed potential issues around material availability, whether to defer breaking ground until next summer, and if there is enough time to work through the pre-construction schedules and have adequate time to build. The Board will continue to monitor the pre-construction schedule and use the scheduled Board reviews for Go/No Go decision-making.

Christie shared she is talking with the Western Colorado Community Foundation tomorrow about the building’s solar project. Dan shared that more defined details and potential costs will be available after the DD Estimate is complete. It is likely the GMNC will need to raise an additional $70,000 for the solar project. This would be in addition to the $30,000 grant from the Goodwin Foundation.

Board discussed the need to include building maintenance costs in the next fiscal year’s budget. Board discussed the need for business sponsors to assist with on-going building costs. Christie recommended doing a member campaign around raising building construction funds.

John recommended getting additional details on what GMNC would be on the hook for financially and when. Dan outlined these details.

New Business
Parking – John asked if volunteers could help with parking at the start of the weekend days and race days. He also asked about making the Skyway parking lot one way. Christie explained the difficulty in making this change, as it largely requires staff attendance to make that happen.

Summit Trail – Dan brought up Joe’s suggestion of making Summit a two-way trail. Necessary signage was discussed. Christie will check on USFS signage approval and will order signs.

Colorado SecureSavings Program – Dan will look into it and send info to Christie.

Insurance – Christine is working on this. Christie looked into ski instructor insurance and will continue doing research. There is potential to package participant and ski instructor coverage.

Next Board meeting will be on Zoom on Tuesday, February 7th at 6pm. The Finance Committee will meet on February 6th at 4pm.

Tom reminded the Board of the Firkin! event at Kannah Creek Brewery on February 6th. GMNC will be there from 5-7pm.

Dan motioned to adjourn the meeting and John seconded. Meeting adjourned at 7:49pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Marguerite Tuthill