Grooming      Weather      Donate


Grand Mesa Nordic Council
Board Meeting May 23, 2023

Board: Dan Tille, Joe Ramey, Larry Gruel, Christine Noel, Marguerite Tuthill, Susie Attaway, John Traylor & Tom Ela

Board Members Absent: None

GMNC Staff: Christie Aschwanden

Guests: Tim Carter, Greg Randall, Hege Randall, Nike VanArsdale, Jeff Mikesell

Dan called the meeting to order and read the GMNC mission at 6:03pm. 

Guest Comments. There were five guests at the May meeting.

  • Tim Carter came to discuss Dave and request that he be brought back next season. 
  • Greg Randall came to share his interest in joining the GMNC board. He provided a written report of his experience and interest that was included in the Board packet. He also shared his budget suggestions for the Board and GMNC operations.
  • HegeRandall came to discuss her desire that Dave continue as GMNC’s groomer. 
  • Nike Van Arsdale shared her thoughts on the high quality grooming and her desire for the Board to adequately plan for growth.
  • Jeff Mikesell came to share his interest in joining the GMNC Board. He is interested in helping GMNC move in a direction to be more inclusive.

Discussion was had around the desire for new trails. Dan reminded all about the process that is still needed for USFS approval and GMNC trail building work before these new trails become a reality. John thanked guests for their input.

March Meeting Minutes. Dan motioned to approve the April minutes with Christine’s correction, Susie seconded, all approved.

Treasurer Report. Christine provided the fiscal year end report. Highlights include:

  • Overall, GMNC had a good year financially, even though the year-end result is an overall loss. Total revenues were up 9% over last year, largely driven by individual contributions. The number of individual donors cleared the 1,000 mark and membership dollars increased by 24%. Programs, such as adult clinics, grew and earned a small amount, clearing break-even.
  • Some expected grant funding fell through, resulting in a 14% decrease in this source of operating funds. Administrative expenses increased due in large part to hiring an Events Coordinator, who not only provides for a strong presence on social media, but also provides for a strong presence at the trailheads. Some costs, such as for the new website design, will not be incurred next year. As with everyone, normal operating expenses such as printing, insurance, and fuel costs increased over last year. In addition, GMNC incurred significantly higher than expected repairs and maintenance expenses associated with the snowcat grooming machine.


Christie discussed how the adult programs have become self-supporting. John recapped the impact the missed grant had on the deficit.

Investments. Christine shared that she and Dan opened an investment account with Edward Jones. This account enables us to invest excess funds and will eventually allow us to accept stock donations. The current investments at EJ are listed below. John shared he will be compiling a formal investment report for the next meeting.




Maturity Date

Maturity Value



American Express Natl Bank






Santander Bk Natl Assn






Truist Bk Charlotte NC






US Bk Natl Assn Instl CTF Dep













Executive Director Report. Christie provided her written report, which was included in the Board packet. 

United States Forest Service Discussions – Christie submitted the end of season report to the USFS this week. Mike Jones had his last day with the USFS and is going back to the BLM. The USFS also shared that the Master Development Report will soon be signed. This is an important step in achieving GMNC’s five year strategic plan. Devin Olson will be acting in Mike’s position while they find the permanent candidate. USFS shared with Christie that it will be completing the Scales Lake Road repairs themselves. 

Discussions around new trails continue. Next steps in the trail building process have been discussed. USFS and GMNC will go through the area this summer to lay out options for the trail.  GMNC will first need to meet and decide which areas to begin requests with. There are some grant opportunities available for grant building that Christie will be exploring this summer. Current GMNC estimate is it will take at least 3-4 years to go through the trail building approval and build process before the trails are open for users.

Grants – Christie will be meeting with the El Pomar Foundation about a grant on May 26. . She is also planning to resubmit the Boettcher Foundation grant after discussions with them. She is planning to add additional details on our region’s demographics and socioeconomic status. The Western Colorado Community Foundation grant funding amounts should be announced soon.

User Survey – There was a low response rate and Christie discussed having the survey available at the trailhead in order to capture more responses. Countyline continues to be the most popular ski area. There were also strong responses around maintaining suggested membership fees at their current level. Joe shared how past membership fee discussions have gone and the resulting impact on membership. Susie discussed the last membership fee increase happening approximately 4 or 5 years ago. Hege shared her support for the current fee schedule and its inclusive approach. Board and guests discussed the pros and cons around raising rates. There are no current proposals to make any changes to the rates at this time.

Business Sponsorships – Christie and Melissa will be working hard to bring in more business sponsorships for next season. 

Skyway Cabin Update. Dan included the new design development in the Board packet. An estimate will be provided on that design by June 8th. Groundbreaking is now expected to be next spring, at the earliest. Some site clearing could potentially occur this year. 

22/23 Close Out Discussion. Joe included his written Operations report in the Board packet. Christine thanked Joe for the suggestions he included in the report. Dan will pick up the trailer from Dave’s house. 

23/24 Budget Presentation. Christie presented the 23/24 budget. This version has been reviewed and approved by the Finance Committee. Christie included a written narrative in the Board packet. Christie discussed the thought process behind multiple changes to the budget. Christie shared details on the grooming payroll and how she is proposing hours and coverage for 23/24. Christie asked for comments on this budget proposal to be sent directly to her. 

The next Board Meeting will be June 20

Board then moved into Executive Session at 7:38 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Marguerite Tuthill