Cannon Mountain Posts Large Loss as Cumulative Deficits Exceed $9 Million
The state owned ski area took over a million dollars from state coffers last year.
Monday, October 31, 2016, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
State owned and operated Cannon Mountain posted a deficit of over $1.2 million in fiscal year 2016, according to state documents recently procured.
Cannon Mountain $1.2 Million Deficit in 2016
Despite a change in its financial reporting, Cannon lost nearly half a million dollars on operations. While promoting the end of free senior citizen skiing at a forum in April, General Manager John DeVivo declared "overall ski season revenue and visitation was about 33% off." However, after changes to Cannon Mountain financial reporting, only a 17% decline in operational revenue was reported.
Meanwhile, debt service spending continued to increase, reaching $643,381 for fiscal year 2016. Despite being told by then New Hampshire Treasurer Catherine Provencher that it was "bleeding," Cannon has placed the account $332,614 in arrears, outspending the Mount Sunapee lease revenue allocated to cover the debt service.
In addition to the operational and debt account deficits, Cannon also charged $117,144 to a 2009 account for Mittersill spending, known as 09-145:1-X-C MITTERSILL. The account receives funding from the New Hampshire General Fund. In addition to the state spending, $150,716 in Federal funds were used on the Mittersill project in Fiscal Year 2016.
With the 2016 red ink, Cannon's cumulative deficit since fiscal year now exceeds $9.3 million.
Cannon Mountain Deficits, Fiscal Years 2000-2016
New Hampshire's gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Colin Van Ostern and Republican Chris Sununu, are both members of the Executive Council, which approves large Cannon Mountain spending requests.
Sununu, CEO of Waterville Valley, has recused himself from all Cannon Mountain votes. Van Ostern has approved all spending requests and has not recused himself from any Cannon Mountain votes, despite being the son in law of Cannon Mountain Advisory Commission Chairman Rich McLeod.
Over $6.25 million in new Cannon debt has been approved since the ski season, including $350,000 on June 1 and a $5,907,512 snowmaking bond on July 13.