Taxpayer investment in Cannon Mountain tops $9.2 million
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(CONCORD, NH) State-owned Cannon Mountain Ski Area will lose more than a quarter million in Fiscal Year 2012, after turning a profit for the first time in a decade in FY11. And that doesn’t include large capital construction subsidies provided by New Hampshire taxpayers. In all, New Hampshire taxpayers have put over $9.2 million into Cannon Mountain since the state began leasing out Mount Sunapee in 1999.
Unaudited figures for FY12 show Cannon Mountain will lose $258,000 in FY12, after turning a nominal profit of $1.3 million. The one-year surplus came after a decade of operating losses, peaking with a nearly $1.7 million deficit in 2006. Last year, General Manager John Devivo boasted that Cannon has turned a corner.
“The public has responded very well, and the numbers don’t lie. Our skier visits, season pass sales, total revenue and net profits have risen steadily, and we’ve turned a nearly $1.5 million deficit into a nearly $1 million surplus within just four years – a 250 percent improvement.”- John Devivo, June 6, 2011
But a sluggish economy and last winter’s scattered snowfall meant another money losing year at the state-owned ski area. From 2000 to 2010, Cannon lost nearly $3 million, and that doesn’t include large construction subsidies provided by New Hampshire taxpayers.
The state started leasing out its other ski area, Mount Sunapee, in 1999, with lease payment dedicated to the Cannon Mountain Capital Improvement Fund. From 1999 to 2011, Sunapee has transferred almost $5.8 million to Cannon, allowing the state-run ski area to put in a double chairlift and reopen the Mittersill slopes. This expansion has boosted revenues significantly in recent years, and helped put Cannon in the black for the first time in 2011.
The New Hampshire Legislature also included $1.5 million for the Mittersill expansion in the FY11 Capital Budget. Combining Cannon’s operating losses since 2000, the Sunapee subsidy, and the 2011 Capital Budget subsidy, New Hampshire taxpayers have paid over $9.2 million for Cannon since operations at Sunapee were privatized.