In what I think is an example of why New Hampshire should not be in the ski area business, is an article that appeared recently in the New Hampshire Union Leader about a proposed capital investment in Cannon Mountain.
The issue here is the capital needs for that adjacent Mittersil Ski area which has recently been purchased by the state. Representative Kathy Taylor is stating that no funds have been appropriated in HB 25 to advance a capital plan for Mittersil namely, the replacement of a double chair-lift for $3,000,000.00. "I am under the impression that nothing is included in the budget for Mittersil." she stated.
And why should it be included?
Does Cannon ever show a profit? What kind of marketing analysis has been done to demonstrate that if this million dollar investment is made the state and the taxpayers are ever going to see a financial return?
Former Representative Martha Mcleod also commented for this article she said that if this capital investment is not made then it would take two years for this project to move forward.I'm skeptical as to whether this is actually true. But with this kind of capital investment shouldn't there be a long-term financial analysis or strategy to show why this is a good investment?
Rep. Taylor later made a statement which I think deserves some attention.
"We can't wait that long," Taylor said. "If you look at Mittersill and all the trails that are added, it's twice the size and that's going to get more people interested in the mountain. More people will come up to see what's going on, stay at the local inns and eat at the restaurants. It would really be an economic driver up here."
And how would it do this? I don' think there is any verifiable evidence to show how this statement could be correct. Sure adding Mittersil will likely increase the skier visit count, but whether this count translates into economic development I think is pure fiction. Or at the very least a fictional based idea.
I think the House Finance Committee should kill this Cannon investment proposal.