Nonprofit ski area loses money after reopening
CODY, Wyo. – The Sleeping Giant ski area in Park County lost money in its first season since reopening with new lifts and other improvements.
Based on numbers provided by executive director Hamilton Bryan, the nonprofit ski hill lost $316,288 during its first year of operation.
Bryan says a lack of snow and a shortened season contributed to the loss.
Meantime, the Park County Commission on Tuesday voted to allocate nearly $45,000 to the ski area so it can clear dead and dying timber from part of its slopes. The money comes from a federal program meant to help communities reduce the risk of damage to structures from forest fires.
The ski area is located in the Shoshone Forest, near the East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
It reopened this past winter after being closed since 2004. Supporters invested or pledged between $3 million and $4 million toward rehabilitating the ski hill.
Much of the money includes private donations from local businesses and individuals, and public funds from state and local sources.
Sleeping Giant continues to fundraise and is still collecting on up to $400,000 in outstanding pledges to be paid out over several years by local donors, Bryan said.
“We’ve been asking people to accelerate their payments, and we’re getting some people who are doing that, so it helps,” he said.
Sleeping Giant has no reserve fund, but has a line of credit, although that funding source is currently “maxed out,” Bryan said. Early lift ticket sales and offseason fundraising will help in meeting operating expenses for the start of the new season next winter, he said.
Information from: Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com