“Nuclear Option:” Entire NH Ski Resort Management Team Leaves Immediately


Barbed relationships between multiple management groups, including state entities, boiled over at New Hampshire’s Gunstock Resort on June 20.

Gunstock Resort took a huge staff hit in June, when every member of management, from Chairman and CEO Tom Day to descendants, left their jobs in one fell swoop. The staff calamity puts an exclamation mark on a virulent dispute that stems from the resort’s unique management structure and ends its summer operations.

Gunstock Adventure Park at Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford, NH closed July 21 and will remain closed until further notice. This is after the station’s entire management team quit in a meeting the night before.

Tom Day served as the location’s president and general manager until his resignation amid growing turmoil between his team and a five-member appointed council, the Gunstock Area Commission (GAC). Day posted his 2-week notice along with six other senior management professionals, including Gunstock’s chief financial officer, facilities operations director, and marketing director.

Resignation was a ‘nuclear option’, Day told the Laconia Daily Sun. “We didn’t want to do that.”

Who actually runs Gunstock?

The reasons why they did so boil down to thorny bureaucratic doubts.

The GAC has been around since the 1950s. Because Belknap County owns the station, its Departmental delegation (a budget-focused group of NH state legislators) chooses the five appointees who serve on the Commission for a 5-year term. The stated task of the GAC it is “to manage [the resort] as a financially independent and autonomous organization.

The current GAC appointees have gradually clashed with the management of Gunstock Mountain Resort. According to New England Ski Journaltensions escalated as the GAC attempted to seize control of day-to-day operations away from Day’s team.

At a meeting in June, GAC Vice Chair Dr. David Strang bluntly asked Day who was in charge of the station. Day replied, “I am”. Strang retorted: “I disagree and I’m very concerned that you’re in charge of the mountain. In your opinion, what role does the commission play? »

According New Hampshire Public Radio, the role the commission has recently played has been political. Led by controversial County Chairman Michael Sylvia, the delegation itself has fought for financial control of the station in recent months.

Sylvia is a five-term state legislator with a developing reputation as a fringe conservative. He has already signed a document declaring the state government illegitimate and making headlines for using racist language during a campaign for New Hampshire to separate from the United States.

Now, he’s brought his fiery attitudes into meetings regarding Gunstock’s future. Sylvia has accused some members of her former management team of criminal defamation, improper influence, conspiracy and various other wrongdoings against them, according to NHPR. He also dismissed some of those opposed to the delegation’s recent actions at Gunstock as “marxistsseeking to protect elite interests.

These actions, according to NHPR, focus on controlling operations through GAC. But while the delegation alleged financial mismanagement and a lack of transparency, locals didn’t exactly join its rallying cry.

Last winter, the mountain had a record seasonand Day’s team worked alongside the GAC to develop a plan to almost double its walkable terrain. All this led the public to clearly express your opposition the delegation’s plan to transfer full financial control of the station to the County.

“Lost Trust” and Lost Employees

State Governor Chris Sununu echoed the sentiments of his constituents in an open letter on June 21, the day Gunstock announced its closure.

“Members of the Gunstock Area Commission have lost the trust of the citizens of Belknap County. These people made bad decisions, and until they are removed from their positions and replaced by good people who recognize the wonderful asset that is Gunstock, the county will continue to suffer,” Sununu wrote.

He added that opportunities in the State Parks Department await Day and his team. “As someone who has worked in the resort industry, I can say without hesitation that the Gunstock management team that tendered their resignation yesterday is among the best that New Hampshire has to offer, and the loss of their expertise will be felt at Gunstock for years to come,” he concluded.

At the meeting, Day reached boiling point when organizers directed him and his team to seats in the audience, rather than at their own table as usual. Day asked the reason for the new arrangement. When Commissioner Peter Ness said, “We just did this to be more consistent with how other delegations and commissions work,” Day said in his two weeks.

“I would like to tender my resignation and give my two weeks’ notice,” Day said. “There seems to be a lot more control wanting to come from your side, so I feel like my role here is diminished.”

One by one, the other six Gunstock management employees followed suit.

Gunstock Area Commission Responds

In a statement, Ness wrote, “The GAC has scheduled discussions with management on ongoing expansion plans. Instead of discussing these plans, the GAC was met with an unsolicited and spontaneous resignation from senior staff and a commissioner. The GAC will not speculate on why these individuals took these actions. »

Faced with the closure of the station and any resulting backlash, he wrote “in light of [Wednesday] unprecedented actions of the night, the GAC is developing plans to ensure Gunstock’s continued operations as seamlessly as possible. The goals of the GAC are to remain open, continue to employ valuable staff, provide exceptional guest experiences, and fulfill the GAC’s obligations to taxpayers by ensuring the financial stability of Gunstock Mountain Resort.

Ness added that “Gunstock has an important heritage in the ski industry history and the GAC intends to maintain this legacy.

But for now, the station’s future remains uncertain. The same goes for the 65 full-time, year-round employees and the 150 seasonal employees who work there.

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