SQUAW ALPINE TRANSIT COMPANY
BOARD OF DIRECTORS QUARTERLY MEETING
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
1. Call to Order
Chair Keith Fountain called today’s meeting to order at 8:16 AM. A quorum was established
2. Roll Call and Establishment of Quorum
Board members in attendance
Sebastian Gurevich (appointed at today’s meeting)
Board members not in attendance
Judy Friedman (Recording Secretary)
3. Changes to / adopt Agenda
It was moved by Fountain and seconded by Grant to adopt today’s agenda as presented. Motion carried unanimously.
The accountant who prepared the tax returns was Sharon Fereira.
It was moved by Fountain and seconded by Pendleton to approve the minutes of the February 9, 2022 meeting as corrected. Motion carried with Grant abstaining.
5. Public Comment
There were no comments on items not on today’s agenda.
6. Board Member and Adviser Comments
Fountain welcomed Peter Grant back to the Board.
Grant asked that upcoming meeting dates be listed on the agenda before “Adjourn.”
7. Chairman’s Report
a. David Lockard, Resort at Squaw Creek’s General Manager nomination of Sebastian Gurevich of for Board seat vacated by Drew Conly in February. It was moved by Fountain and seconded by Romack to appoint Sebastian Gurevich to the fourth seat of assessed businesses. Motion carried unanimously.
b. Board Seats up for FY2022-23 re-election/designation
Fountain said the consistency in the Board is a testament to everyone’s willingness to put in so much time and Doyle’s contributions to the organization. He noted Gurevich, Grant and Stepner have each agreed to serve an additional three-year term and Palisades Tahoe designees Crezee and Martin will serve additional three-year term beginning October 1, 2022.
8. Base-to-Base Gondola Presentation and Q&A - Casey Blann
Blann provided a history of Troy Caldwell’s vision of linking what was then Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. The idea got more traction when KSL merged the two areas in 2011. Since then, there have been numerous meetings, opportunity for public input, and consideration of various alignments. The permitted project has 177 Conditions of Approval and construction is planned to be completed by the beginning of 2022-23 winter season.
Blann described details of the project, including the mid- and base stations, maintenance facility, operations, and maintenance, noting this is the first of its kind to be permitted in California. Staff will be trained for communications and safety for this operation specifically. He showed renderings of the project from various vantage points.
Blann described plans for the new Red Dog 6-pack lift, including the alignment, improved capacity and speed, and easier access, all designed to improve the skier experience. Approximately 75% of the trees removed were either dead or diseased.
Given the realignment of Red Dog, the Palisades Plaza is being re-done to provide a world-class entrance to the resort. It will include ADA improvements, superior views for world cup races, and better access to the locker room and amenities. Blann showed artist’s renderings of the new Plaza.
Blann is leaving Palisades Tahoe at the end of the year and is committed to seeing these improvements by then.
9. 2021-22 Season Wrap-up & 2022-23 Operations Preliminary Discussion
Doyle provided ridership statistics for the 2021-22 season and compared the numbers with previous years. Ridership has decreased, although there was a 23% increase in new app accounts. In conversations with Board members, Downtowner, and TART representatives, ridership decrease is in large part due to lack of snow in January, February, and March, making it easier for people to use their personal vehicles as opposed to waiting for a Mountaineer vehicle.
Doyle suggested ways to improve ridership obtained through survey responses, add pick up and drop off locations closer to the lifts, promote the personal and environmental benefits of using Mountaineer, and work with Palisades Tahoe and the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association (TNT TMA) to partner on marketing efforts. Doyle will talk to Downtowner about collecting data that supports the environmental benefits.
Doyle noted for the first time last winter, the Palisades Tahoe app provided parking status, and suggested that unintentionally this may have resulted in a disincentive to use Mountaineer. She is working with the new Palisades Tahoe marketing team and website consultant, who may have strategies to improve this as well as how to strengthen Mountaineer marketing.
Doyle suggested adding a line item to the FY22-23 budget for advertising.
If financially feasible and recommended by the Board, Doyle suggests expanding service at Alpine Meadows next winter to expand to 15 days of holiday service in Alpine Meadows, expand from weekends to four days, and offering evening service between Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows since the Base to Base Gondola will only operate until 4:00 PM. Palisades Tahoe may also ask for an agreement with SATCo and Downtowner if there is a situation where the Base to Base Gondola can’t operate due to mechanical and/or wind/weather.
Discussion followed regarding the suggestions, the data and survey results, and how best to reach potential riders, given the landscape changes with new owners and new renters. The Board was appreciative of all Doyle has done for the organization and noted many outside influences that have impacted ridership.
10. Executive Director’s Report
a. District Renewal Update
Doyle reminded the group of the suggestion that NLTRA and TNT TMA be advised of the plans to renew the TBID. TMA Board and the Placer County CEO’s office support the effort and advised that we had what was needed from NLTRA. The proposed timeline for renewal was included in today’s meeting packet; the timeline is confidential.
Today is the organization’s last meeting as SATCo. SATCo’s new DBA Mountaineer Transit Company and the new website MountaineerTransit.org will be rolled out by the end of June. The new name will be promoted on the website, as well as some basic information about TBID, including a list of businesses supporting the renewal at 1.5%. The Ad-hoc District Renewal Committee is scheduled to meet with Civitas on June 13, 2022.
b. Delinquency Report
Doyle reported collections were $18,592 delinquent as of April. The report from Placer County Revenue Services was included in the meeting packet. The County put a lien on the property delinquent over $6,000. The owner is now communicating with Revenue Services, so that could be resolved soon. There is another delinquency of almost $1,200 that the County may initiate the lien process against soon.
11. TART Connect & 2% TOT Renewal Updates - Lindsay
Romack described Measure A, the 2% TOT renewal initiative on the June 7 ballot.
A request is going to the Placer County Board of Supervisors for FY 2022/23 TART Connect funding. Romack expects the schedule to be similar to FY 2022/23 service, including Friday and Saturday evenings in the summer and fall connecting to Olympic Valley. She reported on strong ridership numbers. Truckee TART Connect service has been added and will operate June 25 – September 5, 2022.
12. Treasurer’s Report
a. Q2 (Jan-Mar) and April Financial Reports - Board has reviewed
Pendleton presented the financial reports ending March 31, 2022. Revenues and expenses result in a $192,000 favorable to budget for the quarter.
It was moved by Fountain and seconded by Stepner to accept the Q2 financial reports as presented. Motion carried unanimously.
b. Rev Expense Summary / Cash Flow & Revenue Projections
Pendleton presented the revenue expense summary and cash flow projections. He described the assumptions made, including having the Palisades Tahoe loan of approximately $125,000 repaid by September 30. Pendleton anticipates a bank balance of approximately $500,000 at the end of the fiscal year.
Pendleton commended Doyle for her follow up with the County on delinquencies.
c. Unbudgeted Expense Policy
Pendleton noted times when Doyle needs to make a quick decision to take advantage of an opportunity which will not significantly impact the budget. Pendleton proposed a policy included in the packet to address that situation.
It was moved by Fountain and seconded by Martin to adopt the Unbudgeted Expense Policy as follows: The Executive Director can approve unbudgeted expenses of up to $2,000. Unbudgeted expenses between $2,001 and $10,000 must be approved by unanimous Finance Committee approval. Unbudgeted expenses higher than $10,001 must be approved by a majority of the full Board. The Executive Director shall provide the Board with written quarterly reports of unbudgeted expenditures in excess of $500. Motion carried unanimously.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 10:09 AM. The next regularly scheduled meeting is Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 8:15 AM via Zoom.