CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
Keep Osceola Tug Hill a XC Ski Center
By Darryl Caron
About eight years ago, Hugh and Anna Quinn, the owners of Osceola Tug Hill Cross Country Ski Center had an informational meeting about its future as a ski center. There was a lot of interest, but at that time retirement was still a few years out and nothing materialized. Now, he is conducting another similar meeting on Saturday, March 2 at 6pm at the ski lodge in Camden. The main difference this time is that their retirement is planned for April 15, 2020 – just one year away. The information for the meeting is on Osceola Tug Hill’s website (www.uxcski.com) and below. The previous meeting had around 40 attendees with the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Tug Hill Commission, and other government agencies in attendance. Hugh expects similar attendance this meeting.
Being in the center of the Tug Hill Plateau in Camden, about 40 miles northwest of Utica, Osceola Tug Hill almost always has skiable conditions on its 40K of trails. Hugh and his wife, Anna, are doing everything he can to make sure that Osceola Tug Hill stays a cross country ski area. I think Adirondack Sports magazine readers are interested in the results of this meeting. Here’s the meeting notice and in Hugh’s opinion, a few of the possible outcomes. Other thoughts may come out at the meeting like multiyear memberships to help fund transition, a GoFundMe campaign, etc.
Special Meeting: Osceola Tug Hill Cross Country Ski Center, Inc.
Saturday, March 2 at 6pm
Any and all interested parties are invited. Meeting will be held at the ski center.
The purpose is to determine the future of the Osceola Tug Hill Cross Country Ski Center. The ski center is FOR SALE. We, Hugh and Anna Quinn, have built and run a very special place to a lot of people. The ski center is a profitable business that we have enjoyed running for the past 39 years. While it is still enjoyable, we both feel that we need to have the freedom to spend more time with our family. Not limited to, but especially with the grandkids.
Our guarantee is that the ski center will operate until at least the end of the 2019-20 ski season:
We will start selling next year’s season pass memberships on March 1, 2019. We’ve done this over the last 10 years to help with summer maintenance cost of the trail system. By continuing this practice, we will be able to keep improving trails making the skiing the best we can and making the ski center more viable for the next owners. If health or other circumstances make opening the ski center for the 2019-20 season impossible, all membership money will be refunded.
At the completion of the 2019-20 season, without new ownership, we will make a decision to run for another year or to close. The closing of the ski center is not the option that we or anyone else wants. If we do decide to close the ski center the property would be sold and activity on the property would be determined by new owners. The highest value of property, other than a ski center, would probably be an out-of-state snowmobile club.
Options for keeping Osceola a cross country skiing destination:
1) Individual or Group Buying the Ski Center Outright.
2) Being a Corporation, We Can Sell Stock to an Individual or Group – The property, business with assets, etc. is selling for $497,000. We have up to 500 shares of stock without par value available. Each share or stock would sell for $1,000. Each share or stock would have one vote on decisions made by ski center. Some of the decisions that need to be made include, who to hire to run ski center, compensation paid to staff, what to charge for skiing and equipment. etc. Decisions can also be made as to benefits to stockholders – examples, free guest passes or memberships to stock holders, dividends paid to stock holder of 1-3%. The board making these decisions can be all stock holders or a limited number of elected individuals. The board could also explore the possibility of taking the ski center into non-profit status as others including Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Vermont have done. The only way selling individual shares or stocks works for us is with a minimum of 200 shares sold initially to various individuals or a group.
3) Non-Profit Status – One of the biggest advantages to a non-profit is the availability of grant money not available to a for-profit business.
4) Exploring the Possibility of the State or County Government Purchasing the Ski Center – As 50% of our skiers come from out of state, we provide a big economic boost to this area. A campaign would need to be put together to let the state or county government know that there is a lot of support for acquisition of a ski center in an area that actually gets snow.
5) Contact Colleges or Universities to Purchase and Use Our Ski Center as a Working Lab for their Students.
6) Possible Other Directions – Hopefully any other options available can be discussed at the March 2nd meeting.
Any questions, contact Hugh Quinn at 315-599-7377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.