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Minutes of the Spring BRSC 2008 Meeting

BLUE RIDGE SKI COUNCIL

Minutes of Spring 2008 Meeting

Maggiano’s Restaurant, Tyson’s, VA

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Host: Pentagon Ski Club, Peter Porton

Attendees

BRSC:  Judy Burlbaugh, President & SCWDC; Peter Porton, Vice President & PSC; Steve Peirce, Treasurer & PSC; Kitty Imdahl, Secretary, CSC & SCWDC; Baltimore Ski Club:  Mike Jones, Sheldon Hyman, Christopher Pukalski, Joe MihalovichCapital Golden SkiersInge LesjakColumbia Ski Club:  Gary Prestianni, Tom Donohue, Robert Foard, Wayne Homens, Jerry PoleyCrabtowne Skiers:  Molly Hochman, Arean Amato-Chase, Patricia Kirby, Patrick Kirby;  Fagowees:  Sam Mantis, Nancy Cruise; Fredericksburg Ski Club:  Michael Redding, Robert Schwab, W. Wallace Morton; Goddard Ski Club:  Harvey Walden; Little Heiskell Ski Club:  Darrin Bragunier; Peninsula Ski Club:  Sonny Short;  Pentagon Ski Club:  Dave Olsen, Christina Anderson, Jim McDonough;  Potomac Valley Skiers:  David Lerner, Charles Huggins;  Richmond Ski ClubIwin McClellan, Noble McClellan, Pat Crowley;  SCWDC:  Sue Miller, Beverly Ashcroft, Livingston Johnson, Frank PeñarandaSun, Snow & Surf Ski Club:  Jacqueline & Tom Zmurko, A. Thomas. Also:  Group Trips Unlimited: Judy Miller; Sportours of New Jersey: Effie Rubenstein; Vail Associates:  Jill Canning;  PATC:  Steve Bergstron; Snow Searchers Ski Club:  Dawn Brown. 

NO SHOWS:  Columbia Ski Club: Ted Dietz as the BRSC 2007 Western Carnival Coordinator;  Crabtowne (two people didn’t come but one person took the place of one), Fagowees: Carl Harlow; PVS: Dick Comerford, Glade Flake.

 

President Judy Burlbaugh called the meeting to order at 8:30am and welcomed everyone.  She discussed the National Ski Council Federation meeting that she attended in August and presented a written report (more below). 

 

Date and Host of Fall ‘08 Meeting

Saturday, September 27, 2008  Richmond, VA  Hosted by Richmond Ski Club (Noble McClellan)

Executive Committee Reports

 

Fall 2007 Minutes

A correction on page 2, Sonny Short – not Sunny Short.  Minutes Approved.  Judy B. proposed that the Minutes be available 30 days after the meeting.  A motion was made and seconded, but after some discussion it was defeated.

 

Treasurer’s Report

 

Treasurer Steve Peirce presented the Treasurer’s Report with a balance as of May 15 of $10,283.13 in our checking account and $8,684.83 in CD’s (no change in that since the Sept. report).  There was total Income from May 16, 2007 through May 16, 2008 of $4,752.31 and Expenses Paid from May 16, 2007 to May 16, 2008 of $1,398.40 for a total income minus expenses of $3,353.91.  Discussion followed on what to do with treasury excesses. Steve said in 2000, we had around $2K to $3K in income, and we gain about $3K every year. 

 

There are about 18 clubs as members.  We need to find out how many clubs are members and update our website.  Right now the fees are $0.15 per member – but not less than $5.00 nor more than $35.00.  Sanctioning fees to be discussed later. Discussion on changing membership fees – possibly raising for big clubs and lowering for small clubs.  It was mentioned that we have too much money so we should not raise fees, and the small clubs seem to think the fee of $0.15 is OK.  Frank Peñaranda suggested that more analysis needs to be made on the appropriate scale of dues, and moved that the issued be tabled till next meeting. ISSUE WAS TABLED.  Treasurer stated that it is difficult to keep track of individual club’s membership dues and sanctioning fees because of old software. 

 

Wayne Homens made a recommendation and proposal that some of the extra money in the treasury ($500) subsidize the Treasurer and Secretary to attend Western Carnival unless that individual is a trip leader.  Judy B. appointed Wayne to look into it and report at the next meeting.  Wayne Homens moved and Frank Peñaranda seconded to accept the Treasurer’s Report. Motion passed.

 

Elections for President

 

Molly Hochman introduced the two candidates, Wayne Homens and Kitty Imdahl.  Both talked about their experiences and left the room for the voting to take place. Molly initiated a round of applause for Judy B’s service to the Council as president for the past two years.

 

Standing Committee Reports

Trip Sanctioning

 

Judy B. made a motion that no sanctioning fees be charged for summer non-ski events.  The fee is $10 per ski trip right now.  The measure was passed – no sanctioning fee for summer non-ski trips.  Webmaster Frank Peñaranda reported that this year there were 68 trips by 18 clubs sanctioned, compared to 56 previously. Frank asked the clubs to copy him on sanctioning requests sent for approval to expedite posting. He also indicated that all sanctioning requests must be submitted by a club’s appropriately authorized person, not just any trip leader. Judy emphasized that a club’s 2008-09 BRSC dues must be paid for them to list any trip sanctions. There was a discussion during the BRSC Trip Breakout session where all agreed there should be no fee for a BR sponsored trip.  However, no official decision on this matter was made during the meeting. Group Trips paid $60.00 for the BR 2008 Interlaken participating clubs to be posted on the BR website.

 

Web Site

 

Peter Porton confirmed that, as approved at the Fall 2007 meeting, Laura Harley, the Pentagon Ski Club’s webmaster, had been engaged to redesign the BRSC website and make it more user friendly, at a cost Not to Exceed $750.  Peter distributed a printout of the new homepage design proposed by Laura, which included a new BRSC logo.  Dave Olsen said that Laura had changed the logo because she had been unable to obtain a crisp image of the current council logo; the one on our website is too fuzzy.  Wayne questioned the official logo and the new design and asked whether Laura had researched the design to assure that it wasn’t being used by someone else.  Peter said he would touch base with Laura to make sure.   Peter said that the website design should be completed this summer and will be coordinated with Frank.  Clubs will be notified after these changes are made.  It needs to be updated to ensure we continue to get high search-engine rankings.

 

Judy thanked Frank Peñaranda for taking over as Webmaster during her presidency and for his very prompt and effective manner in providing those services to the member clubs over the last two years.

 

Trips Committee

 

Judy B. went to the Mountain Travel Symposium (MTS) meeting and brought back a lot of information about France, Andorra and Japan; all of which could be candidates for future BRSC Eurofest trips, including 2011.  She mentioned a new hotel in Andorra with 172 rooms and a 15 minute bus ride to the slopes. Peter said he believes it is still too soon for them to handle a group our size mainly because of their antiquated system of selling lift tickets which takes just too long.  He said he was very concerned about the bus situation because that also was a big problem.  Someone else said his group went there and they had to either use municipal buses or charter their own buses.

 

In discussing France, Sue Miller said we need to narrow “France” down to a region, so Frank suggested the Chamonix Region.  The discussion resulted in Andorra and the Chamonix Region being 2011 Eurofest candidates. 

 

Judy showed a slide show of Japan and handed out information from the Minneapolis Ski Club, Sitzmark on their 2/14-24/08 trip to Hakuba, Japan.  Judy  wants to do a big BRSC 40-person expedition trip using Holidaze Ski Tours.  She also suggested that we may want to consider going to Quebec instead of the Eurofest if it is too expensive. 

 

There was a discussion of the possible 2011 Western Carnival sites. Steve Peirce mentioned Snowbird.  Judy B. said she would like us to go to another Vail Associates property staying at Avon and skiing Beaver Creek.  Sue Miller said SCWDC did that this year and it is too expensive, making it a very hard sell.  Sue said the cost was also too high at Avon.  After much discussion the choices were narrowed to Snowbird and Snowmass.  It was determined that Big White is not big enough for a Western Carnival, as a group that went there recently had to change airplanes three times. 

 

It was mentioned that when considering a site for a BRSC trip, we also need to consider the airport and airlines we will use, and many other factors, in addition to the resort itself, because they may be factors that would prevent a good Western Carnival or Eurofest.   

 

Old Business

2008 Trips

 

Western Carnival - Steamboat

Judy B. said she sent out a report to all BRSC clubs about the Steamboat trip but people said they hadn’t received it.  Judy pointed out several problems: the air was cancelled for the Capital Golden Skiers and they ended up having to pay their ground transportation themselves, arriving at 2am and some not until later the next day.  The Welcome Party was changed at the last minute because the gondola closed at noon due to too much snow and wind, and was rescheduled to the middle of the Super Bowl several hours later.  Southern Maryland did not have tables & chairs at the Farewell Party until Ted Dietz found the tall bar tables in the back room.

It was mentioned that at past Blue Ridge trips, the coordinator had been requested by BRSC not to get small door prizes such as baseball caps and tee shirts because pulling numbers/names, waiting for the winner, and distributing the door prizes took up too much time and took time away from the party.  People want to dance and have fun and no one needs another baseball cap or tee shirt. 

 

There were 411 participants.  There were complaints about not having a premium beer at the parties so Judy B. used BRSC funds available from the 4th Tour Operator comp to purchase a keg of premium beer.  We also lost a member of the Fredericksburg Ski Club, Dennis Chin, who had a massive heart attack and passed away.       

 

EurofestInterlaken

Nobel McClellan gave a report on Interlaken, which was a great success.  Nobel was busy throughout the trip making everyone feel welcome and she did a great job.  She thanked the trip leaders and Judy Miller with GTU for making sure we had a wonderful experience.  Lots of sunshine & snow.  Many successful side-trips, and people had a lot of fun and made new friends. A woman fell down a couple of steps at the hotel and had to go to the hospital. It turned out she had no money and no credit card.  Trip leaders should tell participants to bring credit cards when traveling in Europe.  Keystone donated two days of lifts & lodging as a door prize.  Nobel thanked everyone for allowing her the honor to be the BRSC Coordinator and she enjoyed it immensely. 

 

Blue Ridge Race

 

Dave Olsen distributed a report of the Steamboat race results.  Columbia prevailed in the participation category, with Pentagon (2) and Fredericksburg (3) following.  Baltimore won the club team competition with Pentagon (2) and Columbia (3) following. Dave was unable to present the team competition trophy to Baltimore because Ted Dietz, the Columbia representative who had it from last year, was unable to attend.  [Ted has since assured us that he will convey the trophy to Baltimore.]  Dave presented Kitty with an award for coordinating the Billy Kidd Performance Race Camp. 

 

New Business

 

2009 Trips

 

EurofestDavos

Kitty Imdahl gave information about Davos, Switzerland.  Davos is about two hours from Zurich.  We are using the Cresta and Sunstar hotels.  The lifts include 3 railways, 8 funiculars, 4 gondolas, 10 chairs, and 26 drag lifts, giving a total lift capacity per hour of 64,421 people on 189 miles of marked runs.  The runs are broken out as 21-Beginner, 42-Intermediate, and 22-Expert.  There are six resorts with three on one side of the valley and three on the other.  It is a short shuttle ride or a long walk to most lifts – no long bus rides.  Davos has several small museums, a milk factory, a cheese factory, and the highest (in elevation) brewery in Europe.  There are world class hockey matches and a possibility of a World Cup ski racing event during our visit.  Davos has been world known since the late 1800’s as having health benefits and is also the site of the World Economic Forum each January.  Judy mentioned there is a great bar in Klosters called Chesa.  

 

Tour Operator Judy Miller gave information on which clubs are participating.  Pentagon will probably be taking somewhere in the 40’s.  Peter said he has 15 to 20 signed up with lots of single supplements.  He will know more about his numbers in July.  The mini refrigerators at the Sunstar are stocked with free beer and some other free drinks but not free wine.  Capital Golden Skiers and SSS could stay at the Cresta 3*.  CSC & SCWDC at the Cresta 4*.  Not much difference between the two Cresta hotels.  Judy mentioned where each club is going for their extension. 

 

Western Carnival - Keystone

Christopher Pukalski provided information on Keystone, explaining the lodging options and location to various ski resorts and BRSC events.  He also said that Copper Mt. is not part of the Keystone ticket.  We hope to have 422 people on this trip.  This trip will NOT take place over Super Bowl Sunday (yea!).  It is actually over Valentine’s weekend so bring your sweetie with you.  Richmond will have an 8-day trip extending to Sunday.

 

Lodging:  Keystone is a four-star destination, with a base elevation of 9,280 ft. The food is high-end, as is the lodging, with four distinct areas.  One is called River Run which is where the Summit Stage will depart for Breckenridge and A-Basin.  River Run is a mall location with all kinds of shops and lodging.  The lodging in the Mountain House area is about a five minute walk to the lifts.  Keystone Lodge is a very beautiful high-end property with available shuttle. The Lakeside Conference area is a great area as well and some of the BRSC events will be there, but you will have to take the shuttle to the lifts. River Run will house Baltimore and Hartford. The Inn at Keystone was chosen by Columbia, Capital Golden and Potomac Valley.  Pentagon will be at Snowdance.  SSS will be at Keystone Lodge.  The Fagowees, SCWDC and Richmond will be in the Lakeside Conference area.  Goddard, Peninsula, and Fredericksburg are undecided. If any club wants a bargain trip they can stay at the Evergreen. 

 

The Welcome Reception will be on Sunday, Feb 8, at the Keystone Lodge.  The Après Ski Party will be on Tuesday, February 10, also at the Keystone Lodge.  The Farewell Dinner/Dance will be on Thursday, February 12 at the Conference Center. Judy Miller said Keystone will be bumping up the shuttle buses for our trip and our party events.  Someone mentioned that we only have two drink tickets per event, so Christopher will check into having BRSC kick in a little extra.  We will have an extra keg of Avalanche Beer for the Farewell Party and we’ll check into having more beer per person and wine also.  We’ll report on this further at the fall meeting. 

 

Jill Canning with Vail Associates gave a short presentation on what’s new at Keystone. There is a new Independence Bowl, cat skiing, and the gondola has been changed so that it is longer. There are all kinds of activities at all these venues and we’ll have a “Meeting or Special Event Coordinator” working with each club to coordinate the trips to various resorts or places.  Judy Miller said clubs should decide on special day trips in order to get a special bus to the other ski resorts.  A-Basin is only 10 minutes away and is served by a free shuttle.  Clubs could start skiing Vail on the 3rd day. Keystone to Vail takes 1 ½ hrs. You can use the Summit Stage or you could get a dedicated bus to other resorts if you make arrangements through GTU.  The Intra Keystone bus runs every 10-15 minutes.  Judy needs each club to let her know where they want to go, on which days, and how they want to do it. 

 

The BRSC race is on Tuesday at Keystone. Some clubs have contacted Christopher or Judy saying that their club will not participate in the race. All of the clubs are flying on Saturday and every club will have a grocery stop opportunity without incurring an extra fee – as part of their package.

 

2010 Trips

 

Western Carnival at Heavenly/Lake Tahoe

Pat Crowley, Richmond Ski Club, was selected as the BRSC Trip Coordinator at the Fall 2007 meeting. Judy appointed Dave Olsen, Pentagon, as Race Coordinator.  Selected vendors:  Judy Miller - Group Trips Unlimited; Effie Rubinstein –Sportours-NJ; Dan Ellis - Winter Ski and Sport.

 

EurofestBormio, Italy

Discussion and voting on candidate vendors for this trip:  Some discussion on the previous bankruptcy of Ski Europe and also that Holidaze does not include the surcharges, taxes, etc. just the basic price.  Ski Alpine Experience (SAX) also came under discussion.  Peter recommended GTU.  Wayne proposed GTU & Ski Europe in a motion and Peter seconded.  Motion passed.

 

Future - Possible Trip Sites

Judy B. recommended a trip to Hakuba, Japan and passed out information on a trip run last year by Minneapolis/St Paul through Holidaze Ski Tours.  She said their price includes everything including the bullet train.  She needs 40 to be able to go and she will put together an exploratory trip that she will run through Blue Ridge using Holidaze.  She will have prices at the Sept meeting for her trip.

 

2011 Trips

 

Possible sites for 2011 Eurofest and Western Carnival were discussed earlier. Snowbird and Snowmass were selected as contenders for the latter. Andorra,  Chamonix and the 3-Valleys region were debated as contenders for the Eurofest, with the votes going for Chamonix and 3-Valleys, France.  Dave Olsen suggested the creation of a small committee to go over RFPs – especially where there is a new coordinator--- to be sure the bids have what BRSC requires of our trips and the vendors have been properly vetted. 

 

Election Results

Wayne Homens was elected as the new Blue Ridge Ski Council President. Congratulations, Wayne.

 

Club Membership Fees

 

Steve mentioned the possibility of a flat fee for small clubs with under 100 to $20 and $35 or $40 for big clubs.  Judy B. opposed raising the fees for the big clubs.  Frank made a motion that it be tabled and David Lerner, PVS, seconded. The motion was tabled.

 

Phone Use in Europe

AT&T has a GSM phone that works in Europe with no roaming charges.  Verizon should also be able to provide a GSM phone that also works in Europe without roaming charges like the AT&T phone.

SUMMARY ACTIONS:

  • It was mentioned that there is adequate money in the treasury, so we should not raise fees and that the small clubs seem to think the current fee of $0.15 per member, up to $35.00 total, is OK.  ISSUE TABLED. 
  • To update our website and to validate requests for trip sanctions, there needs to be a current list of clubs.  The treasurer will provide the Board of Directors with a list of clubs that have paid their BRSC dues for the 2008-2009 season.  Clubs have until the Fall meeting to pay their dues without penalty but they may not sanction trips with BRSC if they are not current with their dues.
  • Judy B. appointed Wayne to check on a $500 to subsidy for the Treasurer and Secretary to attend a BRSC trip.
  • Peter to follow through on web redesign working with Frank and Wayne
  • Columbia to make sure Baltimore gets the BRSC Team Trophy

 

 

Respectfully Submitted:

Kitty Imdahl

Secretary, BRSC

March 21, 2008