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DRAFT Minutes of the Spring 2011 Blue Ridge Ski Council Meeting

Location:  Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Columbia, MD

Date: May 1, 2011

Host Club:  Columbia Ski Club

Attendees: List

Call to Order

President Pat Crowley called the meeting to order at 8:45 welcoming 39 representatives from 14 member clubs and Tour Operator Judy Miller, Group Trips Unlimited.

Fall 2011 Minutes  

A motion to approve the minutes from the Fall BRSC meeting was made by Frank Peñaranda and passed unanimously. 


Date & Host for Fall 2011 BRSC Meeting


The Potomac Ski and Adventure Club (PSAC) volunteered to host the Fall meeting on Saturday, October 1, 2011, in the Washington Metropolitan Area.  Alternate date is Sunday, Oct 2.


A weekend option was discussed for another Fall meeting. Frank Peñaranda, Noble McClellan and Pat Crowley will investigate places and cost and present their findings at the Fall 2011 meeting.


Club Crabtowne volunteered to host the Spring 2012 BRSC Meeting.

Executive Committee Reports

Treasurer’s Report:  Steve Peirce presented the balance sheet of income and expenses.  The current total BRSC checking plus savings amount balance is ~$18,000.  A motion to approve the report was made by Frank Peñaranda and passed unanimously. The Treasurer's Report is available on this link.


Steve confirmed that Membership Dues are $ .15 per member; $5 minimum/$35 maximum per club, payable at the Spring meeting each year or NLT the Fall meeting.  Clubs are requested to fill out the Club registration form on the BRSC website and mail it together with the club dues to the treasurer.  It was requested that Steve send e-mails to the member clubs each year, reminding them to pay their dues.


Website Report:  Frank Peñaranda reported that 22 clubs participated in ski trip sanctioning.  During the past year, about 60 ski trips and 16 non-ski trips were sanctioned.  There were no delays adding trip information to the website.  Per the revised procedures enacted last fall, Frank asked that all sanctions requests be e-mailed to him directly, with a check sent to the Treasurer. On the new website development, Frank and Dave reported that creating the New Website is more complicated than expected. Laura Harley continues to work on it and Dave Olsen will press to get it finished by this summer. View Webmasters Report 

Race Report:  Dave Olsen, BRSC Race Coordinator, presented the race results from the 2011 Western Carnival at Park City, Utah.  Overall the race went well.  This year participation was below 50%.  He presented the trophy to Columbia President Deb McCune with congratulations to the winning team. View Race Report


Old Business

2011 Trips


Western Carnival Park City, Utah, February 5/6 – 12/13, 2011

Noble McClellan, BRSC Trip Coordinator (TC), reported 9 clubs with 352 participants attended the Western Carnival this year.  All enjoyed the camaraderie, fabulous skiing and amenities. She thanked all clubs and members for their support.


Judy Miller, GTU, praised Noble for her excellent leadership.  Noble’s personality prevailed during critical times.  She took especially good care of two seriously injured members.  Judy also praised Kitty Imdahl, [former BRSC President, now residing in Park City] for visiting the patients at the hospital and helping with packing up their belongings.  Most clubs stayed at the Yarrow Hotel and Park City Peaks Hotel.  Only Fredericksburg stayed at the Park Station condos.


EurofestAosta Valley, Italy, February 25 – March 5, 2011

Jerry Poley, BRSC TC, reported 7 clubs with 176 participants attended the Eurofest 2011.  His ‘Mac’ presentation included photos from the different activities during the week.  He emphasized that Aosta was chosen for its 5 major ski areas:  Pila, La Thuile, Monterosa, Cervinia and Courmayeur; affordable lift tickets and guided tours.


Trip Evaluation Surveys & Forms


Pat reported back on the results from the Trip Evaluation form that was sent to all BRSC Park City and Aosta Trip Leaders.  Trip Leaders gave their evaluation of the trip and the tour operator.  All trip leaders responded 100 percent that GTU did an excellent or very good job organizing the Park City trip and they responded 100 percent that GTU should run another BRSC trip.  The result from the Aosta trip evaluation was mixed.  Four trip leaders recommended that BRSC never use Ski Europe again; two trip leaders said: “perhaps in the future, but not right away.”  Two trip leaders said: “yes, use them again.”


Pat added that surveys of Trip Operations and Tour Operators are very useful for future decisions. All considered an evaluation form to be a useful tool.  Molly Hochman recommended that Tour Operators be made aware of the evaluations, and that they will be continued in the future.  We should let them know how their operation was rated by our participants.  Also, feedback is valuable to future BRSC Trip Coordinators to help prevent snafus beforehand.  Pat will develop a Survey Form for comments.


2012 Trips


Western CarnivalSnowmass, Colorado, February 11-18, 2012

Gary Prestianni, BRSC TC, reported all Club TC's received a ski boot bag from Effie Rubinstein, the Tour Operator, at the Ski Show.  Effie was unable to attend the meeting and used a video clip instead to relay her message: “8 clubs are confirmed for this trip; use alternative flight schedules to bring cost down; all air seats are confirmed; 12 prizes will be given out at the end of the race (goggles, ski bag, back packs); 10 participants qualify for group rate; as few as 5 participants count towards one comp.”  This trip warrants itself to be combined with a second week in Colorado to save on airfare.


EurofestAndorra, Pyrenees, March 2 – 10, 2012

Judy Burlbaugh, BRSC TC, reported:  7 clubs signed-up; minimum participation per club is 10 people; day trips are planned to the famous Caldea Spa, to France, and Barcelona (2-1/2 hrs one way); pre or post-trips are planned to Madrid or Barcelona; base price per person is $1,900.  Contact Judy Miller, GTU to obtain further information.  One club, Potomac Valley Skiers already sold out with 44 participants.  Remember, seniors 71 years and older ski free.  


New Business


Elections for Vice-president, Treasurer & Secretary 


Frank Peñaranda, Election Committee Chair, reported that no new candidates other than the incumbents have come forward, and there were no nominations from the floor. The existing officers agreed to maintain their positions for another term and were voted in by acclamation: Peter Porton, Vice President; Inge Lesjak, Secretary; Steve Peirce, Treasurer


President's Report


Pat has been researching the business credentials of the Tour Operators the BRSC deals with. She gave a brief presentation on the information she had found on several of the TO’s including Judy Miller (Group Trips Unlimited), Dan Ellis (Winter Ski and Sports) and Effie Rubinstein (Sportours of New Jersey).


Pat brought up IRS issues and the requirements by individual clubs to issue a Form1099 to any vendor (and also send the form to the IRS) if a vendor or TO is not State registered Incorporated (INC) or State registered Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). It was reported by ski clubs that were audited by the IRS, that Sportours, Effie Rubinstein, was neither INC nor LLC.


Summary of Findings:

  • Every vendor/ tour operator needs to fill out a form W-9 and send it to the club every year. That form needs to be kept on file by the club treasurer or president.
  • If the annual expense is over $ 600.00 and if the vendor/TO is NOT Incorporated or not a Limited Liability Corporation, the total amount of money paid annually to that vendor is what goes on the Form 1099, which should filled out each year by the club. The club needs to send a Form 1099 to the vendor/TO by January 31st of each year and send it to the IRS by the end of February. A form 1099 is NOT sent to a business that is Inc. or LLC.
  • Clubs have to also pay taxes on interest earned for the year.
  • All expenses need receipts attached to money expense forms.
  • All cash received at events/dinners/fund raisers by event leaders needs to be converted to a check for turn-in to the club treasurer. The treasurer does not receive cash for deposits.


All clubs are advised to get legal guidance from their accountants and the IRS on proper compliance.

Presidential Trips Committee: Pat announced that she plans to form a ‘Presidential Trips Committee’ to discuss the current trip destination selection process and present recommendations at the next meeting. The Committee will also deal with trip problems as they arise, make some decisions between the meetings, and explore a possible BRSC joint club summer trip.

Election of 2013 BRSC Trip Coordinators

Eurofest candidates included Chris Rose, Baltimore Ski Club (BSC) and Inge Lesjak, Capital Golden Skiers.  Inge introduced herself and highlighted a few facts of her application, and Mike Jones, President BSC, said a few good words on behalf of Chris.

Western Carnival candidates included Steve Peirce and Noble McClellan.  Both Candidates introduced themselves and offered some remarks about their credentials.

Inge Lesjak was selected to coordinate the 2013 Eurofest  (Trois Vallees, France) and Noble McClellan received the vote for the 2013 Western Carnival (Big Sky, Montana – see next item).

Selection of 2013 Western Carnival Destination

Big Sky and Steamboat were the pre-selected destinations for 2013.  There was concern about flights to Big Sky for a large group.  Judy Miller, GTU, suggested a staggered arrival/departure approach within three days.  She mentioned that there are plenty of flights available; however, the airline price issue is unpredictable.  Big Sky is a more favorite destination for hotel lodging, whereas Steamboat is better equipped with condo lodging.

Using tour operator prices for destination lodging, current group airfares and a generic BRSC activities price, Steve Peirce stated the case that there was no competition between resorts. He stated that the BRSC just like individual ski clubs should select our destination based on where we want to have the carnival and not on a price competition. Steve made the motion that we only have one destination for all future Western Carnivals. The motion was approved unanimously.

Molly Hochman, Club Crabtowne, made a motion to send out Requests for Proposals (RFP) for just one ski resort instead of two, to reduce the effort required by the BRSC and the TO’s and simplify the proposal selection process. Dave Lerner, Potomac Valley Skiers, seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Peter Porton called for a vote to select the destination.  A show of hands revealed 16 votes for Big Sky and 13 votes for Steamboat.

A discussion ensued whether the prices submitted by the TO's in their proposals should include airfare, since the pricing is so uncertain that far in advance.  Dave Olsen said that the TO’s are already being asked to identify the estimated airfare as a separate item in their proposals, but that it might not give a fair comparison if some TO's include their profit as a separate item and others add some profit to the actual airfare.  Gary Prestianni recommended trip destinations to be selected two years in advance to allow clubs to arrange their trip calendars

2013 Vendor Candidates Selection

A motion was made by Mike Jones to pick three vendors for Eurofest 2013, seconded by Frank Peñaranda.  The vote went to Judy Miller, GTU; Dorothea Rasser, Ski Europe; and Andre Gupta, Ski Alpine Xperience.

Gary Prestianni made a motion to use the same three vendors for Western Carnival 2013 as before, seconded by Steve Peirce.  Judy Miller, GTU; Dan Ellis, Winter Ski & Sports; and Effie Rubinstein, Sportours of New Jersey, were selected by acclamation. 

Breakout Sessions convened at 3:15 pm

During the break out sessions for Andorra and Snowmass, TC's explained in more detail all information published by the tour operators.  Both TC's are available to meet with individual clubs to help promote the trips.



Pat thanked everybody for attending the meeting.  The formal meeting ended when members gathered for the breakout sessions, which finished at 3:45 pm.

Decision Summary

·        Fall Meeting on October 1, 2011 hosted by the Potomac Ski and Adventure Club

·        Approved Fall 2010 meeting minutes

·        Approved Treasurer’s report

·        BRSC Race Trophy presented to Columbia Ski Club

·        Tour Operators will be made aware of Trip Evaluation Form

·        Club Crabtown volunteered to host the Spring 2012 BRSC Meeting

·        Existing Officers are serving for another term: Peter Porton, Vice-president;
  Inge Lesjack, Secretary; Steve Peirce, Treasurer

·        Selected Inge Lesjak for BRSC TC – Eurofest 2013

·        Selected Noble McClellan for BRSC TC – Western Carnival 2013

·        Selected Big Sky for Western Carnival 2013

·        Select only one resort for future Western Carnival destinations

·        Agreed to send out one RFP for one destination


Inge Lesjak, Secretary

May 5, 2011