Squaw Alpine Transit Company Board of Directors Quarterly Meeting Minutes - DRAFT

May 13, 2020

Given the Governor’s order regarding Brown Act revisions due to Covid-19, this meeting was conducted electronically.

1. Call to Order

Chair Keith Fountain called today’s meeting to order at 9:03 AM. A quorum was established.

2. Roll Call and Establishment of Quorum

Board members in attendance

Keith Fountain

Casey Blann

Peter Grant

Evan Benjaminson

David Stepner

Drew Conly

Kyle Crezee

Jennifer Merchant

Bob Tetrault (9:15)

Board members not in attendance


Others attending

Joy Doyle

Noyan Suel, Olympic Village Inn (OVI)

3. Changes to Agenda / Adopt Agenda

It was moved by Fountain and seconded by Grant to adopt today’s agenda as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

4. Approve February 12, 2020 Meeting Minutes

The motion under Item 10.a., tax filing, will include 2018 and 2019

It was moved by Benjaminson and seconded by Crezee to approve the February meeting minutes as amended. Motion carried unanimously.

5. Public Comment

Suel noted the abrupt end to this season, given stay-at-home orders, but expects his Board will approve continuing with the Mountaineer service next year. Doyle will meet with Suel about renewing the OVI contract.

6. Board Member Comments

There were no comments on items not on today’s agenda.

7. Treasurer’s Report

  1. Q2 Financial Reports including Delinquency Report by Executive Director

  2. Motion that Board has reviewed Q2 financial reports

Benjaminson presented the Q2 financial reports, which were prepared and reconciled by McClintock Accountancy. The delinquencies at the end of March totaled $5,700, which is down 50% from last quarter. Placer County has allowed assessments to be deferred for a short time and is waiving penalties and interest. Benjaminson said the service operated for the majority of the anticipated winter season.

It was moved by Benjaminson and seconded by Fountain to acknowledge the Board has reviewed the Q2 financial reports. Motion carried unanimously.

  1. Final 2019-20 Mountaineer & OVI Accounting and Variance from Budget

  2. Fiscal Year Projections [Rev Exp Summary] & Discussion

Benjaminson reported the reports of certificate holder payments and delinquencies from Placer County have been delayed a bit. He expects the March payment of approximately $37,000 by May 15. Because of the delays, Benjaminson suggested meeting in June 2021 (instead of May) after all winter County reports and assessments have been received.

Benjaminson reviewed the Rev Exp Summary report, which he revised June through September lodging assessments to 80% of the original projections. All operations were shut down by April and there are many unknowns about when lodging will resume and be “normal.” The report was reviewed and Benjaminson answered questions clarifying the report including Fountain and Grant requesting exploring a little as 0% lodging assessments for June through September.

Fountain noted his agreement to keep Ron Cohen apprised of SATCo’s financial situation. The Finance Committee will meet with Cohen to discuss the repayment of the loan and line of credit from Squaw. Blann said SVSH will work with SATCo. They want to see the organization succeed and will be flexible on repayment of the loan, given the current circumstances.

8. Chairman’s Report

a. High-Level Learnings for 2019-20 season

Fountain learned three things from this season:

1) SATCo has been fortunate to have a contract wherein expenses can be modulated. This year, in addition to changing driver hours, the season was cut short by an entire month. Adjustments were made, but the bottom line is that Downtowner has fixed costs for their oversite and technology, which is their profit on intellectual property. The fixed fee is under most circumstances non-negotiable, although Downtowner only charged half the fee for April.

2) The partner agreement with OVI was fixed fee, which we learned put SATCo at risk to absorb insurance cost overages.. Because the season ended 30 days early, SATCo is passing actual costs on and refunding OVI approximately $9600. All future partner agreements with OVI and other partners will be variable cost.

3) The third lesson was that charging 10% SATCo admin fee for oversight of partner programs is a reasonable amount given the administration, legal fees, and coordination involved and is non-negotiable

b. Rider Survey Data & Program Data Analysis

Fountain reported ridership was up almost 40% over the same time for last year. Survey responses went from a 91 to 94 net promoter score, which is almost unheard of. Doyle said that is considered “world class.” The survey results were included in the meeting packets. Overall, people like and appreciate the service and responses did not differ much from the prior season.

Stepner noted there were fewer requests to go to Tahoe City or Truckee. There could be a number of reasons for that, including that with the lack of snow, there were more locals using the service. That said, Stepner wondered if instead of focusing on providing service to those communities, more thought should be given to expanding service to Alpine Meadows, which had a greater percentage of survey responses. In the past, there was indication that people were willing to pay for that. This topic will be on the August agenda as strategies and priorities are considered.

Conly reported the Resort at Squaw Creek has finalized its transit plan for summer. Service will be cut in half and offered at 11 AM, Noon, 4 PM, and 8PM. There will be regular runs to Tahoe City.

Merchant cautioned against changing strategic direction based on one season’s feedback, particularly this year with so many unknowns. Grant agreed. He asked when the Mountaineer agreement needs to be signed and suggested that more information may be available in the next few months to determine how to move forward.

c. Board Seats & Terms

The three designated seats are up for renewal. They are Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, held by Blann and Crezee and Placer County held by Merchant. Three additional seats held by Grant, Conly, and Stepner will be in the upcoming election. Fountain asked Board members to let him know as soon as possible if they will be serving another term.

9. Executive Director Report

a. Resort at Squaw Creek Partnership Status

Conly reported the proposed partnership budget was off by approximately $15,000 - $20,000. Conly will negotiate directly with Travis Gleason for service/cost next winter and will include a 10% administrative fee or SATCo. Doyle will meet with Conly to consider moving the agreement forward in the next few months to be ready in case The Resort decides in the fall that they want to execute the agreement.

b. SnoVentures Partnership Status

Doyle reported proposals were submitted to SnoVentures to provide mid-week or daily service. Blann reviewed the proposals and said both were more than double the current budget. The option is being tabled for now, but more cost effective options may be considered.

c. 2020-21 Tahoe City Weekend Evening Service Pilot

SATCo was going to submit an application for TOT funding last fall, but Merchant suggested there may be County planning funds available for this service. Fountain, Stepner, Doyle, Merchant and Erin Casey met on April 23 and the discussion will continue in mid-July, after Q3 TOT collections are clear.

10. Action Items

a. Preliminary discussion about Mountaineer service dates and adjustments for 2020-21

Fountain is anticipating December 11, 2020 – April 11, 2021 service dates for next winter. That said, there are many unknowns regarding service dates at this point. The ad-hoc Contract Committee will begin negotiations with Downtowner in time to have information for this Board in August.

b. Reaffirm Contract Committee role

It was moved by Fountain and seconded by Benjaminson to re-establish the ad-hoc Contract Committee of Fountain, Benjaminson, Crezee, and Stepner for the purpose of negotiating the Downtowner contract and potential Mountaineer Partner programs. Motion carried unanimously.

c. Strategic Planning “Lite” following August Board Meeting

Fountain said the August 12 meeting will include a one-hour regular Board meeting to approve the budget, seat any new Board members, and conduct general business. He would like an additional 90 minutes for a strategic planning session that Doyle will facilitate. Doyle described the topics and anticipated outcomes for the planning session.

A brief discussion followed regarding whether or not enough will be known about the next winter season to have a productive session.

It was moved by Fountain and seconded by Benjaminson that adjacent to the August 12, 2020 Board meeting a 1.5 hour Strategic Planning Session be appended, requiring all Board members to commit to the date. Motion carried unanimously.

11. Summarize meeting action items before adjourning

· The Finance Committee will meet with Ron Cohen

· Doyle will meet with Suel to get a headstart on the OVI contract

· Board member candidates should let Fountain know their intent as soon as possible

· Doyle and Conly will work on moving the Resort proposal forward

12. Adjourn

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 10:27 AM.

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Squaw Alpine Transit Company  |  150 Alpine Meadows Road, Alpine Meadows, CA 96146  |