Entire Management Team at Gunstock Mount Resort, NH, Resigns Over Potential Privatization of Resort

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Gunstock Mountain Resort, NH. Credit: Resort Facebook

The entire management team at Gunstock Mountain Resort, NH, quit on Wednesday night at the Gunstock Area Commission meeting, walking out in protest of the potential privatization of New Hampshire’s only county-owned ski area.

Staff members including Tom Day, president and general manager; Cathy White, chief financial officer; Becky LaPense, director of human resources; Peter Weber, snow sports director; Robin Rowe, director of resort services; and Patrick McGonangle, facilities operation director, offered two weeks notice for their resignations, reports The Laconia Daily Sun.

Gunstock Mountain has been in operation since 1937 and is owned by Belknap County. Much loved by locals, in 2021 it grossed $14 million and contributed $247,000 to the county coffers.

The current management team has an expansion plan to add a hotel, new trails, and lifts giving the rundown resort a much-needed upgrade. But Republican politician Norm Sibler, 76, has other ideas. He wants to privatize the resort and lease it to a third-party operator, in a similar way to how state-owned Mount Sunapee is now operated by Vail Resorts. As you can imagine, locals do not want this.

If privatized and leased to a third-party operator, would the resort make more money? Yes, of course it would. But at what expense? Happy with the current management team, locals want the ski area to retain its authenticity and not become just another number on a huge corporation’s balance sheet.

This is what the management team wants too. And they believe in it so strongly they voted with their feet.

The resort shared on Facebook this morning that its adventure park is closed until further notice.

Gunstock Mountain Resort, NH, trail map.

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7 thoughts on “Entire Management Team at Gunstock Mount Resort, NH, Resigns Over Potential Privatization of Resort

  1. It provides also an introduction to the sport to many of the area youths and they become future life long skiers too . Let’s keep Gunstock for the people !

  2. Gunstock is one of if not the cheapest place to ski in the region, one of the few places not understaffed, and also the backbone of the economy in the Laconia area. And may I point out- the ski area is owned by the county and run by an independent board. Your comparison of that to an authoritarian regime is ignorant at best, and I’ve found (through actually skiing at these places for over a decade and talking to people who have been doing so for 50+ years) that state/county/town-owned ski areas tend to be a much better experience for everyone, especially compared to superconglomerates.

  3. Take some advice from us here in Park City Utah. DON”T DO IT! The moment your mountain gets to be run privately by a big ski conglomerate, your ski experience as you know it goes away forever. Think crowds, traffic, lack of parking, higher costs to ski/eat/visit/stay, less service, and problems you couldn’t even think of.

  4. Ia Gunstock all about maximizing revenue or maximizing its residents experiences. I’d go with the latter.

  5. If the management team is competent and can put a consolidated plan together, they should have no problem raising the capital to launch a private enterprise that they control, and lease the mountain from the state just like Mount Sunapee is done. The state government has no business operating businesses that compete with private enterprise. This isn’t the soviet union. NH is about small government, not socialized recreation.

  6. I have been a season pass holder at Gunstock for about 15 years, I am 78 years old and hate to see such a lovely, small local area get overtaken by the obvious greed that happens when companies like Vail Resorts take over an area. Look into the details of what happened to Mt. Sunapee

  7. As a long time skier at Gunstock I am so happy to see this amazing act of courage by these people

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