Red Mountain Expansion Updates for 2018/19!

Letter from Howard Katkov, CEO & Chairman of Red Mountain:

As the end of this incredible ski season is drawing near we wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for your support! This season we have again been blessed with amazing snow providing many powder days for us all. From one of the busiest years we’ve had in the history of the resort to our “Fight The Man. Own The Mountain.” campaign, you’ve been at the center of it all and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

In June of 2017, with the growth we had last winter, the anticipated opening of the Josie Hotel, and the success with our crowdfunding campaign, we launched a variety of projects including:

  • Paradise Lodge renovation and new washrooms
  • Day skier parking lot expansion (150+ spaces added)
  • Retail Piste Off Supply expansion
  • High Performance Rental additional space
  • Run development on Grey Mountain and at the bottom of Booty’s
  • These five projects were paid for by the “Fight the Man” campaign.

As most of you know, we have a very short building season to work on projects before the next winter arrives. After assessing this year’s visitation and its impact on parking and on some of our facilities, we will undertake the following projects to maintain the best customer experience possible.

  • A Silverlode to Grey Chair Connector Lift. We believe that a connector to the Grey Chair from Silverlode will relieve the bottleneck that we have all experienced at Motherlode during a busy day and provide mountain choice options to our guest. Pick your favourite. We are hopeful to have this connector surface lift completed by next winter.
  • Continued Resort Wide Summer Grooming Program. As we have expanded our mountain, the requirement for brushing only increases. We will dedicate a significant investment in brushing this summer.
  • Grey Mountain Run Development for More Grooming. Our objective is to do rock removal and brushing so we can groom up to four runs on Grey with only 1 meter of snow. Presently it takes nearly two meters of snow.
  • Construction of more parking. (See below)
  • A second “grab and go” POS station in Paradise Lodge so that those who want a coffee or sandwich will not have to wait in the one line!

With the success of this season we are also designing and engineering these additional improvements for the 2018-2019 Season:

Construction of a modern hostel to provide an affordable mix of lodging options at the resort. We believe that it is crucial that our resort stays accessible and affordable for young individuals and families. The hostel will provide that affordable option at the base of RED Mountain. It will most likely have a secondary use in the slower times of the year to be workforce housing and an affordable place for staff to land when they arrive in Rossland.

Construction of additional parking – over and above any that may be lost by the addition of the hostel. We have read all of your emails and understand the need for more parking. Many of us love to pop out for a few runs between work or meetings or other commitments. That is the beauty of our close proximity to Rossland. By example, this year we parked 900 cars on an 1800 skier visit day. On another day, we parked 900 cars and had 3300 visits. We ask that if you are coming to the resort to do your best to hook up with others to ease the burden on the parking lot. Increased shuttle service between Rossland and RED for staff, pass holders, and guests. We will continue to add parking every summer. In addition, peak period public shuttle service from town will help, and we will continue to provide financial support to the Ski Bus and work with the City and Region to enhance the public transit service to the mountain.

On-Mountain overnight Cabins and Clubhouse: In addition to overnight rental by investors the cabins will be available to the public for overnight rental. The cabins were part of the reward system in our “Fight the Man. Own the Mountain” campaign as we felt it was important that the campaign had some rewards that were attractive but not “exclusive” to those investors only. We are confident that there will be plenty of opportunity for the public to enjoy the cabins.

These buildings will-be located near the existing development in Paradise. Programming to include both private and public access.

  • The Clubhouse has a full time 24-7 caretaker/manager during the ski season and during the summer months from June through October. It is anticipated that the facility and cabins are shut down for the months of May and November for regular maintenance and seasonal transition and staff vacation.
  • During the ski season the Clubhouse accommodates FTM investors and sign in guests, and public guests registered for overnight stays in the cabins.
  • During the summer and fall the Clubhouse accommodates 7 Summits hikers, mountain bikers and guests registered for overnight stays in the cabins. The Clubhouse is a ski in-ski out, hike or mountain bike ride-in out facility.
  • The cabins are designed as family or group sleeping quarters and are within a short walk to the clubhouse.
  • Each of the 10 cabins will accommodate up to 6 persons with 3 sets of bunk beds
  • Each cabin has a small two-piece bathroom.

Finally, as owners of RED Mountain for the last 14 years, we have done our very best to be sensitive to, and listen to our loyal customers and friends. It is not easy to make decisions that are right for everyone, but our goal throughout our ownership has been to balance the needs of our locals and guests in a way that maintains the soul and the ethos of our resort and community, yet put the resort in an economically sustainable position for the next several generations.

When we purchased the resort in 2004 and fell into the 2008 recession, this resort was not financially sustainable and the burden and the duty of our ownership team was to find the balance that maintains what we all love about RED Mountain, yet grow the resort to a point that it is financially viable. As you have all noted by our collective need for parking, brushing, summer grooming, run development, lift access and more, these projects cannot happen without the resort having the financial ability to continue to invest. We will continue to do our best, using our best judgement, and keeping our door open for any and all recommendations.

On behalf of Don Thompson and myself and our entire RED team, thank you again for all of your support!

Time for a few last turns!

Howard Katkov, CEO & Chairman

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