Letter to the Editor: Pajarito Mountain – Moving Forward Toward Positive Outcomes

Los Alamos Ski Club

On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Los Alamos Ski Club (LASC) Board of Directors held a special membership meeting to inform members and bring about a vote to transfer all or part of the Club’s assets (Pajarito Ski Area) to Los Alamos County or another third party. Unfortunately, the voting resolution was not seen by the members until just minutes before the vote was called. In addition, other potential options have yet to be discussed openly.

I respect and appreciate the significant efforts made by the LASC Board to assess options and discuss the issue with some members. However, many members were not even aware that dissolution was being considered and were caught off guard by the Board’s announcement in the paper and the subsequent meeting and vote. While we all have known for years that there have been financial challenges at Pajarito Mountain, the idea of gifting this exceptional resource built from thousands of volunteer’s sweat and tears to the County was not well communicated to the members and in fact was not in any newsletter or General Membership Meeting that I am aware of.

Given the sad state of our winters these days, there are certainly hard times ahead and we very well may need to at least partner with a third party. However, I believe it is incumbent upon us all to ensure we have not missed a viable option and the members have been given the opportunity to participate.

The following are my suggestions to the LASC Board:

  • Have open meetings to address concerns and discuss proposals of alternative options. The members who voiced ideas at the Feb. 4 meeting would have an opportunity to prepare and present their proposed option and the Board would have the opportunity to clarify its position or perhaps learn of new possibilities.
  • Have regular status updates (electronically or meetings) regarding discussions and negotiations with Los Alamos County, other third parties and the bank.
  • Solicit and organize volunteers to improve communications and assist with other Club needs. Although the Board indicated at the meeting that volunteer efforts had been solicited but had no success, many of us were not even aware that there had been a request. I suggest an attempt be made again to rally and organize volunteers.
  • Generally increase communications about meetings, new information and volunteer opportunities via up-to-date email lists (many members have said they are no longer receiving LASC emails), web pages, other electronic media, the Los Alamos Daily Post, the Monitor and as needed, the more expensive regular mail for upcoming votes.

I believe that there are positive paths forward for Pajarito Ski Area and the Los Alamos Ski Club, especially if we all make sincere efforts to communicate effectively.