Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns Gunstock?
Gunstock Mountain Resort is owned by Belknap County, New Hampshire. It is considered a municipal corporation and an agency of Belknap County.
How is Gunstock managed?
Gunstock is managed by a five (5) member commission called the Gunstock Area Commission (GAC). The Commission was established by statute in 1959. The Commission functions similar to a Board of Directors for a corporation, meeting monthly to review operations, approve major expenditures, and develop intermediate and long range plans for upgrades and expansion of the facility. The Commission hires and oversees the General Manager, whom manages the day to day operations at the mountain.
Does Gunstock provide discounts to Belknap County Residents?
Belknap County Days are scheduled at least monthly during the winter season and summer season. County Residents can purchase discount tickets for venues and activities at Gunstock or by “Flex” passes at a reduced rate which allows them special discounts on many goods and serviced. Belknap County Days are held at least monthly during each operating season.
Does Gunstock cost anything to Belknap County and the Tax Payers?
Gunstock is self-sufficient and does not require or receive funding from Belknap County. In 1999, Gunstock changed how it manages finances and expenditures, acquiring short term annual loans (RAN) to bridge operating costs during slow off period (spring and fall periods).
Since 1999, Gunstock has not needed funds from the County to cover operating expenses. However, from the early 1990’s to 2005, the county paid a portion bonds issued during the 1980’s. Previous to this time (1937 to 1998) the County occasionally covered Gunstocks debt from annual revenue shortfalls.
Does Gunstock share profits with Belknap County?
The 1959 Enabling Act (legislative act) allows Gunstock to retain any “profits” and reinvest in the facility to make improvements.
Since 1999, Gunstock has executed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the BCD and made annual payments to the County to reduce the County tax rate. Gunstock has made annual payment to the County averaging $125,000 per year.
In 2018 the BCD decided not to ratify the MOA proposed by Gunstock and no payment was made to the County in that year. There is a provision in the statute which requires Gunstock to turn over excess funds (based on a formula) if requested by the County, but that threshold has never been met.
How many employees/staff does Gunstock have?
Gunstock employs 49 full time year round staff in management, resort service, I.T. and maintenance
positions. Approximately 580 full and part-time seasonal staff are employed during the winter operations and and approximately 120 are employed during the summer.
Does Gunstock have any plans to expand the facilities and operations?
The GAC has developed a Master Plan (2011) a Project Implementation Strategy (2015) and a Strategic Plan (2019). These plans identify expansion and improvements to the facility infrastructure including buildings, snowmaking, trails, and lifts. Expansion and improvements to the facility are implemented when funds become available.
What factors contribute to snow making efforts for winter operations (weather, costs, etc.)?
Electricity is the largest snowmaking expense followed by staffing costs. Snowmaking will occur any time after Mid-November whenever the temperature (wet bulb temp) is below 28F. Gunstock is committed to making snow until there is sufficient depth on all snowmaking trails to remain open despite natural snowfall.
What factors lead to downhill ski operations closing each April?
Generally, lack of participation by skiers is the main reason for closing. Also, providing enough time for the transition from winter to summer seasons is sometimes a factor.
What is the relationship between the Belknap County Delegation, the Belknap County Commissioners, and the Gunstock Area Commission?
The Gunstock Area Commission (GAC) manages the resort. Each of the five (5) Commissioners is appointed on a rotating basis to a five (5) year term by the Belknap County Delegation (BAC).
The GAC seeks loan approval (RAN) from the Belknap County Delegation (BCD) on an annual basis (usually in June). Since Belknap County owns Gunstock, the Belknap County Commissioners (BCC) review and approve any purchase, sale or easements on the land at the Gunstock facility.
What is the status of the four (4) ski jumps at Gunstock?
Gunstock has four ski jumps, a 10 meter, 20 meter, 40 meter and 70 meter structure. The 10m, 20m, and 70mr was constructed and opened in 1936. The 40m was completed in 1949.
Jump competitions were popular during the 1930’s to the 1970’s at this facility. US Olympic Trials were also held here. The last jump event occurred in 1993, with all jumps subsequently becoming unused and falling into disrepair.
The Gunstock Historic Preservation Society (GMHPS), in conjunction with the Gunstock Nordic Association (GNA), is moving forward with a plan to rehabilitate the 10m and 20m jumps and bring back area middle & high school ski jumping teams and jump competitions to Gunstock. The GMHPS is currently raising the estimated $200,000 needed to complete the rehabilitation of the 10m & 20m jumps.
Is Gunstock ownership going to change in the future?
There are no plans at present to change ownership of the resort or to change the business model (management) of the facility. The GAC and BCD have jointly assembled a Study Committee – Gunstock Business Model in 2019 to study alternate business models. The Committee will study several alternates, including privatization, leasing the facility, or maintaining the current GAC management. The Committee is expected to complete its assignment and present recommendations to the GAC and BCD by March 2020.