Latest update from the community group / Peter Stein.
We have made great progress since my last report.
The Saddleback Mountain Foundation’s Articles of Incorporation for registration as a non-profit have been prepared and sent to the state for processing. For this, a mission statement is required and we wanted to share it with you.
“The Saddleback Mountain Foundation is committed to conserving and protecting Saddleback Mountain and the Saddleback Mountain ski area, providing access to the mountain and mountain resort for all to experience, through model conservation and economic development programs.”
We are very proud of this mission statement, and all who are now founding members of the Saddleback Mountain Community Resort, and those that intend to join, should take pride as well.
Now that we are -- or very soon will be -- incorporated as a non-profit, we are preparing our application for tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. Our hope is to submit this by the end the month with a request for expedited processing. We are told it can happen quite fast if there is good reason.
For those that might be confused, we are no longer entertaining the concept of selling equity ownership in our community resort as a bridge to ownership by the non-profit. This change in course takes us directly to a closing where the Saddleback Mountain Foundation purchases the land and ski area assets and the Saddleback Mountain Community Resort (SMCR, LLC) is a wholly owned subsidiary.
On the fund raising side, we are now raising the required funds in two pots:
Sales of memberships in our Saddleback Mountain Community Resort
Gifts or pledges to the non-profit Saddleback Mountain Foundation
On the membership sales, we are approximately 40% of the way to the goal and have received enrollments forms from 12% of those that responded to the survey. This is good news because we are also running well ahead of the survey results. Membership sales exceeded the total commitment for 4-years from those in the survey by over 10%. The survey results showed total commitments of close to $3 million and we are running ahead of those sales. We are confident that when comfortable with the plan, the rest of the respondents to the survey and many others will enroll in our community resort and we will easily make the membership sales goal.
On gifts to the foundation, we are 1/3 of the way to the initial goal after connecting with a small percentage of those who have previously made a verbal commitment. We now have confidence that we can and will reach the goal of getting our ski area back up and running.
For those that bought memberships with credit cards, we have not run them yet. We are holding the information in safe storage while we continue to work a solution. We now know what the next steps are and are confident we can solve the problem with a little more time. We will update you when we have more information and contact you prior to running the credit card. If at any point you would prefer or be able to send in a check, it does help the initiative significantly to have the cash on hand and save on the credit card processing fee. In this case, there is no need to contact us. Please send in a new membership form, note that you have a credit card purchase on file, and we will happily cash your check and void your credit card number.
I want to personally thank everybody for their support over the last few months. It has now been 8 months since we started this process together, and I think our combined passion is about to accomplish something amazing.
I also want to encourage everyone to get out skiing. I skied The Loaf Sunday and Sunday River today. The conditions were fantastic at both mountains - both of these are also gems in the state of Maine. You can feel a great ski season developing and I have a feeling it will just get better and better.
Finally, at this holiday season I wish you and yours peace, comfort, family, friends, and all good times. If you do not hear from me, please know I am pushing as hard as I can while also taking a bit of time to enjoy the good stuff.