Early fig­ures in­di­cate Mar­ble Moun­tain did not have a good year fi­nan­cially

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - GARY KEAN

COR­NER BROOK, N.L. — The full au­dited state­ments are not ready for pub­lic re­lease yet, but early in­di­ca­tions are that Mar­ble Moun­tain did not fare as well as hoped this past sea­son.

Ac­cord­ing to the De­part­ment of Tourism, Cul­ture, In­dus­try and In­no­va­tion — the provin­cial agency re­spon­si­ble for the gov­ern­ment-owned ski re­sort — Mar­ble Moun­tain op­er­ated for only 72 days this past win­ter sea­son.

That is the low­est num­ber of days recorded in re­cent years, though the hill was open for just 73 days dur­ing the 2017-18 sea­son.

The de­part­ment said weather con­di­tions, specif­i­cally wind, re­sulted in higher-than-nor­mal clo­sures for safety rea­sons dur­ing the 2018-19 sea­son.

The num­ber of day pass skiers was up slightly this past year, but sea­son pass sales dropped by 25 per cent and to­tal ski vis­its to the hill were down 15 per cent.

For the past sea­son, cost-sav­ing mea­sures were im­ple­mented, in­clud­ing shutting down the hill on Tues­days — tra­di­tion­ally a slow day dur­ing the week, to run the hill more ef­fi­ciently.

That plan did not work out as an­tic­i­pated. To­tal sales rev­enues for the ski sea­son amounted to a lit­tle more than $2 mil­lion and were down around 18 per cent from the pre­vi­ous year.

Head­ing into the sea­son, the de­part­ment had bud­geted for Mar­ble Moun­tain to gen­er­ate a lit­tle more than $2.4 mil­lion in rev­enue and to have an op­er­at­ing deficit of $708,045.

Year-to-date num­bers pro­vided

for the pe­riod end­ing Jan. 31 of this year had in­di­cated the hill had al­ready lost $643,046.

The West­ern Star re­quested an in­ter­view with De­part­ment of Tourism, Cul­ture, In­dus­try and In­no­va­tion Min­is­ter Christophe­r Mitchelmor­e about the pre­lim­i­nary num­bers for the past ski sea­son at Mar­ble Moun­tain, but he was not made avail­able.

The de­part­ment said the min­is­ter would do an in­ter­view when the com­plete au­dited fi­nan­cial state­ments are pre­pared and made pub­lic some­time in the com­ing weeks.

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