Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 59

Thread: Proposed $5 entrance fee for Mt Washington Summit Building

  1. #31
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NH 1,000 Highest
    Posts
    1,192
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket21 View Post
    Cannon is subsidized by the state general capital fund and the Sunapee ski lease revenue.
    The word subsidize carries a negative connotation. How about we use “support” instead.

    In a state that markers itself on tourism, supporting operations like ski areas and summit facilities seems reasonable.

    As far as Cannon summit vs. Washington, I think that’s an apples - oranges comparison. At Cannon the top of the tram is the summit building.

    Both the Autoroad and Cog fully (ruthlessly?) exploit and monetize the value of the publicly owned mountain and its summit. They should pay well for that privilege.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  2. #32
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Bethlehem, NH
    Posts
    476
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Both the Autoroad and Cog fully (ruthlessly?) exploit and monetize the value of the publicly owned mountain and its summit. They should pay well for that privilege.
    Good point but complicated by the fact these 2 businesses predate the state activity. But the present needs/impact is obvious for stewardship partners due to the value of the resource to the general public. Very much like Monadnock where you had the Town of Jaffrey and the Society for the Protection of NH Forests own the summit and majority of the land. Locals donated the first piece of land and built a cabin with the hope that the state would put someone there to start to deal with the mess; then entered lease agreements for the state to manage public use that they did not have the resources to accomplish.

  3. #33
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,850
    I guess its up to someone else to debate if the state deserves to make a profit from the users of the summit. If the state continues with the approach that MWSP has to break even then they need to account for all costs and that includes having a capital budget in place. Anyone that goes to town meeting in NH gets to vote in many towns on capital reserves funds for future major expenditures. They try to line the funds up so that when they need to pull the trigger on the expense that there is enough money to cover it in the capital reserve fund. The alternative is to just fund operating expenses and when a major expense hits, bond the costs and pay it back over many years. That only works so far as at some point the bond market starts to price in the risk that the town goes insolvent. With the current artificially low interest and bond rates that might work but if the rates go up then the interest gets significant. MWSP appears to go the bond approach and then apportion the bond payments to the users of the services. They did that with the powerline to the summit. The bond payments are paid as a significant surcharge on the power rate. In that case the TV, Radio and telecom (Yankee building) users pay the lions share. I am unsure how they paid off the bonds for buying the Dartmouth property but guess they had the summit concessions pay for it.

    In this case the logical approach is bond the work and apportion the payments to major users. In this case there is probably minimal waste generation by the Yankee building operations, some use by the Obs and major use by the cog and autoroad with some use by hikers. So the logical approach is charge a user fee based on visitors that use the facilities. Its easy to charge a fee to the Cog and Autoroad which will pay the lions share, hikers are more difficult since they are not part of an organized group but it would not be that difficult to require a fee to be paid to enter the building unless the bearer has a Cog or Autoroad ticket. I think the real issue behind the debate is the Cog is trying to transfer as much of their share of the cost to other parties and the logical target is hikers and the Obs.

    Yes the Cog and Autoroad were there in the past before the state and have various claims of rights from a dubious title and deed chain. There was no need to treat wastewater, no doubt it just ran down a convenient ravine

  4. #34
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Bethlehem, NH
    Posts
    476
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    ......... There was no need to treat wastewater, no doubt it just ran down a convenient ravine
    I have been wondering what spring might be benefitting from the discharge from the treatment plant. I'm pretty sure it was concessions profit that paid off the land purchase. I was often in the same office as the MWSP employee who handled the books in the past, she along with Mike were laser-focused to pay off that bond.

  5. #35
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ipswich, Ma.
    Posts
    595
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I picked a totally arbitrary split, feel free to choose your own. 2/3rd 1/3rs east to west? Both the Pinkham Lot and the Ammo lot oveflow early in the AM most weekends. Pinkham has the overflow lots to the south while the official USFS Ammo does not. The Cog lot also gets a lot of folks who dont want to take a extra walk. Dayhikers from Mass tend to go to the west side for Ammo and Jewell loop or some variation as its the closest to I93 via RT3. Ont he rare times I end up near the summit cone. I see a steady stream of traffic a two way conga line from the summit to LOC. No doubt there is similar conga line on Tucks and Lions head.
    I love hiking Washington. Have done via pretty much every approach. I think Tucks is usually the busiest. And also sees the a larger % of tourist hikers. The sorts I've passed on that trail.

    Joe

  6. #36
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,850
    I have heard references that sewerage flow went down through Alpine Garden and then down Raymond Cataract which is one of the reasons there is no trail there. There are some springtime streams that pop up above the Alpine garden trail from the summit cone area above the trail. The current wastewater system looks like the treated liquid would flow into the Great Gulf so I guess Spaulding Lake would be the beneficiary. It would be logical to direct the flows downwind of the summit and out of sight of the paying guests of the Cog and Carriage road which lines up with Alpine Garden. The local septic tank service in Berlin used to run their honey wagon up to the summit on occasion to pump out some tanks. The truck they used had one of the ubiquitous This car climbed Mt Washington" bumper stickers on the rear bumper. One of my coworkers got an invite and did a run one afternoon up in the truck.

    There was a Forest Service project on the books for many years to work with AMC to correct leakage of the the lake of the clouds wastewater disposal system by giving the clubs access to an expanded special permit area to expand the system. Gene Daniel mentioned once on a hike that during the long term AMC project to protect and restore Alpine plants that a new colony of the one of the rarer plants was found. The problem was it was nourished from the overflow of LOCs leaking wastewater system. Of course it could just be a allegorical story on the AMC.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Salty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Warner, NH
    Posts
    226
    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    I love hiking Washington. Have done via pretty much every approach. I think Tucks is usually the busiest. And also sees the a larger % of tourist hikers. The sorts I've passed on that trail.
    Especially that first dude in the dark red shirt. Looks like a total wannabe loser!

  8. #38
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,974
    Regardless of semantics; and regardless of who pays for what; and even regardless of what's "right" or "wrong"...

    Doesn't anyone have the common sense to look at the population, and try to understand what behaviors will be incentivized when a new policy is implemented?

  9. #39
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,850
    And what behaviors do you feel will be incentivized?.

    IMO the Cog and Autoroad will build the fee into their cost structure so I am not that worried about tourons making use of a convenient boulder. That leaves the hiking public, IMO a typical dayhiker will pay the fee to go into the building assuming the park does not run a water spigot outdoors. The famous summit chili will pack them in and the after effects will kick in long after they have left the summit. There will be a minority that will elect to find a boulder. Given the area is above treeline with lots of tourists milling about acting like hikers by walking in the rocks just below the summit development its not like there are going to be secluded spots. Give a few volunteers a free ride up, give them "summit keeper" T shirts and they can police the summit just like GMC does on Mansfield Camel Hump and Abraham.

  10. #40
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    2,912
    Isnít there a few books out there already on how to do this?
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  11. #41
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,850
    There is an article in the Tuesday Berlin Sun regarding a recent meeting of the Mt Washington Commission. Its behind a paywall but usually will show up in the Conway paper in a few days. One of the big assumed sources of funding for the wastewater system is probably gone due to change in federal rules. They are going to the state and asking for more capital dollars (that conceivably would need to be paid back with summit operations?) They also had an architect look at the summit building and minor changes can substantially increase occupancy. The other big item is the owner of the cog did a shot across the bow on the summit operations in general claiming the costs are not apportioned correctly and the proposed fee would impact the Cogs operations and profitability. He brought up that the Autoroad pays $1 rent for the parking lots in exchange for allowing certain usage of the road by the state. He also claims the telecom is being charged below market rates. Interesting he advocates that the summit not rebuild the Yankee building (that houses and supports telecom operations) and that the summit operations concentrates on meeting the demand of tourists that visit summit.

    The Yankee building was investigated a few years ago and the report was effectively that the building is obsolete and could not continue to support existing operations. Therefore if its not replaced then someone has to rebuild it or the operations supported by it will have to be scaled back. To date they have been paying the lions share of the power upgrade and I believe the bond payments as well as the substantially enlarged state summit operations.

    No doubt there will be ongoing discussion on how to apportion costs for the summit users. Telecom gear doesnt need a wastewater system and the summit building but needs the auto road. The cog and the autoroad does not need the Yankee building. The obs needs access to the summit building, wastewater and power yet they are non profit. Even if a plan is worked out to satisfy one party no doubt the other parties will be unhappy and no doubt litigation could occur.

  12. #42
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,850
    The Berlin and Conway papers have an article regarding a meeting of the Mt Washington Commission. They state has decided that its not time to charge an admission fee. So its delay the inevitable for another year.

  13. #43
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Bethlehem, NH
    Posts
    476
    Nice staff announcement, new food service/retail operations manager. She has worked there since she was a teen and is a descendant of the Lowe family (of Randolph). Glad the park manager could announce her selection in this fashion.

  14. #44
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Colchester, CT
    Posts
    3,279
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
    Nice staff announcement, new food service/retail operations manager. She has worked there since she was a teen and is a descendant of the Lowe family (of Randolph). Glad the park manager could announce her selection in this fashion.
    That is good news and nice to know in a world that seems less personal everyday that a long term employee with a White Mountain family pedigree is keeping the family tradition.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  15. #45
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,850
    Thanks for confirming Christa is a Lowe, I thought so but wasnt sure. My guess is Christa has seen the writing on the wall that the Lowes Store complex is not the future. Of late the entire parking lot had been blocked off with no parking signs.

    As for the entrance fee. I see it as delaying the inevitable, the septic system still needs to be redesigned and replaced and some sort of "fair" funding mechanism needs to be developed. It makes far more sense to build up a capital reserve fund up front prior to the expenditure but My guess is its easier to fund it as crisis.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •