The Mountain Times

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Letter to Editor, Vito Rasenas

Dear Editor,

At the February 28th Killington Selectboard meeting the 2012 Green Mountain National Golf Course (GMNGC) rates and policies were presented. There was an increase in season pass prices and a tightening of collection procedures for "stay and play" partners, which is great. However two things came up taxpayers should be concerned with.

First, why do we have an "under 30" discount rate for seasons passes. This is so ludicrous at first I thought it was a height requirement. It is a severely discounted rate, $299 vs. $699; that's more than a 50% discount on an already low rate for the comparable  "midweek" pass. I can understand a college pass but under 30? What's the logic behind that? Have some GMNGC members influenced this policy to get a discount for their offspring? If people in their twenties have enough time to play golf they have time to earn enough for a full rate pass!

Secondly, GMNGC has filed an application for a catering permit for events at the neighboring Trailside Lodge. a great idea for revenue enhancement! It might even offset the losses on the "under 30" pass. However there seems to be some consternation on the Selectboard's part that allowing GMNGC to cater would create competition with private businesses and would violate the non compete principle under which GMNGC was established. Consider though, another founding principle was the taxpayers would never ever have to pay a cent for GMNGC!

All options for revenue enhancement should be considered now that the taxpayers are paying for GMNGC. The more revenue, the less the taxpayers burden. This disingenuous argument about it competing with other business when it is, in fact, bringing business into town is a crock. Not only was the GMNGC concept sold to the taxpayers as an "Economic Recovery" vehicle for local businesses but those same businesses now receive additional largess in the form of EDT spending.

For years revenue enhancement ideas have been debated. Here we have a decent proposal. The partner has brought fresh capital into town in revitalizing the Trailside Inn. Issuing this permit would limit taxpayer exposure to the GMNGC debt and support private investment in the community.

~Vito Rasenas, Killington

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