Co-op Membership Meeting Aug 1 Summary:
On August 1, over 140 members gathered in Bear Valley for the first annual Co-op membership meeting. The board spoke to the presentation posted below and also addressed well over 1 hour of questions from members, mostly focused on the potential ownership transition of Bear Valley Mountain Resort. We have summarized the highlights of the meeting here and also addressed most of the major questions:
1. The co-op is being managed in a sound manner , adding 39 new members in the 1H15 and over $1.25M in capital available for investments in the resort in accordance with our collaborative agreement with Skyline .
2. While Skyline continues to own and operate the resort, they have made it clear that they would be willing to sell the resort to an appropriate buyer, due to a change in their corporate strategy.
3. While Skyline is making the steps necessary to operate in the coming winter season, they have chosen not to match a ~$350K improvement proposal made by the Co-op earlier this year. Our expectation is that they will minimize investments in the resort going forward. This is inconsistent with the mission of the Co-op.
4. Since the Co-op Board discussed this with Skyline executives in Toronto in June, we have worked to identify and evaluate a number of possible options of how to proceed to represent our members and the best interests of Bear Valley and the surrounding community.
5. Five options were considered and are outlined in the presentation.
6. After careful evaluation and research, the Co-op board voted unanimously to endorse the formation of a locally funded ownership group that would invest in a management-led buyout of the ski resort and village operations.
7. This new company would be led by Benno Nager, the current GM of the resort, along with key members of the current operating leadership team in Bear Valley including Paul Petersen and others.
8. Initial discussions led by Benno Nager, Paul Petersen and Peter Wolcott, all members of the co-op board, meeting along with passionate Bear Valley/Hwy 4 community members with the resources to support such an effort have been positive and the team is expanding these discussions to include other interested and qualified investors.
9. While the resort is not officially listed for sale, this group plans to approach Skyline when they are prepared.
10. There is a sense of urgency to reach a deal quickly given Skyline's current posture toward BV and the risk of losing key members of the potential management leadership team to other opportunities.
i. Where does Benno stand on this, and who would he represent in the negotiations?
After a successful career in Alpine resort management that includes Lake Tahoe, Mammoth, Europe and also helping to secure the 2022 Beijing Olympics, Benno shared that he loves the area and would like nothing more than to continue to lead such a venture as long as it makes sense for both the new owners and his family. He has also made it clear to Skyline that in such a negotiation, he will not help Skyline, but rather the buying group?
ii. Why doesn't the Co-op purchase the resort?
This was considered carefully, but due to the sense of urgency regarding the potential loss of key management and the need to quadruple the co-op's membership in a brief period to secure the required capital to secure the resort for the long term, the co-op chose to endorse the 3rd party local ownership group option.
iii. How would this affect Co-op members?
The goal is to simply replace Skyline with the 3rd party local ownership group. All the same benefits currently available to co-op members would continue under a new collaborative agreement between the co-op and the new entity. Essentially no change for co-op members.
iv. What would this mean for BV Village?
Currently Skyline owns the ski resort, a lease to operate the lodge and commercial center and an option to purchase the real estate in the village. The goal of the new entity is to purchas the same assets as Skyline and to operate the lodge and commercial center. Both the mountain and village operations would be led by Benno and his team.
v. How likely is this to happen and what can I do to help?
In the initial meeting of possible investors, there was an enthusiastic level of interest by a number of local families. Additional qualified investors are certainly welcome and needed. Please send an email to and we will followup on behalf of the potential 3rd party local ownership group. They are moving quickly and need more support, so please do not hesitate. We all can help by continuing to talk up the co-op and expand our membership.
vii. How did the members react to this plan at the meeting?
While there was much concern over the current situation and many questions about the plan endorsed by the Board, members generally were relieved to learn about the plan and that a core set of interested investors is already working toward this goal. Please don't just take our word for it and speak to another member who attended.
viii. How will we stay informed?
The Co-op will do our best to keep members updated in our newsletters and in the event that key milestones are reached like a purchase agreement. Due to the dynamic nature of fundraising, the formation of the investor group, and the negotiations with Skyline we will be limited in the amount of detail that we have and can share more regularly.
Member Vote Is Complete
Member Email 12/11/14
Vote Results - Congratulations....we are proud parents of a brand new Co-op!!
After a year of community discussion, town hall meetings, and amazing support from a community that loves to love Bear Valley, we are now official! The voting process went smoothly with over 60% of all members voting and best of all....97% said YESto the resolution to approve the bylaws and collaborative agreement with Skyline Bear Valley Resort! We are proud of what we have accomplished for the benefit of our members and especially Bear Valley.
From your Co-op Board,
The Mountain officially opens for full time winter operations on Dec 13th and we are looking at the biggest storm of the winter coming our way just in time!
Check out to see what's open and keep up to date on road and weather condition before you travel. Our pick for snow conditions isOpen Snow Bear Valley to get up to date snow forecasts. Of course don't miss out on Bear Valley's own Mattly's Weather reports on the resorts Facebook page or web site.
Your benefits will become active as of Monday, December 15th as per the agreement ratified by the membership and the owners. We have created a simple fact sheet about what to do when you get there and how to get access to your benefits. How To Get Your Benefits
Go to the link provided above to get informed or download the fact sheet and bring with you. It is important that we don't overrun the pass office, so know before you go and understand that this is new to both you and employees with benefits starting on Monday, Dec 15!!
If you are a season pass holder, you will need to get a new Co-op specific
Member Email 9/9/14
Skyline Taking Over Operations - Summer Planning Starts
Skyline is moving forward with planning for the Mountain and your Co-op leadership has been in contact with both Skyline and mountain management over the past few weeks sharing information and working out details for the coming season. We will continue to inform members as we get more details from Skyline and the mountain teams.
About Skyline and How Your Co-op Membership Makes a Difference!
We have provided new information on our web site about the collaboration and Skyline's established model for membership programs at other resorts. For those of you wanting more details about Skyline and how your Co-op membership is critical to the Bear Valley's success, we encourage you to review the following page on our site.
Skyline + Co-op Projects and Co-funding
Emails and questions have come in from members asking what Skyline and the Co-op will be paying for respectively. We have updated our web page on the topic to help inform you about commitments made by Skyline and how your Co-op membership dollars will help accelerate future improvements at Bear Valley. Click on the link below.
How To Get Kids Passes and Other Benefits
We are working out the details with mountain staff and we will have a process in place by the end of October to connect Co-op members with the computer systems at Bear Valley Mountain Resort. If you have not purchased your season pass yet, please do so to assure you get Summer pricing (the 15% season pass discount starts next year). The resort has agreed to extended summer pass pricing ($399 v $499) through September for Co-op members as we work through the transition to smooth out any issues or confusion, but don't wait too long!
For Co-op members with kids 13 and under that have already purchased season passes for them, we are working out details on how to issue redeemable credits with the mountain, so stay tuned. If you have not purchased your kids passes yet, the mountain will create a way for you to sign up for those passes on line by the end of October.
Member Email - 8/29/14
Web Site Updates
The cooperative leadership has created new pages on the web site to update information about the Co-op, our structure, and FAQ’s to reflect the changes after the announcement of Skyline Investments becoming the owner of the resort and working in collaboration with the Co-op. Please check out these to get updated information:
If you did not get a chance to ready the last email and want information about how the collaboration between Skyline and BMVC will work, please go to the Skyline & BVMC Update page on the web site by clicking the link below: Skyline & BVMC Update
Recent News and Events
The Co-op leadership will be attending the BVRI Membership Meeting on August 31st at 4:00 and the Big Trees Membership Meeting on August 30th at 10:00am to provide updates and insight into Skyline and BVMC plans for the Mountain and Village. Go to our Co-op Events page to get details.
There have been to very good articles published on the web about Bear Valley and the Co-op effort. Go to our Co-op Press page to get the scoop!
Cancel Membership Application
We hope that all have had the chance to review our new pages and get informed on the new direction before making any final decisions about requesting a refund. New information will come out each week as we develop plans along with Skyline about how we can work together to move Bear Valley forward as a community.
For those that have reviewed the information and wish to get a refund on any fully or partially paid memberships, you can go to the “Join” page or the “Skyline & BVMC Overview” page to get a link to the application or click on the link provided here.
Thank you and see you in Bear Valley this weekend!
Member Email - 8/18/14
Skyline & BVMC Update
The cooperative leadership has created new pages on the web site that explain in detail the working relationship between BVMC & Skyline Investments, details about shared capital improvements, and updated benefits under this new program. We encourage all of you to review the content on the site and ask any questions that you might have for the Co-op via our web site.
Overview and update for any members that did not attend the 8/9 meeting: Skyline & BVMC Overview
New Web Pages
We have refined our schedule and next steps after a cooperative board meeting this past week. We have been advised to not change bylaws or offer refunds on paid memberships until Skyline closes on the sale of the resort. We have worked through the process and are committed to seeing the below commitments assuming that all progresses as planned:
Week of August 18th: Communicate details of benefits, combined structure, and proposed improvements.
August 18th to 29th: Allow time for members to understand the change, benefits, and proposed improvements. Begin process to request membership cancellations and refund for all paid amounts. Note: Refund sent within 30 days after close of Bear Valley sale to Skyline (just in case).
September (date TBD) - Final membership vote to ratify new BVMC commitment and collaborate with Skyline/Bear Valley. This will be announced and completed shortly after close of Bear Valley sale to Skyline.
Please take the time to review the web site and email back via responding to this email if you have any questions!