Washington State’s Parks Commission has extended Mount Spokane Ski Corp.’s contract to run the ski hill until a new concession agreement can be reached.
The 20-year concession was set to end June 9, said Wayne McLaughlin, contracts manager for the parks commission in Olympia.
McLaughlin met with representatives of Mount Spokane Ski Corp. May 22-23. He also met with the Mount Spokane 2000 Study Group, which wants to establish a non-profit board of directors to run the mountain.
The study group has followed the state’s contracting process in an effort to make the ski hill more responsive to local residents.
After the current operator was the only company to submit a formal bid last summer, the state asked for other parties to join the negotiations. The study group and a small band of Western Washington investors showed interest, but the investors dropped out. That leaves Mount Spokane Ski Corp. and the study group to compete for control of the concession.
Spokane attorney Ted Stiles, spokesman for the study group, said he and others were focusing a good amount of time on the negotiations and continue to correspond with counsel from the parks commission.
In correspondence to the state, Stiles and his group want some variation of a non-profit group to control the decision making at Mount Spokane and especially to plow any profits made there into improvements.
McLaughlin said the state will meet with both parties again in July with the goal to wrap up a new concession agreement, ideally before the summer ends, he said.
The parks commission will have a July 28 meeting in Spokane, and McLaughlin said he “hopes to have something to bring to that meeting from the negotiations.”
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