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Sun., Sept. 22, 2013

Ski expansion unneeded

Although Mount Spokane is a state park, Mt. Spokane 2000 is a private, for-profit concessionaire that operates the ski area. Hiding behind the campaign of serving the public by expanding the ski area to better serve and attract a greater number of skiers and snowboarders, its proposed expansion is no different from Exxon or Enron in chasing that bottom line.

Moving ahead lacking a concessionaire plan or complete and proper authorization from the Washington State Parks Commission, the planned expansion seeks to clear-cut through old growth forest on the western slope of the mountain in order to create a few new runs and eventually the installation of a chairlift. The view of Mount Spokane looking eastward will be scarred forever.

In addition to the tragic loss of old-growth forest and devastating damage to the environment, it is a poor business decision. The expression “If we build it, they will come” won’t hold true here. Having 25 chairlifts, 314 ski runs and 8,790 ski-able acres within 90 miles of Spokane, expansion of this type isn’t the answer.

What Mt. Spokane needs is a realistic business plan for its existing terrain, not chain saws and bulldozers for something unnecessary.

Mark Laskowski


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