2ND OPEN LETTER TO THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE SKI CLUB OF GREAT BRITAIN
[The first open letter appeared at the head of p.1 of this thread, dated 2 July 2012]
Dear Frank McCusker
Firstly, welcome back to England from your trip to Breckenridge in Colorado to address the Mountain Travel Symposium on 'Attracting International Visitors' ...
As you've no doubt been informed, the SCGB is - for the fifth successive morning - reporting all 5 Scottish ski mountains "closed" with no lifts running ...
... when in fact 3 of them have been open for the whole Easter holiday period, with the best weather conditions of the season.
Scottish ski centres are very keen indeed to 'attract international visitors' (e.g. from the English nation). But, as this thread has repeatedly noted over the past winter, the SCGB has often reported Scottish mountains "closed" at weekends – their most important trading days - when in fact they have been open. What is your response to this?
Another matter raised in the July 2012 open letter was the SCGB’s declared membership figures. In the months leading up to your appointment various figures above 30,000 had been published, up to 34,000. In recent months (November 2013) you stated in an interview (for InTheSnow) that the figure was “just over 30,000”. The SCGB’s 2014 Media Pack gives the figure as 30,000 [on p. 3] ...
This figure of 30,000 would appear to be mathematically impossible, based on the SCGB’s own information. According to the Club’s joining offer, two memberships are granted per family group (presumably to define voting and ownership rights) ...
The standard measure of SCGB membership is, in fact, the number of 'paying units’ (subscriptions), which is a figure published in SCGB annual reports since the early days of the Club (founded 1903). However, since 2012 this 'paying units' number has been omitted from the annual report. The last figure quoted (2011) was 17,114 paying units. Of those units 10,422 were individuals (leaving 6,692 family units comprising double that number as 13,384 family members). The total number of members, on that basis, was 23,806 in 2011 (though the Club declared the figure as 31,448 for 2011).
Please could you clarify the numbers – paying units and overall membership – for 30 April 2014 (the end of the Club’s financial year).
Finally, the Ski Club of Great Britain has – for ten financial years now – run an environmental scheme called Respect the Mountain, which is described by the Club as “... one of the ski industry's biggest environmental and safety initiatives.” 50p per subscription per year is collected for this fund, plus income from merchandise etc. On the basis of the subscription and merchandise figures, well over £80,000 (probably over £90,000) must have been raised by now, though the Club only accounts for £30,000 to £40,000 of this money ...
These are quasi-charitable funds, intended (as SCGB members understood it) principally for charity-based environmental projects. For example the Club explained from the outset that is was funding a “long-term tree-planting project” with the Woodland Trust, and it was decided that approximately 50% of the money would finance this initiative.
Please could you publish an account, for each financial year, of money raised for Respect the Mountain since 2004/5 ... and how this revenue has been allocated to all projects.
I hope that you will see fit to publish a response to this open letter, since the Club describes itself as the “spokesbody of British skiers” (1995 mission statement) and “voice of UK snowsports” (2008 communication) and “central ambassador within the snowsports industry” (current job advertisement for PR and Partnerships Manager: [www.skiclub.co.uk
Thank you in anticipation.
Edited 1 times. Last edit at 09.46hrs Tue 22 Apr 14 by David Goldsmith.
SCGB Scot snow 20.4.2014.JPG (36kB)