The Snowshoe Resort community is comprised of Snowshoe Mountain Resort, several commercial businesses, and nearly 2,000 residential properties located within the greater boundary of the Resort. These individual stakeholders share a common interest in maintaining public safety, fire protection, transportation services, roads maintenance and the maintenance of various common area amenities that serve to benefit community members, both through personal enjoyment and the enhancement and protection of property within the community. Presently, the ongoing needs of the community are served through the collection by Snowshoe Mountain, Inc. (“SMI”), a private for-profit corporation, of a “Mountain Top Assessment” (the “MTA”). The MTA is a deed-mandated fee to be paid annually to SMI and is used by SMI to provide the services aforementioned.
This MTA method of funding and conducting the community services faces several limitations:
- The MTA provides no formal means of representation by the assessed in deciding how community services will be conducted. Fees are paid to SMI, and SMI decides how to spend these funds, in its sole discretion, towards the provision of community services.
- The MTA is very limited and rigid in what assessments it can levy. As property values fluctuate and operating costs rise annually, the MTA has reached a point of struggling annually to provide the same services with less revenue each year.
- Further compounding the revenue vs. costs issue, the assets covered by MTA funding have been developed over several years and no funding exists for capital maintenance of these assets. This has led to a deterioration of roads, shuttle stops and recreational amenities, such as the community walking path, which will all eventually face the need for capital overhaul, the funding for which does not exist.
- The MTA on its own is unable to provide certified law enforcement personnel to protect the people and assets of the community. In our rural environment, the Resort community relies on private security personnel, who in turn rely on County and State resources to provide law enforcement. Such law enforcement personnel can often be 45 minutes or further away, which at a time of emergent need presents hazards to a community that on many days of the year hosts a weekend population equal to that of the tenth largest municipality in West Virginia. The MTA provides neither the funding nor the authority for adequate law enforcement coverage to the community.
The formation of a Snowshoe Resort Area District provides solutions to these shared issues.
- The RAD provides for the creation of a board of directors elected by the various stakeholders within the community. This elected body provides for the representation needed to ensure that all community interests are represented in the process of running the affairs of the community.
- The creation of a resort service fee, when combined with current MTA funding, provides a user-supported source of funding to both enhance the ongoing operations of the services provided and to create needed reserve accounts which can be used to provide capital needed to protect the assets that serve the community.
- The opportunity of the RAD to seek alternative funding in times of need provides much-needed flexibility in funding sources that can be combined with collected reserves in order to further ensure that community assets are protected.
- The option of a District Ranger program provides the community with an option to protect the members, property, and guests of the community through full-time on-site law enforcement services.
Furthermore, the formation of the Snowshoe RAD creates an organization to interface with State and County leaders with a common voice representing all stakeholder groups within the community.
This website details the various benefits and mechanisms by which the Snowshoe RAD will serve the needs of our community. In order for the Resort Area District to become a reality, we need the support of the entire homeowner community.