2022-23 Season Ending Letter from the Teacup President

May 18, 2023

2022-23 Season Ending Letter from the Teacup President

Thank you to everyone for making the past seven months of skiing so fun! I’m pleased to report to the Teacup / Mt. Hood Nordic community that we end our season with the state of our community nonprofit being strong. That we accomplished meaningful steps forward across venue, programmatic and community health initiatives. And that we continue to welcome more and more kids, families and adults… helping tens of thousands to live a healthy, outdoor

Our impact, and your enjoyment, relied upon the superbly groomed trails delivered by Jason and Dana. It took 750 hours of grooming machine time to transform this year’s 30+ feet of snow into perfect corduroy trails. This hard work, combined with hundreds of volunteer hours, let us teach kiddos to ski, host high school and citizen races and welcome over 25,000 general skier days to a safe, affordable venue. Related to this, let me extend a special thanks to the volunteer Mt. Hood Nordic Ski Patrol team!

Our growing programs served over 150 children who were learning to ski, making new friends and being inspired by Mt. Hood’s natural splendor. Our US Ski and Snowboard race team welcomed two dozen youth who enjoyed training and racing; a special congratulations goes to Catcher and Fergie who qualified to race at Junior Nationals! And our broadened adult options– from the weekly ski club to our specific ski school sessions – fostered community creating moments and (hopefully) better ski technique. Underlying all Mt. Hood Nordic program offerings is our increasing investment inf experienced coaches, like Siri, Kelly, Karl and Jason. Plus our awesome volunteer coaches that make it all happen. In total, we are powered by about two dozen dedicated community members (all licensed by our sport’s governing body, background-checked and SafeSport trained) who help hundreds enjoy healthy, outdoor activity (and de-stress!)

Of course, not everything is advancing as we all desire, and we are trying to better communicate across these challenges and our work to address them. Our biggest obstacle is the US Forest Service’s refusals to allow us to modernize, make safer or more accessible aspects of our venue. A second problem continues to be Mt. Hood Meadow’s operational practices which hinder your ability to get to and parking at our ski area. An emerging challenge is our inability to procure property insurance because of state and federal forest management practices that prevent insurance risk mitigation. Across all these issues – and more - please know we are working hard to push for approvals, changes or shifts in thinking so as to better serve the public.

Financially, we are on track with our efforts to establish an economically sustainable organization that treats its employees well and that is able to invest to respond to our burgeoning usage and regional population growth. Our capital campaign has raised over $150,000 – a great start and thank you donors – your funds underwrote this season’s progress!! But its well short of our $2m goal and so this will be a big outreach focus for us this summer.

We are ending this year having met an ambitious budget, one highlight being our $200,000+ investment to establish redundancy in our grooming operations (we didn’t miss a day of grooming anytime this year!) One highlight is the growing support from local business; thank you for your sponsorships!

In closing, let me express how fortunate I feel to help lead this amazing nonprofit. Our organization has accomplished much over our 44 years. It’s a history written by past and current volunteers, board members and Presidents' amazing volunteer efforts… such that what we all enjoy today, and what we are working to realize for tomorrow, is truly a collective community creation. It’s a cool thing we have going and I truly thank every skier for being part of it and making Teacup / Mt. Hood Nordic so special.

Have a great summer!
Noel Johnson