The Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association collected only $18,000 in Real Estate Transfer Assessments in January, far below the average of $600,000 for January over the last eight years.
The collapse in real estate sales hit the TMVOA budget last year. In 2008, RETA revenues to TMVOA came in at $4.72 million, compared to $10.2 million in 2007, with the trend worsening over the course of the year.
“Given this continued trend, coupled with the current national economic conditions, the uncertainty of RETA revenue for 2009 and beyond remains the highest fiscal concern for TMVOA,” TMVOA chief operating and financial officer Erin Neer wrote in a memo summarizing TMVOA’s financial situation.
Despite the worrisome trend, TMVOA has cash and short-term cash equivalents on hand of $15.4 million against liabilities of less than $4 million. TMVOA has working capital, or current assets less current liabilities, of $14 million, and upcoming obligations that will require $4.1 million by April 1, 2009.
TMVOA has budgeted that it will collect $4 million in RETA for 2009, but will fall far short of that target if January is any indication.
TMVOA has also collected about $1 million a year in member assessments and another $1 million in rental income, ticket sales and investment income. TMVOA’s largest recurring expense is approximately $3 million a year in gondola operating costs. Last year, TVOA spent another $3.5 million in one-time gondola maintenance. TMVOA has also financed master planning for Mountain Village, events, and guest services.
Planning Study Concludes
A planning report commissioned by the Telluride Mountain Villages Owners Association concludes that only 30 percent of beds in Mountain Village are “transient” or hot beds, “which is well below the desired standard of 50 percent.”
The preponderance of cold beds has resulted in a “hollowing out” of the Mountain Village core, and has made it impossible for retail and restaurant businesses to thrive.
The TMVOA board on Monday accepted the report from Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners and Economic Research Associates (ERA), the firms that jointly completed the study, and agreed in general that the findings should now be released to the community for a determination of next steps.
The Town of Mountain Village has been conducting its own “visioning” process, with the ultimate objective of revising the town’s master plan.
The Ecosign study includes an inventory of existing conditions and identifies deficiencies” in lodging, parking and transportation, recreation facilities and commercial space. It concludes that “with redesign of the village core, proper land use planning and policy implementation by The Town of Mountain Village, the dream of Telluride and Mountain Village of a sustainable, high quality resort may well be achieved.”
TMVOA spent just over $500,000 on the study.
Adding 150 spaces to the Mountain Village parking structure, which currently has space for 460 vehicles, would cost between $3 million and $4 million. The structure has been filled to capacity on a number of busy days, when skiers and other visitors have been forced to park on Mountain Village Boulevard, which is inconvenient, has required a shuttle to transport skiers to the gondola, and has raised safety concerns.
The Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association board on Monday reviewed a report outlining financing options, ranging from bonds approved by voters and backed by taxes to a lease-purchase, which does not require voter approval but puts a municipal asset, such as the parking structure itself, up as collateral.
Though the parking structure is owned by the Town of Mountain Village, its proposed expansion could be undertaken jointly by the town and TMVOA.
The current structure could be roughly doubled in size, possibly in three 150-space phases.