Dear Honorable Commissioners,
My name is Kina White. My husband and I moved here from Bend, Oregon in July of 2006. We had looked at moving to other areas such as Sandpoint, Idaho, or Port Angeles, Washington, yet were taken with Baker City for many reasons.
We chose Baker City because we were adamant that our new home had year-round recreation; a good golf course and a nice ski hill. We wanted this for our personal enjoyment (of course), yet also realized that a town without recreational destinations would be detrimental to the opening of our future restaurant.
We opened Paizano’s Pizza in October of 2007, choosing its location in part due to the fact that it was on the road to Anthony Lakes. We immediately partnered with them, offering incentives to their ticket holders at our restaurant. We also hosted the last two Season Pass parties, giving away hundreds of dollars in free pizza to Anthony Lakes customers who bought a Season Pass. We did this because we knew it was beneficial for our restaurant to have their regular patrons as our mutual customer.
After relocating to Baker City and opening our business, we had many family members and friends visit our area. They, too, fell in love with our new community and loved the local ski hill as much as we do. My mother-in-law ended up moving here, and my own parents bought two vacation rental homes in Baker. We now market those homes in the winter as the perfect retreat after a day at Anthony Lakes. We also give “Ski and Stay” packages, partnering with Anthony Lakes, donating lodging and ski passes to local charities with a day’s driving distance.
For these reasons above, you can see a vested interest as a potential resident, a potential business owner, a potential property buyer, and a potential visitor.
From what I have read in the local newspapers, I understand that Anthony Lakes has operated at an approximate loss of $45,000 for the past few years. The six owners have been willing to absorb these costs as they are “ski enthusiasts” and also recognize the importance of the mountain to our area. As a business owner, I appreciate their gumption and yet also understand that you don’t go into business to lose money.
Prior to becoming a restaurateur, I worked in advertising and marketing for 13 years. Having this experience, I can say that I have no doubt whatsoever that with the proper marketing of Anthony Lakes, it can be a profitable business. Even if we were to create a non-profit, imagine the potential of actually showing a profit that would in turn be able to better our area by donating it to local youth groups.
The County has an opportunity to own and operate this incredible ski hill; to advertise it properly by partnering with area youth groups, schools, restaurants and lodging facilities.
This is an opportunity for Baker County to direct and operate one of its crown jewels.
My favorite moment on this next one is at 1:20