Ben Lomond ski clubs are concerned the cost to lease a lodge could drive established clubs off the mountain after the current lease agreement implemented by the Parks and Wildlife Service led to price increases.
Long-time leaseholder Jeremy Jackson said the proposed pricing structure for a renewed lease was so great that established clubs on the mountain may no longer be able to operate in the village.
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"I believe that this increase will drive people from membership-owned lodges in the Ben Lomond Village and ski fields away," he said.
Unfortunately, those owners and members will leave at a considerable financial loss if they can't afford a lodge and need to sell their memberships.Jeremy Jackson
A spokesperson for the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) confirmed the department had issued new agreements to Ben Lomond cabin leaseholders at the end of the current 10-year lease period - as was scheduled.
Mr Jackson said after his previous lease of $792 per year lapsed, he was advised by the PWS the cost for his lodge would rise to about $6000 a year.
He said the amount was based on the value of the land and lodge combined, driving the price of his lease up compared to previous years.
Mr Jackson said even if the fee was based on the land value alone, the cost to lease a lodge would be too much at about $2100 per year.
The PWS said the calculation of each lease was based on a rental review as part of an independent statutory process, with advice provided to the PWS by the Office of the Valuer-General.
They said there were provisions in the new agreement for leaseholders to contest the amount to be paid through a rental dispute resolution process.
Mr Jackson said the cost of leasing a cabin on the mountain was compounded by having to pay rates to the North Midlands Council on top of the lease.
He said the current arrangement was "totally inequitable" and likened the process to each property having two landlords.
The Northern Midlands Council said general rates for sporting properties were calculated as per any other properties within the municipal area.
The council said the funds were used for infrastructure leading up to Ben Lomond, and a contribution was allocated to the PWS.
The PWS said municipal rates were set by the relevant local government authority, with leaseholders charged the rates separately.
The PWS also advised the department did not receive any rates funding from the council.
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