Friends of Cougar


Forest Service Reveals Plans for

Private Contractor to Manage the Hot Springs


By Greg Thorne - Friday 4/1/05

The Forest Service just revealed plans to bring in a private concessionaire to manage Cougar this summer. The private concessionaire in line to get the contract is Hoodoo Ski Area. Owner Chuck Shepard has never even soaked at the Hot Springs as far as I know. They currently manage the campgrounds near Cougar. They would increase the daily fee from $3 to $5, do away with the annual pass, and who knows what else. I'm sure Hot Springs visitors would prefer having the Friends of Cougar running things. If the Friends of Cougar managed the Hot Springs a fee increase would be unnecessary.

We plan an Election to select officers and presumably come up with an alternative plan for the Friends of Cougar to incorporate as a non-profit and then to take over management of the Hot Springs. You can be sure that Hoodoo is in it to make money. They want to increase fees to increase their profit.

What else would they change? Cement for reduced pool maintenance? Banning nudity to increase mainstream attendance? Paving the trail for safety?

As far as a dress code, I can tell you this. A very warm day last spring when I tried skiing a run at Hoodoo in just a pair of shorts. Management went nuts. They sent over a snowmobile with two staff who demanded "You need to put on more clothes!"



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