The following statement was posted on the Garrett County website yesterday:
On January 5, 2012, the Board of Directors of the Adventure Sports Center International, Inc. (“ASCI”), a Maryland not-for-profit corporation organized and operating as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) corporation, offered full title to the facilities to the Board of County Commissioners of Garrett County, Maryland (the “County”). Since that date the County has considered the ASCI offer, reviewed all information available to the County concerning ASCI’s facilities, it’s assets, it’s liabilities, it’s current and long-term value to the County and the community, and has consulted with ASCI’s financial partners. As a part of that process, ASCI’s principal financial partners, First United Bank & Trust and Susquehanna Bank, proposed and offered significant debt reduction opportunities to the County in the event that the County accepted the ASCI offer. The financial partners, who have contributed significantly to the process and the County’s consideration of this matter, have agreed to accept the assignment of debt in the sum of $600,000 in full satisfaction of ASCI’s debt obligations to those financial institutions. Based upon the ASCI offer and with the assistance of the financial institutions, the County has agreed to terms with the ASCI Board of Directors which will permit the County to operate ASCI.
“ASCI has far more to offer then rafting,” stated Commissioner Chairman, Jim Raley, “The preoccupation in servicing the debt and in striving to resolve it in turn hampered ASCI’s ability to market itself and grow its programming. The generous offer from First United Bank and Trust and Susquehanna Bank have created an opportunity not only for a solution to be created but ASCI can now concentrate more on its core offerings,” he continued. “ASCI is a recreational and educational asset to the county, the region and the State of Maryland that possess a tremendous amount of untapped potential.”
The financial obligations of ASCI to the County will be satisfied from hotel/motel accommodations tax revenue which is restricted and designated by State statute for economic development and the promotion of tourism. No County real property tax revenue will be directed to satisfy this obligation. There have been questions by the Board appropriating additional funds to the Garrett County Public School System relative the 5-Year Plan proposed by the Board of Education. Hotel/motel accommodations tax revenue cannot be directed to the Garrett County Public School System therefore, a funding comparison between education and /economic development/tourism is not relative to this discussion.
The County believes that, based upon available information, the revenues generated by the operation of ASCI, after satisfaction of the debt obligations to the ASCI financial partners, will allow ASCI to continue to be a substantial contributor to the maintenance and development of the Garrett County economy. The revenues generated by the ASCI activities, rafting, hiking, and other outdoor activities, are sufficient to maintain and sustain its operations without the use of County funds. The value of the
ASCI facilities and assets is estimated to be approximately $24 million.
“For the upcoming 2012 season ASCI will play host no less than 9 events of regional and national significance- The Savageman Triathlon, Team River Runner Rendezvous, and the Maryland Open - Canoe and Kayak Championships are a few,” mentioned Commissioner Crawford.
“Environmental education opportunities continue to grow for school children as do opportunities for college level programming with Garrett College. Internationally” he continued, “the credibility of ASCI is gaining as evidenced by being awarded to host the International Canoe Federation’s (ICF) “Canoe Slalom World Championships” in 2014. We are excited to bring these races back to Garrett County and to the State of Maryland on the 25th anniversary of the world championship on the Savage River.”