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Friday, November 18, 2016

Master Plan For Denton Hill State Park Available

Potter County Today

Challenges and opportunities are spelled out in a report on the future of Denton Hill State Park, part of a multi-year process to have the park revitalized and its ski resort resurrected. From a long-range perspective, the park’s future appears to be bright as long as the state is willing to invest in it. State officials have posted initial results of an incremental planning process geared toward developing improved skiing and new off-season activities at the park. The preliminary Denton Hill State Park Master Plan is available on a section of the Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources website, available here. Soon, DCNR will select a consulting firm to guide the master planning process. A public meeting to discuss the scope of work is expected to be held before year’s end.

Initial studies found that the state would need to invest about $13 million to repair ski lifts, add lights, replace the snowmaking system, renovate the lodge, add parking and create a snow-tubing park. Additional investments may be required for development of spring, summer and autumn activities. Among options are lift-serviced mountain biking, zip lines, festivals, adventure races, geocaching and destination dining. The plan cautions that the skiing business will need to attract at least 12,500 visits per season to be profitable. Denton Hill has experienced sharp declines in visitation over the past 10 years, much of it due to warm weather but some attributed to skiers going elsewhere.

A local stakeholders committee headed by the Potter County Board of Commissioners is serving as the liaison with DCNR. One of the committee’s partners, the Potter County Visitors Assn. (PCVA), has launched a Save Denton Hill State Park site on the Facebook social media platform and signed up more than 2,000 supporters, with tens of thousands of “hits.” Among other coalition members are the Chambers of Commerce in Coudersport, Galeton and Wellsboro and the Pennsylvania Route 6 Alliance. They’re conferring frequently with elected officials and representatives of the Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (both the State Parks and Forestry bureaus).

There is a lot at stake. A study of the ski resort’s impact found that visitors spent more than $2.74 million on their trips in a single year. Stakeholders see the park in bigger terms, suggesting that it be a hub for tourists that could complement local hiking trails, state parks, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum and other local attractions. The partners would like to see not only restoration of ski operations, but development of the park as a year-round asset. DCNR engaged Moshier Studio, a Pittsburgh firm, to study Denton Hill State Park and prepare the initial report that’s available for public review. 

There will be no skiing at the park for the 2016-17 season and signs point to the closure extending through the 2017-18 season and beyond.


Anonymous said...

Did I read that right, 13 million to fix Denton Hill State PARK. I think it also says there had been a steep decline in usage for the last 10 years. Denton Hill becoming the hub of tourist trade for PA is ridiculous! 13 million Dollars! That is a whole lot of money for a few people to ski, a couple months a year, if there is enough snow that is. I realize it also says other entertainment but why would you want to invest 13 million There? How about some road repairs, property tax, income tax just about anything we need in Potter County, a little mound of snow to ski on, I know send it here instead of Philly etc. OK send it here for some help we really need!

Anonymous said...

The link to the Master Plan seems to be broken...

Anonymous said...

Do not waste my tax dollars ! I am sick of seeing tax dollars wasted every time you look at the news ! If this were a money making enterprise private business people would be chomping at the bit to get ahold of it ! Nothing is going to help this area until the manufacturing jobs come back so why spend time on crap like this ?

Anonymous said...

yea spend our tax money on road repairs.. that's real fun.
get off the couch and GO SKI !

Anonymous said...

Just remember what DCNR claimed when the Pa wilds was initiated.
Where are the thousands of new jobs? Why would Denton Hill be any different?

Anonymous said...

Put it up for sale. Years of studies, consulting and still the site sits vacant. Ridiculous amounts of red tape and government having its nose where it doesn't belong.

Anonymous said...

Why not sell it to an individual who can then turn it into a ski-slope, game preserve, Hippie Hill, hunting preserve, whatever. Once its out of government hands it could be managed and promoted efficiently, professionally, and made profitable. Its not going to be successful as long as its run by the government. Even if someone buys it and builds their house there and makes it private property the state and county would be better off. At least they would be paying taxes.

Anonymous said...

Amen 5:11, save the county & taxpayers money, lots of $$$$$$$$$$

Anonymous said...

13 million more debt for your kids and grandkids .while your local politicians laugh all the way to the bank with the campaign and other dark money from the companies that will benefit

Little Joe the Flatlander said... stump jumpers are absolutely right! They should use the $13 million dollars down around my neighborhood in Philly instead of up here in the sticks. There are parks and basketball courts that need fixed up. Open up that whole area for hunting and ATV use....

Anonymous said...

The government will never let this property go or become private. The government has too much invested in the missile systems and defensive infrastructure. Including the rail-guns.