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Thursday, December 11, 2014

DCNR to conduct study, seek proposals for the operation of downhill ski area at Denton Hill State Park

DCNR to conduct study, seek proposals for the operation of downhill ski area at Denton Hill State Park

DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti has announced that the department will be conducting a feasibility study at Denton Hill State Park, Potter County, to look at the potential for skiing and other year round activities at the park while at the same time preparing a competitive bid process for an operator for the existing ski facility.

“In November, our concessionaire notified DCNR that they would be terminating their lease and would not open the ski area this season,” Ferretti said. “Given that we now have had several individuals and businesses express an interest in operating the facility, we are required to provide the opportunity for parties to bid on the contract.”

Ferretti noted the competitive bid process should take about six months to complete, so the facility will not be open for the 2014-15 ski season.

“We currently are working with Senator Scarnati's office to finalize a feasibility study of the rehabilitation of the existing infrastructure and the viability of ski or other winter activity operations at Denton Hill, including options for alternative activities at the park outside of the ski season that could be operated by a concessionaire,” Ferretti said.

The feasability study is expected to be completed and made available to the successful bidder.

Denton Hill State Park was opened as a ski area in 1958 and operated by the commonwealth until 1979. In 1983, DCNR signed a 35-year concession lease agreement with Denton Hill Family and Ski Resort, Inc. The agreement was set to expire in March 2018.

The study will be conducted by DCNR consultant Moshier Studio of Pittsburgh. Details are still be finalized.

All permanent infrastructure at Denton Hill State Park is owned by the commonwealth. The previous lease agreement required the concessionaire to maintain and repair the ski area facilities and equipment.

Although that was the case, since 1989 DCNR has invested more than $3 million dollars in facilities and equipment at the park, including installation of a triple chair lift, construction of five modern cabins, replacement of the sewage treatment plant and several other pieces of equipment.

“DCNR does not have the technical expertise nor the financial resources to run the downhill ski operations at Denton Hill, which is why we moved to a concession operation,” Ferretti said.

Currently there are a number of critical infrastructure projects that need funding, including replacing the ski lift and rehabilitating the main park road and lodge, with an estimated cost in the millions of dollars.

Attendance at the ski area is approximately 10,500 visitors annually.

For more information about Denton Hill State Park visit here.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's to stop a person from going there and climbing the hill by foot and skiing down the hill?

Anonymous said...

laziness will

Anonymous said...

Operate it like the old days. State Employees. Nothing like a Union to make sure a biz is somewhat operated correctly.

Anonymous said...

It is a state park. Unless they post armed guards. I smell covert free skiing & tubing coming this year.

Anonymous said...

8:17. Hahahahahah thanks for the joke to get my day going!