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Saturday, January 31, 2015

‘Save Denton Hill State Park’ Campaign Galvanized

savedentonSupporters of Denton Hill State Park, led by the Potter County Commissioners, are pulling out all the stops to have the park revitalized and its ski resort resurrected. They’re using personal appeals to politicians, an aggressive marketing and public relations campaign heavily reliant on social media, and other tools. The commissioners met recently with State Senator Joe Scarnati, a leading advocate for Denton Hill State Park, and have assembled a coalition to galvanize local support.

One of the coalition partners, the Potter County Visitors Assn. (PCVA), launched a Save Denton Hill State Park site on the Facebook social media platform and signed up about 1,400 supporters in less than two weeks. PCVA is also soliciting support for the park on its own website, visitpottercounty.com, and through personal appeals. Among other coalition members are the Chambers of Commerce in Coudersport, Galeton and Wellsboro and the Pennsylvania Route 6 Alliance.

There is a lot at stake. A recent study of the Ski Denton resort’s impact found that visitors spent more than $2.74 million on their trips in a single year. Coalition leaders see the park in bigger terms, suggesting that it could complement local hiking trails, Cherry Springs and Lyman Run state parks, hiking trails, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum and other local attractions. The lobbying campaign is aimed at the Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and other state officials. The commissioners have personally contacted incoming DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn, other members of Governor Tom Wolf’s cabinet and state legislators asking them to follow through on a state commitment to invest in the park. The partners would like to see not only restoration of ski operations, but development of the park as a year-round asset. DCNR has contracted with a consulting firm to study the facility and make recommendations.

Denton Hill State Park was opened as a ski area in 1958 and operated by the commonwealth until 1979, but has been under a concession lease agreement since that time. In November, the concessionaires informed DCNR that they were terminating the lease and would be unable to open for the season. DCNR has acknowledged that there are a number of critical infrastructure projects that require funding, including replacing at least one ski lift and rehabilitating the main park road and lodge. “The park’s closure for the season is certainly disadvantageous to our community and our local economy in the short term,” said PCVA executive director David Brooks. “However, it also presents a great opportunity for long-needed improvements to be made and for the park to become a year-round attraction. Now, there’s a heightened sense of urgency.” Meanwhile, DCNR is discussing arrangements to allow two popular archery events to continue at the park this summer.

6 comments :

Anonymous said...

Need to build a big monstrosity of a hotel and convention center there and promote the area.

Anonymous said...

Good luck finding some big corporation that thinks this is a worthwhile venture!
















Anonymous said...

What a waste of money!

I'd really like to see the 2.74 million calculations published as this sounds fishy. I suspect the calculations take into account people who come to the area and just happen to stop at the park during their visit, not just people who only come to the park (ie, the park is the reason they come to the area). The calculations probably also take into account the two archery festivals that are held there that have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with skiing at Denton.

I really hate to see my local elected officials wasting my tax dollars on this.

Anonymous said...

I wish Zito Media would invest in Ski Denton! Adelphia and Papa Regis would've saved it for sure!

Anonymous said...

As long as the state is involved (the owner of the property) there is no business person in their right mind that would take this on !

Anonymous said...

Exactly right! Get the government out and it will run like a well oiled machine. I would no sooner partner with government than fly in the air.