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Friday, August 28, 2015

Consultant Shares Some Findings Of Denton Hill Study

Potter County Today

Aug29DentonHillMeetingA public meeting will be scheduled in the coming weeks to discuss the recommendations of a Pittsburgh firm that was hired to study Denton Hill State Park and assess issues such as refurbishing the ski area and expanding the park’s operations to an all-season schedule. 

Some of the preliminary findings by Mosher Studio and its contractors were shared during what the Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DNCR) termed a “stakeholders meeting” this week at the park’s ski lodge. Among attendees were several DCNR officials, including David Kemmerer, director of the Bureau of State Parks. Here, Potter County Visitors Assn. executive director David Brooks (right) discusses the park’s future with two of the contractors conducting the study.

Following an initial presentation from the Mosher team, DCNR broke the gathering into three discussion roundtables where attendees could share input on: proposals for upgrades to the park facilities; economic/marketing analysis and potential; and activities that could be tied to expansion of the park’s operation to an all-season schedule.
Among the initial findings shared at the stakeholders meeting:
  • DCNR will need to invest more than $12 million to refurbish or replace equipment to accommodate skiing to Denton Hill State Park. Snowmaking equipment, lodge repairs, lighting improvements and upgrading of lifts and other equipment are among the costlier items. These projects and others would likely take a minimum of three years.
  • Statistics reported by the most recent concessionaire operating the ski area show that, from a skier turnout of 13,150 in 2007, the business declined each successive year to approximately 7,000 skiers for the 2013-14 season (the ski area was closed for 2014-15). There was a corresponding decrease in gross revenue, according to concessionaire’s figures. At the same time, fewer Americans — only about 3 percent of the population — are skiers.
  • Other challenges include the opening and growth of more skiing facilities closer to population centers since Denton Hill Ski Area was created, and the availability of other attractions (competition for tourists) during the spring through fall seasons.
While those are sobering conclusions, there are other more promising factors that will enter into DCNR’s assessment of Denton Hill State Park, including the potential to link the facility to other attractions — Cherry Springs State Park and its Dark Sky Preserve, Lyman Run State Park, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, numerous recreation trails in the Susquehannock State Forest, for example — as part of a strategy to develop all-season tourist opportunities.

Details of the upcoming public meeting on the future of Denton Hill State Park will be announced in the coming weeks. DCNR plans to hold the meeting before the end of the year.

12 comments :

DAN CAUSER said...

CAN DENTEN HILL BE INCORPATED WITH THE PA. WILDS ASSOCIATION AND RECEIVE GRANT MONIES IN A BETTER AND QUICKER MANNER THAN THROUGH DCNR FUNDINGS? ALSO BECOME A VACTION ADVERTIZED THROUGH THE VACATION BOARD OF THE PA . WILDS IN A BETTER AND QUICKER MANNER? DAN CAUSER

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the state should sell the ski lodge to the highest bidder with a agreement that it has to stay a ski lodge.That would save the tax payers millions put the property on the tax rolls and create jobs in potter county

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a money pit project to me ! The only ones that are going to make out well are the highly paid consultants!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it seems as though the DCNR wants to derail the Denton Hill facility. What about the other summer activities that were held there? Didn't they have archery? Bike riding? With the proximity to the Lumber Museum, one would think they could piggyback these together as a destination. Although the new and improved facility, unfortunately, the money spent on this facility versus the income brought in are very far apart. The museum is staffed by DCNR employees who I am pretty sure don't make minimum wage and they see 4?-5? visitors a day? Bring both the Denton Hill proponents and the Lumber Museum proponents together. Like the new buzzword says, "Think Outside The Box". There are definitely a lot of good people with good ideas that could that could help save this facility. Do they have to buy everything brand new to start? What a larger facility considers inadequate for their capacity would probably be ideal for Denton Hill.

Anonymous said...

who is going to volunteer to pay more taxes for this money pit.As usual most want someone else to pay for it.Face it tourism will never sustain the cost to operate these areas

Anonymous said...

According to the story two posts above this one, you can forget skiing anyway.

Anonymous said...

Good one 3:27, maybe the ice caps will melt enough and we can water ski down Denton Hill or is it "DENTEN"? I agree that a private enterprise could operate it at a true profit vs. the DCNR, THOSE SMOKEY BEARS HATS ARE 'SPENSIVE! Believe it or not, tourism dollars spent in our neck of the woods are in the $50,000,000 range, if what the tourism bureau says is true! CUZ LOTS OF PEOPLES "VACTION" IN PA. Fred ain't dead and he says Hey!

Anonymous said...

Get the government out of it and it will work. It will be successful and turn a profit. Anything the government(DCNR) touches is a mess. Let the private sector make it work. It what this country knows. The people will support it.

Anonymous said...

The DCNR doesn't want people here! Ever take a walk in the woods and get confronted and questioned by the wannabees? As far as ski denton you are beating a dead horse so to speak just like many other things in this area. The Austin dam park for example was going to bring so much to the Austin area we would have a hard time keeping up! Well? When? It's 20 years later and we are still waiting ! Time to think outside the same old box .

Anonymous said...

I really doubt those skier numbers, the place was packed every day I skied there. Also, the infrastructure is a bit dated but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, I can live with what's already there if we could just get it opened again. The only thing I would replace now would be the snow making equipment, other than that it's all fine for the time being. I agree with the previous comment as well, the state owning the land it sits on is the biggest handicap to Denton reopening and being successful.If the state turned over the whole lock, stock and barrel over to a private enterprise you would see Ski Denton grow by leap and bounds and could very well become the crown jewel of Potter County.

Little Johnny the Flatlander said...

You sheeple obviously aren't paying attention to the facts or maybe you are just part of the 3% of the population that skis and want something close to home. The place is rundown and unsafe to operate! It will take millions of dollars to make it safe to operate. This is not a business that can survive in this area with our current economy. They would be better off putting up huge slides and making it a water park that can be operated for more than the 2 months out of a year than a ski lodge can't operate.Either way...it's not worth the effort for the small amount of people that actually visit this dying area.

Anonymous said...

Statistics reported by the most recent concessionaire operating the ski area show that, from a skier turnout of 13,150 in 2007, the business declined each successive year to approximately 7,000 skiers for the 2013-14 season

That says it all. No market for skiing there