Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials Tuesday announced the department has secured a contractor to facilitate the master planning and redesign of Denton Hill State Park, Potter County.
The contractor is LaBella Associates, D.P.C, an architectural, engineering, and environmental planning consultant firm, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., with satellite offices in Elmira, N.Y., and Scranton and Coudersport.
LaBella, will advance and expand work begun during a feasibility study coordinated by Moshier Studio of Pittsburgh.
This preliminary effort provided comprehensive evaluation of existing infrastructure, as well as an in-depth look at long-term potential for skiing and other potential year-round activities at the park.
SE Group, a subcontractor during the feasibility study process has been retained by LaBella to collaborate on the ski area development.
DCNR staff and La Bella Associates have defining the project’s scope, to include improvements, redesign, and new infrastructure for skiing facilities, overnight accommodations, and four-season recreation development opportunities.
An existing lodge is expected to be fully rehabilitated, including modifications for ADA accessibility and mechanical system upgrades.
Direction of the plan will be influenced by public input collected over the last 18 months through public meetings, direct inquiries, and the Denton Hill State Park: Visions for the Future survey.
Throughout the master planning process a “ground team” consisting of DCNR and partner agency staff and LaBella Associates representatives, stakeholders and others will coordinate necessary research, development, and focused community outreach, ensuring a blended representation of constituents concerns and DCNR’s mission.
As the master plan process moves forward, LaBella will facilitate two stakeholder and two public meetings designed to present progress and gain community input.
The first of these will occur in late winter/early spring 2017, allowing LaBella to evaluate the past feasibility study and verify data points to ensure we are moving ahead with the most current information.
“Our team looks forward to working with LaBella and the Denton Hill community as we turn the page and begin to realize Denton Hill’s future,” said Bureau of State Parks Director John Hallas. “LaBella has a strong background in developing recreational master plans and they are a good fit to advance Denton Hill as we work together to determine a future course of action for operations at Denton Hill State Park.”
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 concessionaire notified DCNR in November 2014 that they would no longer be able to operate.
Ski operations were closed for the winter of 2014-2015. Although no ski operations are taking place, the park continues to host special events and recreational activities supported by the existing infrastructure.
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