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Skier

Long Eddy, NY

#1 Nov 5, 2009
Read the article in the Utica Daily News about the Parkway, thus Ford guy has got the right idea, its going to kick azz this winter, can't wait.

http://uticadailynews.com/utica_daily_focus/7...
agree

AOL

#2 Nov 6, 2009
agree
Finally

East Syracuse, NY

#3 Nov 6, 2009
A local guy who is committed to developing this facility to its fullest potential. Go Mark Ford!
Cant Work

Syracuse, NY

#4 Nov 6, 2009
This guy has a great idea but he is forgetting one major element, the changing times of our culture here in Utica. Lets be honest, I dont see the blacks, russians, bosnians and others to support this at all. They represent about 40% of our population now. 40 years ago we were a different breed, family orientated, not like today. It will never work and outsiders will never come into Utica to attend. Outsiders hate coming to Utica, they are afraid to come into Utica and there is no reason to come here. Sorry to be negative but this is factual.
Capt Cracker

Ithaca, NY

#5 Nov 6, 2009
You are all over looking one major obstacle - Liabilty Insurance - unless the City ends up paying for Ford's liability insurance he is likely to find the cost prohibitive.
How much

Long Eddy, NY

#6 Nov 6, 2009
Capt Cracker wrote:
You are all over looking one major obstacle - Liabilty Insurance - unless the City ends up paying for Ford's liability insurance he is likely to find the cost prohibitive.
How much do you think it will be, Mr Know it all ?5 or 6 Grand that's all it'll be. The City will ALWAYS assume some liability because it's their property, no matter what legal documents are signed.
To Cant Work

Syracuse, NY

#7 Nov 6, 2009
Your info is an opinion not factual information. Bosnia is full of Olympic mountains, not sure if you are aware that the 84 Olympics were held there. With that said 90% of the Bosnians do ski and love the sport. I cant say same for Russians but I have seen fair amount of Russians skiing on the upstate ski resorts. Mr. Fords plans are to make this AFFORDABLE and bring the hill back to its glory.

Capt Cracker - You are correct that is an obstacle which I don't see an issue of overcoming.
Shippman

East Syracuse, NY

#8 Nov 6, 2009
The insurance holdup is that the Parkway Adventure guys failed the inspection last January by the insurance underwriter. They listed the area as 'un-insurable'. After I talked with them and gave them a copy of the business plan, they softened up. They will re-inspect the center on Nov 19. We have already corrected every difficiency they noted. Once we have the insurance certificate, we can sign the agreement with the City. The cost is $12,000 for the season. The work we did on the East Hill (old Tbar hill)is very visible. It is now smooth. We have already bulldozed a path from the chair debarkation station back to the East hill. We have already cleared some of the trails in the woods and more are coming. The skiing (and snow boarding area) is going to be increased by 5 fold. Thanks for the supportive comments above. We will be creating a Facebook page for everyone to monitor the progress there. It will be Val Bialas Sports.
FYI

Liverpool, NY

#9 Nov 6, 2009
How much wrote:
<quoted text>
How much do you think it will be, Mr Know it all ?5 or 6 Grand that's all it'll be. The City will ALWAYS assume some liability because it's their property, no matter what legal documents are signed.
Two years ago I looked into insurance to have a small ice skating rink on private property - about 30 x 70 feet.

The Cost was over $7,000 for three months.

This business man will be looking at over $100,000 for insurance alone.

The City is self insured. A few years back a person was sleding on the ski hill and hit one of the poles for the chair lift.

He sued and the case was settled for $250.000
Capt Cracker

Ithaca, NY

#10 Nov 6, 2009
12,000 for the season, plus personnel, plus the city's cut sounds to me as if you are going to have to charge a lot - especially since you can't count on cold temps or snow in this area. A very weak business plan.
Income

Long Eddy, NY

#12 Nov 6, 2009
Capt Cracker wrote:
12,000 for the season, plus personnel, plus the city's cut sounds to me as if you are going to have to charge a lot - especially since you can't count on cold temps or snow in this area. A very weak business plan.
What about income ? You list all the debts, but not the income. You know sometimes there is a cost of doing business. Does Mr. Ford think he'll make money the first year. I bet not. Im sure he would be elated if he broke even. What is the City's cut ? There shouldn't be any. He pays the bills, water, electric, etc., and runs a good business to improve the quality of life around her, and, I as a taxpayer am happy.

Mark, encourage the school district to start ski clubs. Have races on Sunday nights for skiers and boarders, charge a few bucks just for races, people will love it, and kids will love the competition. Make it a place where the kids want to be. Like the old Parkway and Roller Rinks when we were kids.

Since: Nov 09

Syracuse, NY

#13 Nov 6, 2009
In the first year, my ability to make a healthy profit will be tempered by the money I have to put in first. I saw the old finacials back 30 years ago when the revenue for one week was $10,000. Two years ago, they didn't take that in for the whole season. My real money will be made in subsequent years. Mr. Income is correct, I have to be concerned about that. In order to get the desired income, I have to convince the skiers to come back. It is like Field of Dreams...If I groom it, they will come! Also, a good skating rink will bring in good revenue. Finally, never underestimate the ability of a good cafe to generate income. Skating prices will be from $1 to $3. The paddle lift will be $5-8, and the ALL ACTIVITY pass will be $8-12. I consider that a reasonalbe fee for the expanded, groomed skiing we will be offering. On the insurance cost, the Mountain Guard insurance cost bases their fee on the REVENUE the park brings in. Below $150,000 for the season is $12,000. And the city does pick up some of the liability, although Mountain Guard does not care about that.
Mark
Hope It Works

New York, NY

#14 Nov 6, 2009
Good Luck!
Just Wondering

Manlius, NY

#15 Nov 6, 2009
Lets just hope for a good snowy winter season with temps in the teens and twenties. A good Christmas week is a very important factor in a profitable season.

Good Luck Mark
Chad

United States

#16 Nov 6, 2009
Wow, somebody has a great idea and is running with it. This is awesome! Imagine how great this city could be if there were more people doing things like this. I can't wait for this, and will happily take my family there!
Ski swap and sale

Long Eddy, NY

#18 Nov 6, 2009
Have kids bring their used snowboards and skis to sell. They'll make money and you'll get some new skiers. Just a thought.
Rendezvous

Clayton, NY

#19 Nov 6, 2009
It’s one thing to say it will be family oriented, but that probably won’t quite be the case. Parents will drop their kids off for several hours (maybe even the day) or evening if they know they have a safe place, will have fun, and will stay out of trouble. Do that and parents will be happy to pay you for it.

Isn’t there a short steep hill to the west? You can’t have all easy skiing/boarding. I’ve been an instructor for many years and as the kids get better they will want more challenge or they will get bored, so open up whatever you can and try to make snow on the steeper terrain also. Skiing in the trees is also very popular now. If you can thin out some trees for glade skiing, the kids will love it even if it’s an easy slope. Heck, if you have anything better than beginner slopes, I’d throw my gear in the car and stop after work if you are open late during the week. Having something that drops off, even if it’s short, would be even better.

Also, making snow and grooming is a science/art. I hope you have someone who knows what they are doing. Speaking of grooming, once you have a base, please don’t groom everything. If there is fresh powder, try to leave 50% or so on the hill for the skiers/boarders to play in (if it’s light, not the heavy wet stuff). They may fall a lot, but they will never learn to ski/board in it if it’s never available. Same thing with bumps if there is anywhere that they can grow. That’s another reason to try to open the steeper run to the west.

I like the idea of races but there might be an insurance issue plus the cost of timing equipment. If you can build in a table top, rails, quarter or half pipe anywhere, the kids like those also. They will be building their own jumps. You just have to be careful that they don’t put them in dangerous places and will have to knock them down if they do. I also hope you are lining up some ski patrollers for those accidents that will invariably happen.

One last point is theft. It’s not 30 years ago (but there was theft then also) and you are within walking distance that can make theft fairly easy. I’m not quite sure what you can do to deter that; maybe signs about prosecution and have the police stroll through once in a while. If customers have a positive experience, they will come back. That’s a basic rule for instructors as well as owners.

Good luck. Think snow. And I’ll give it a try.
amazin

United States

#20 Nov 7, 2009
The idea sounds good. Although where I live now we have skiing and is still based on weather as too how well the season is which is very unpredictable. We have parks here where kids go sledding and cross country skiing.....all free. Skiing is costly and a big investment. When I lived in the area I always wished to go to Bialis but coudl not afford to. Skiing is not a cheap sport to get into. But if you are serious to ski a good avenue to start on. What do they say if you build it they will come. Worth a shot and good luck to Uticans. (by the way Russains and Bosnians usually know or learn to ski same time as they walk as do most Europeans) They also learn several languages besides their own tongue. Mor than I can say for most Americans who waste their time away doing nothing constructive with their time.
Just Wondering

Manlius, NY

#21 Nov 7, 2009
I wish them good weather and a lot of luck. I would hate to see Val Bialis go the way of White Acres, Silver Bells, Shumacker,Indian Hill, Etc. Etc. Etc. It is a great asset to the area if it is affordable to the public. The schools should have ski programs there if the weather cooperates.
Rendezvous

Clayton, NY

#22 Nov 7, 2009
They could also work with the local colleges to offer ski lessons as an elective sport. MVCC used to do this....a long time ago, as one of the gym class choices that they required students to take. But I’m not even sure if they require students to take a gym class anymore.

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