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SAM Magazine—Harrisburg, Pa., Sept. 14, 2023—The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is committing $10 million in capital improvements and is working with a locally-based company to grow four-season recreational opportunities—including the return of alpine skiing—at Denton Hill State Park in Potter County. Denton

The 700-acre Denton Hill State Park is located in the north central part of the state along Route 6 in Ulysses Township. Ski Denton officially opened in 1959 as a public ski resort operated by the DCNR. Financial difficulties and maintenance issues led to the temporary closure of the ski area in 2014.

Community discussions about bringing the ski area back into operation have been ongoing since its closure. The DCNR is working with Denton Go, LLC, a newly-formed company comprised of three members from the local community, who will lead in the planning and operation of the ski area. According to DCNR, the company brings a wealth of business and mountain recreation experience that includes ski and hospitality operations.

“We’re really excited to work with Denton Go to imagine how greater access and new recreational opportunities at the park can serve residents and draw visitors to the Pennsylvania Wilds region throughout the year,” said State Parks director John Hallas. “Outdoor assets like Denton Hill are an important part of rural economies, so revitalizing the park will help nearby communities, businesses, and attractions grow and thrive.”

Before it closed, the ski area offered about 75 skiable acres across 22 trails with roughly 650 feet of vertical. Facilities include a base lodge, five rental cabins, one triple chair, one double chair, two Poma lifts, and a rope tow. 

Several hiking and biking trails traverse Denton Hill and connect to many more miles of trails in the adjacent Susquehannock State Forest and Pennsylvania Lumber Museum’s trails, enabling the area to provide expansive summer hiking and biking opportunities.

Right now, DCNR and Denton Go are working out the terms of a 35-year lease, which will include a capital investment from Denton Go. Improvements to the lodge and rehabilitating the infrastructure are the immediate priorities.

State Rep. Martin Causer, R-Turtlepoint, and Rep. Clint Owlett, R-Wellsboro, issued a joint statement on the Denton Hill agreement.

“This is great news for our region. Revitalizing Denton Hill and expanding it to a four-season destination will bring significant benefits for economic growth in the region, drawing more customers into our existing small businesses and encouraging the development of others,” the representatives said. 

“We also continue to hear from local people who share how much they miss skiing at Denton Hill, and it will be wonderful to bring back that opportunity for them, along with other recreational opportunities throughout the year. We encourage DCNR and the Department of General Services to expedite the work to get Denton Hill up and running as soon as possible.”

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