“There are so many memories that have been made at these historic hills in the middle of our city.”– Mayor Robert M. Palmieri.
For years, Val Bialas in Utica, New York has struggled to operate during ski season due to chairlift issues and a lack of snow. The Utica ski hill relies on natural snow, meaning its opportunities to operate the lifts have been limited, with it not being able to operate over the past couple of winters.
According to WKTW News Channel 2, new funding will help the ski hill with its woes. The chairlift repairs will allow for it to be used year-round, meaning that lift-serviced mountain biking will be coming to the ski hill during the offseason. The snowmaking equipment is currently being designed for the ski hill.
New York Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon described the importance of revitalizing Val Bialis:
“The Val Bialas Ski Center was a community gem that provided the families of the Mohawk Valley with healthy outdoor activities. These funds were secured for the enhancements to the chair lift for year-around use and snowmaking equipment. Once the upgrades are complete, I look forward to hearing how families, friends, and visitors came together to create memories for generations to come.”
These projects are being funded by a State and Municipal facilities grant. In terms of the timeline for these projects, it sounds like Val Bialas won’t open this upcoming winter:
“The upgrades are courtesy of a state and municipal facilities grant furnished by Assemblywoman Buttenschon and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie following a visit by the Speaker earlier this summer. Some work has already started, but the bulk of the improvements will happen in the spring and are expected to be completed by the end of 2024.”
While skiers and riders may need to wait until the 2024-25 season to shred at Val Bialas, it sounds like it will be worth the wait.