Proposal Offers ‘Small-Scale Resort’ Cabins, RV Sites – for Kinzua Beach | News, Sports, Jobs

Times Observer file photo by Brian Ferry The first recommendation provided to the Kinzua Market Initiative proposes a “small-scale beach resort” at Kinzua Beach. This would include various sized cabins, RV sites and an outdoor event venue.

Last year the Kinzua Marketing Initiative was born in an attempt to develop a plan for the future of the area in and around Kinzua Beach.

The publicly funded effort brought in a consultant to examine what might be possible in this area.

The first recommendation? A “small-scale” station.

Jim Decker, president/CEO of the Warren County Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the proposed location is Kinzua Beach and would include “different levels and sizes of cabins” as well as RV sites and an expanded outdoor event venue.

This is not the first time a resort has been proposed for Kinzua Beach.

The last time, it caused a visceral reaction in the community.

But the use of the term “seaside resort” might have been part of the problem in fueling such a negative response.

“We believe that the negative reaction to the Kinzua Beach development previously stemmed in large part from the lack of definition of what the development would really look like and the impact of the development on those who use the reservoir and the ANF,” Decker said.

“The term “seaside resort“is exceptionally broad in terms of amenities and scale and without (a) clear definition of the amenities and scale intended in a development, the actual impact is easily overstated.”

The impetus here isn’t pure financial gain either.

Decker said about 40% of the county’s landmass is national forest and explained that the Forest Service has not provided funding in the past 60 years – since the creation of the Kinzua Dam – to maintain the assets initially installed.

“We have this magnificent gem of a totally underutilized attraction,” he said. “(We try) to get people here to substandard facilities.”

The proposal at Kinzua Beach marks an attempt to “try to capitalize a little better on what we have.”

The data generated as a result of this planning process also leads organizers to believe that the reaction to a proposal like this might be different from last time.

“As we progressed through the current review process, we have endeavored to get as much feedback as possible from as wide an audience as possible,” Decker said. “We engaged CHM Government Services to manage the collection and interpretation of current activity in sectors of the hospitality industry throughout the region through focus group meetings in Warren and McKean counties.

“These meetings have provided the CHM with insight into what our region has, what the region wants in terms of expanded or new hospitality offerings, and the types of activities and offerings that are not desired. or deemed appropriate.”

The “global guideline” of the consultant, he pointed out “It is that conserving and recognizing the heritage and character of our region and the Kinzua region in particular was paramount to any proposed development.”

Decker said a financial feasibility study for the proposal was launched a few weeks ago and is expected to be completed within weeks.

This study “will consider the cost of the proposed elements of the small-scale resort, which include 18 cabins of various sizes, 25 fully hook-up RV sites and an event pavilion and, based on similar developments in other parts of the United States”, he explained.

The examination will cover “potential levels of use” at “assess the likelihood of interest in private sector investment.”

The analysis will not include infrastructure costs – electricity, water, sewage, telecommunications – and this is a strategic decision.

Decker said the goal is to “ensure that the level of surface private investment is viable before spending the resources needed to develop infrastructure designs and cost estimates.

“If the valuation indicates positive investment potential we will move forward, if it does not indicate investment potential we will reassess what improvements to current assets in the area can be made,” he said.

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