AOAA preps for opening weekend
BURNSIDE - The Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) Authority is working to resolve several issues before the park's official opening May 17.
The park is scheduled to open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. that Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 18.
Although members could not decide what to officially call the opening at their monthly workshop Monday, they determined the opening will be limited to motorized recreation. They also have not decided if the public will be allowed access to the western side of the AOAA.
Board member Pat Mack questioned what would happen if someone asked to walk on the property. Mack and Chairman Jim Backes said they wouldn't be against someone doing so, but emphasized that non-motorized trails for off-road bicycles and horseback riding have yet to be developed.
Camping and horseback riding will not be allowed opening weekend. Only vehicles with park permits will be allowed beyond the trailhead.
"It's not everything we talked about for five years," Backes said about the varied activities the authority hopes will eventually be offered at the park. "It's not the whole master plan, but it's something."
Yamaha has committed to be present opening weekend. The board anticipates the off-road manufacturer, which has had dealer demonstrations at the AOAA before, will have a similar setup.
Beyond opening weekend, the park will be open the same hours every Saturday and Sunday for the foreseeable future. It will also be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Memorial Day.
Ideally, the park would be open at least for four-day weekends, Friday through Monday, by later this year, Mack said.
In other business
The board discussed plans to advertise for an administrative assistant and maintenance worker. The positions will be part-time at 20 to 30 hours a week. The authority is also hiring a full-time operations manager for the park.
It's not certain all three positions will be filled by opening weekend, but Mack said the park can begin its weekend operation without a full-time manager. He said the five authority members will play a larger role until the staff is in place.
The members also discussed updating the AOAA website in conjunction with previously discussed sponsorship levels of $100, $250 and $500 and $1,000. The first level would allow name recognition on the website. The second level would allow name recognition and a logo that would link to the customer's website. The third level would allow all the options of the second level plus literature at the trailhead. The fourth level would allow all options of the third level plus inclusion of a monthly E-news letter that AOAA plans to publish.
In preparation for opening weekend, the second cleanup of the year will be held Saturday. Volunteers will pick up trash on the eastern section of the property between 9 a.m. and noon. A free lunch will be provided. Volunteers ride free Saturday after the cleanup.
In other matters, the authority:
- Revealed the design for a welcome sign that will be erected at the main entrance road at Route 125. The sign will be double-sided and made of vinyl. It will measure 4-by-8 feet.
- Is pursuing a telephone service connection with Verizon.
- Looked into purchasing and paying related fees for a credit card terminal.
- Discussed two different options for adding a security system at the trailhead building.
- Began talks with a representative from PPL, which is interesting in leasing three acres of AOAA land to stage new transmission poles. The existing poles support a high voltage line that runs northwest to southeast near the trailhead building and, like others in the PPL system, are being replaced.