By Jeanne Sager
BRIDGEVILLE June 18, 2004 Holiday Mountain is bringing the holiday spirit to the mountains.
Owner Craig Passante has finally realized his dream of making a yearround family destination in Bridgeville and hes turned what was once a defunct county-owned ski resort into Holiday Mountain Ski and Fun Park.
Its not for the faint of heart.
Theres a miniature golf course, batting cages, a rock climbing wall, go-carts, bumper cars, paintball and much more to get your heart racing and springboard you full on into the summer season.
Officially opened Memorial Day weekend, the park is slowly finding its place in the community hiring new staff and setting new hours to accommodate the influx of people into the county as the season progresses.
The changes have been big, and officials are still trying to see how things will go, tweaking little by little.
Before this, we were only open three months out of the year for skiing, said Kevin Koppenal, Holiday Mountains manager.
Now the park is open Tuesday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
When schools let out, theyll expand to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
The aim is to get families into the park at a time when everyone can get there.
Currently the different activities are offered a la carte so parents only have to pay for the amenities that interest their children and themselves.
A family who likes miniature golf doesnt have to jump on the mechanical bull and vice versa.
Prices vary. A miniature golf game runs about $7 for adults and $4.50 for kids 12 and under while the batting cages cost $1.50 for 15 balls.
People 54 inches or taller can ride the go-cart track for about 6 minutes for $6, and those 44 inches or taller get a bumper car ride for $3.
The rock climbing wall and mechanical bull are each $5 for two attempts.
Paintball is $30 for a half day pass, and the park provides the guns and pellets.
The arcade, which is full of games, runs at 25 cents a token.
Theres also a full-service snack bar with ice cream (of course, Koppenal said) and a bar for the adults.
Koppenal said hed like to get feedback on what people want theyve discussed creating day passes for people who would like to try out everything the park has to offer.
And theyve already decided to add more activities a driving range will open in July (at $4 a bucket) and a pool is a possibility for next season.
Wed like to have more for the younger ones later, Koppenal said. This really is family-oriented entertainment.
Its a great way to get the kids out of the house.
Its also good for people who love the outdoors. Thats why Koppenal took the job.
I dont have to sit indoors behind a desk, he confessed. Im not a desk person.
Instead hes wandering the grounds, offering up some extra tokens for the guy in the batting cages and making sure people get the thrill of their life on the go-cart track.
The park is fully staffed, but parents are asked to accompany children under the age of 16.