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My wife told me today that she saw online that potato city is closing in late April and they are going to auction everything off. Such a shame. That place was an iconic landmark to us as we have camp on Denton hill. I remember when I was young before cell phones we would go there to use the pay phone to call back home once a day to report while staying at camp. Hopefully someone buys it and keeps it going. Although it seems a long of places are closing up shop up there. Seems to be quite a few more homes for sale up there then usual as of late. All good things must come to an end I guess.
 

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I agree that it stinks, but it's not surprising. The guy who owned it also used to own the Sylvania restaurant down by Ulysses that also closed down a few years ago. The food was okay to pretty good, but the prices were high for what you got. Every time I've been in there, there just weren't many other people in there. And that level of support will not keep a place open for long. Where it sits, there is just not enough local population to support it year round and the seasonal support, like many places in the NC region of PA has dwindled over the past 10-20 years. Running a business in that region of the state is not what it once was.
 

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Been by there a few times, friends built a home on A Frame Rd. across the street, they were big time Snowmobilers..
 

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It's being torn down and will eventually be the site of a new State Police Station.
 

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It's not really relevant and I don't know why this thread brought it back to me but late last spring I got a flat tire coming across Billy Lewis Road and I pulled over to change it in the Potato City parking lot. That was around 7:30 pm on a Saturday and there were only a couple cars in the lot.
 

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kudu58 my parents and I haven't been in there in years either, but I heard several rumors over the years they weren't doing to well. big bear are you sure on that , the State Police just built a new barracks not far from there about ten years ago ,this is the first I heard of this
 

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kudu58 my parents and I haven't been in there in years either, but I heard several rumors over the years they weren't doing to well. big bear are you sure on that , the State Police just built a new barracks not far from there about ten years ago ,this is the first I heard of this
Yes. The "new" station was built around 20 years ago. They don't own the current building and will not own the new one. It's leased and the lease is apparently up.
 

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I suspect the closing of Denton Hill ski area many years ago, had a lot to do with the eventual demise of Potato City and many other area businesses around there that once relied on non-hunting tourism to remain afloat?

Tourism across the north central seems to have been on the decline for quite some time. For years we avoided going on Rt. 6 between Gaines and Rt. 362, going to and from camp in the fall. Slow poke Leaf peepers often clogged that road at times. Hasn't been much of a problem the past few autumns.

Snowmobiling was big decades ago. Too many winters without enough snow, put the whammy on that one. Back in the 70s and 80s, most of my cousins that live up there had sleds. None do now, nor have they for years.

Quite a few folks from down home also went up with their sleds, some bought camps mostly for snowmobiling. Over time many of them either sold their sleds, or started going farther north into NY and Canada to ride.

ATVs and then UTVS were a big deal for quite a few years after snowmobiles fizzled. Can remember going up from Lyman Run to Rt. 6 each Memorial Day weekend and seeing huge clouds of dust where the ATV trails run up to Potato City. Last few years, not so much. Last year there were hardly any ATVs around that I saw.

And yeah, hunting tourism has also declined, as more people find deer and turkeys closer to home these days and hunting numbers continue to decline generally. What was once the biggest "age" group of hunters are now getting into their late 60s and early 70s, not enough youngsters coming along to keep numbers up.
 

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I'd have to beg to differ on how heavily used the Denton Hill ATV trail is used. It's busier than it's ever been in addition to the connecting township roads. I would venture the biggest loss of income to potato city is directly across the road from them. The Potter County Family Campground is seemingly always full with most of the campers having ATVs. If that wasn't there where would they stay?
 

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I go past there every Memorial Day Sunday and have for the past 40+ years.

Can't speak to any other period, but ATV use had increased quite a bit, before and after the road was closed for the new dam construction a few years ago. Obviously I wasn't going up thru there when the road was closed?

Lyman Run SP was once packed with ATVs on those Sundays, lots at the park were full of vehicles/trailers and the dust was thick up on the Potato City end, when we got out there to go on Rt. 6 and back to Rt. 449.

I've noticed a drop off in ATV activity there the past two years, when we pass thru there on that Sunday, from what it once was.

We have a family gathering each Labor Day weekend between North Bingham and Ulysses. The gravel Twp. road past there is an ATV trail. Used to have "caravans" of ATVs going past there, dozen or more at a time. Far less of them running around there the past few years.
 

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The Motor Inn was once featured on a PBS station covering places to eat along Route 6.
They claimed to have over 60 varieties of Mashed Potatoes on the menu.
Very Sad.
 

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My guess is that if you could look at the financial books of a lot of these businesses that have gone under, you would find that they started going in the "Red" shortly after HR took affect. I think it's safe to say that operating a business in the northern tier is pretty much a hard scrabble way to make a living; but with fewer hunters visiting that region during hunting season and otherwise, it was enough to really put the lid on their operations.
Very sad to see.
 
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