Mark Ford has operated Val Bialas for the last 7 seasons and now that operation will be taken over by the city of Utica.

Ford said "we're basically losing the fight I have fought with Mother Nature," in his resignation. "During the last two years, we were open only six days."

2 major improvements were made during the time Ford ran the ski area. "First we changed all the on slope lighting to LED saving money and lighting," said Ford. "In the offseason we went in and cleaned the ski runs of all the overgrowth. That returned the runs back to the original size, in most cases, it made the runs a football field wide from top to bottom. That was the original width of the runs back 60 years in the ski areas heyday."

Mayor Robert Palmieri thanked Ford for his time operating the ski area in a statement and said the city has been working to determine the best way to move forward. "The city's goal at this point is to operate the ski area on a limited basis when the weather conditions allow."

No matter who runs the ski area the biggest challenge will be dealing with Mother Nature.

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