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Utica's Winter Sports Center, Val Bialas, offers skiing and much more

By Cindy McNicholl

Owner, Mark Ford, talks about some of the newer features at Val Bialas, including a lot of space for snowboarders and tube lifts.

Val Bialas features a Terrain Park for snowboarding, a tube lift to make tubing all fun and no work, ice skating, cross country skiing and lessons, too.  You can even book parties in the Chalet there.  Since all activities are subject to weather conditions and are available on different days, it's best to contact the facility for prices and hours.  The phone number is 315-266-0453 or visit their website.


Some background about Val Bialas:

There are 2 cities in the USA with ski areas wholy contained in their borders.   Utica is one.

In 1954, this center was dedicated to Utica's own Val Bialas.   Val was a 3 time Olympian from Utica NY.  He competed in the speed skating events at the 1924, 1928 and 1932 Winter Olympic games.  

Val was actually on his way to the US Time Trials for the 1936 Olympics with 3 other Olympians, when their car was involved in an accident with a train.   Val lost one of his legs, but not his spirit. 

Val later became an accomplished golfer, and was later appointed Commissioner of Parks for the City of Utica. 

You will now find pictures of Val throughout the ski chalet.    Ice skating has also returned to the area that bears his name.

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