The Bayers Lake Business Association is finished.
At a special meeting convened on February 23, the remaining board members agreed to shut down the association and began making preparations to wind up its financial affairs.
The decision came of the heels of two key losses. First, the association's Chair, Andrew Lloy, tendered his resignation upon the closing of his employer in the park, Carsand Mosher. In the days following his announcement, the association's treasurer, Lori Nason of Cranberry Stained Glass, also tendered her resignation citing a need to focus on her own business.
Although these moves may have triggered the decision to dissolve the group, the association has struggled for some time to attract attention and new membership. Several membership initiatives - including the development of a significant website and accompanying print flyer in cooperation with Eclipse Media Group - failed to attract a broad representation within the park.
Despite its struggles, the six-year-old association certainly has some significant achievements to its credit. The expansion of sidewalks along the upper portion of Chain Lake Drive, improved transit service and the creation of a third entrance/exit to the park via Washmill Lake Drive are were all spearheaded by the association, working in concert with area councilors Mary Wile and Debbie Hum.
Brian Pestill, past chair of the association, regrets the demise of the association, especially coming just in advance of the start of one of the park's largest periods of expansion. The proposed Banc development in Bayers Lake will see the park more than double in size.
"It's a shame," Pestill says, "because there's going to be a lot going on in this park over the next few years."
Pestill is convinced there's still a role for a business association to play in Bayers Lake, but he is equally convinced it would need a full-time person to run it in order to take it to the level where it would be a sustainable voice for the betterment of the park.
The association has looked at the idea of forming a business improvement district in the past, but the broad-based support need to successfully undertake such a project was never evident.