Soyuzivka resort undergoes facelift in preparation for new season
by Peter Steciuk
PARSIPPANY, N.J. - With the summer season fast approaching for the Soyuzivka resort, a renovation campaign is well under way. According to UNA president Stefan Kaczaraj, the resort has set the ambitious goal of doubling its occupancy and reducing operating expenses.
Achieving such a drastic increase in occupancy, he continued, will require Soyuzivka to attract more people to the resort by providing guests with a more pleasant experience - which is where the renovations come in.
Just a few weeks ago, the resort's dining room was demolished in order to install new walls, a new ceiling, new flooring, and a hard wired stereo system. The Main House lobby and library were converted into a temporary dining room and bar to accommodate guests during the dining room renovations, so that the experience of current guests could remain unaffected.
New carpeting has already been installed in the Karpaty and Chernivtsi buildings, and air conditioning is being installed in more rooms at the resort. Additionally, the Main House, Odesa and Lviv will all be painted.
Under the direction of Walt Nalywayko, the new outdoor recreation guru, the outdoor areas also will have a new look. A roller rink is being built next to the volleyball court, and a tiki bar will be built between the volleyball court and the pool.
For nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts, Soyuzivka has utilized a crew of dedicated volunteers to clear a trail to the nearby waterfall and cliffs, called the Hutsul Trail Loop. Marked with the Soyuzivka emblem of a Hutsul with a trembita, the trail will provide access to the beautiful scenery of the Shawangunk Mountains.
The renovations are only the first step of the campaign to reinvigorate Soyuzivka. A fund-raising campaign is currently under way that will provide the funds to continue making improvements to the resort and allow for more large-scale changes in the future.
Soyuzivka is also engaging in an advertising campaign because, as Mr. Kaczaraj observed, "We must attract people to the resort so they come and see the changes themselves and by staying also increase revenue for Soyuzivka."
According to the UNA president, the future of the resort depends largely on the community's response. So far, he reported, bookings are up. An increase in reservations this summer would signal the community's support of Soyuzivka and help the resort continue its renovation campaign. Mr. Kaczaraj stressed that improving Soyuzivka will require a collective effort, saying, "The emphasis has to be on each member of the Ukrainian community. All of the people need to participate."
Mr. Kaczaraj also reiterated a quote from a letter by the UNA Executive Committee to UNA members and friends: "Soyuzivka remains of prominent importance to our community, and is a symbol of the contribution Ukrainian Americans and the UNA have made to our American society. We should be proud of this accomplishment and be in a position to proudly share it with others outside our community who want to learn about our culture and enjoy the unique ambiance it provides."
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, June 22, 2003, No. 25, Vol. LXXI
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