WTF Is Up With Ski Day on the Ohio? Is Its Future in Doubt?
Thousands of boaters have hit the water for 103GBF’s Ski Day on the Ohio for more than 30 years. But Monday night , Henderson officials passed an ordinance wanting stricter regulations.
The new ordinance requires any organizer of a big event on private property to pay the county for any overtime deputies rack up while providing security. But for a party as big as Ski Day, the number adds up, and Ski Day’s organizer Rick O’Daniel/Sunny O’Beach says that’s money he just doesn’t have.
Ski Day on the Ohio is a free party for grown ups that brings thousands to Newburgh Beach in Henderson County.
But the boats and the beer mean extra bucks to beef up security and even with the help of sponsors, it might be too much for one man to pay.
Longtime promoter Rick O’Daniel approached the Henderson County Fiscal Court with concerns that charging event organizers for deputies’ overtime would sink Ski Day for good. “If it’s gonna cost me $5,000, I can’t afford it,” he says.
But the court voted unanimously to pass that ordinance, but not before discussing the dilemma O’Daniel and Henderson County face: how to cover the cost of monitoring those who misbehave. “They’re mostly good people and a couple of bad apples that cause all this,” O’Daniel says.
“We’re seeing a small majority of the people engaging in activities that if it’s not supervised, and it hasn’t been, people are getting hurt,” says Henderson County Sheriff Ed Brady.
Brady says that extra supervision by various agencies really adds up. “What if we have ten people in the county that want to have an event like this and they expect us to put in the overtime for 24 to 36 hours ahead of time at $5,000 a lick? That’s gonna put a burden on taxpayers,”
But even though Ski Day comes with a cost, neither side wants the party to end. “I don’t want to stop Ski Day,” Brady says. “I think it’s time to reel Ski Day in slightly.”
“Hopefully they’ll back me up and we’ll all collectively find a way to make this happen, because when it’s good, it’s great,” O’Daniel says. “It’s a tradition. Everybody knows about it. It’s like a holiday that is just for us. And I’m not gonna stop.”
It’ll just take teamwork to keep the tradition afloat.
There’s a lot more info on what’s going on as told by Sunny O’Beach himself. Click here.
Some of the information for this article comes courtesy Eyewitness News Lindsey Merwin