BUCHANAN, Mich. – "Thrill on the Hill," in Buchanan, Mich.
It's in it's second year, but not everyone is thrilled by it.
"Thrill on the Hill" was just a two-day event over the weekend, but with the snow machine and other expenses, it wasn't cheap. And for some, it wasn't all that thrilling. Many families ended up sledding someplace else in Buchanan for free.
It looks thrilling, but this isn't where "Thrill on the Hill" is actually at. The event is on East Front Street.
Families sled down a hill behind Buchanan High School. "And we did go downtown to "Thrill on the Hill," which wasn't very thrilling, and we knew this was here so we thought we'd come check this out and this has been much more fun," said sledder Allison Janushowski.
"It was just a small 30 feet or so ramp to go, I thought it might be the whole street. It's all about the speed and having fun and that didn't happen so that's why we came here," said sledder Joanne Goetz.
Fun factor aside, there's a bigger reason why some people in the community aren't too thrilled about "Thrill on the Hill." Between renting the snow machine, materials for the ramp and other expenses, the event costs nearly $20,000.
"They could've utilized I don't know with the board of education. They could've utilized this area. They have a whole field there for football. They have plenty of parking, it's free, you don't have to close any streets off. I definitely think it would've been more cost effective to have it here," said sledder Amy Majors.
"We're 20 to 1, positive to negative, look around, look around at the people, we couldn't carry this event off in that area over there. It just wouldn't have the same effect, wouldn't have the same impact on the city," said City Manager Bill Marx.
Marx estimates revenues from the event will cover nearly half of the expenses this year. In two years, he expects "Thrill on the Hill" to start turning a profit. "It's not an expenditure that doesn't pay itself back. We're not wasting tax dollars. We're actually using tax dollars to better develop the city," Marx said.
"And I think when people see that this can be a success, they'll come here from other communities and learn to really enjoy Buchanan because it's a great community," said Kristien Dies, who supports the event.
Revenues from "Thrill on the Hill" will eventually go to Buchanan Parks and Recreation. That is when and if this event begins to turn a profit. Marx does have a ten year plan for the event, which includes buying a snow machine with permission from the city commission. A snow machine runs about $14,000.