A new vision for the old VisionQuest site – Oil City Derrick

Variably cloudy with snow showers. High 21F. Winds light and variable. Chance of snow 40%..
Partly cloudy skies early will give way to cloudy skies late. Low 7F. Winds light and variable.
Updated: January 30, 2022 @ 1:16 pm
ARRC Mountain owners Kevin and Tami Barthen look out over the view of the Allegheny River from the Sandycreek Township property.
ARRC Mountain owners Kevin and Tami Barthen talk about a map of the property.
Tami Barthen shows a picture of the remains of a building that was used in the process of pumping oil in the early 1900s from land on where ARRC Mountain stands, while her husband, Kevin, Barthen looks on. The wood and mesh wire walls separating the axe-throwing targets from each other (in the background) were built with wood from the oil building.
Tami and Kevin Barthen show the Ace of Spades axes used at ARRC Mountain’s axe-throwing facility. These axes are the same type of axe used by many professionals at the international level.
Kevin Barthen, who co-owns ARRC Mountain in Sandycreek Township with his wife, Tami, explains the technique of axe-throwing, a recreational activity that has been growing in popularity.

ARRC Mountain owners Kevin and Tami Barthen look out over the view of the Allegheny River from the Sandycreek Township property.
ARRC Mountain owners Kevin and Tami Barthen talk about a map of the property.
Tami Barthen shows a picture of the remains of a building that was used in the process of pumping oil in the early 1900s from land on where ARRC Mountain stands, while her husband, Kevin, Barthen looks on. The wood and mesh wire walls separating the axe-throwing targets from each other (in the background) were built with wood from the oil building.
Tami and Kevin Barthen show the Ace of Spades axes used at ARRC Mountain’s axe-throwing facility. These axes are the same type of axe used by many professionals at the international level.
Kevin Barthen, who co-owns ARRC Mountain in Sandycreek Township with his wife, Tami, explains the technique of axe-throwing, a recreational activity that has been growing in popularity.
When VisionQuest announced four years ago that it would close, there was much speculation as to what would become of the Sandycreek Township facility that had housed troubled and at-risk youths. At one time, VisionQuest was listed as one of the county’s top 10 employers.
Enter Allegheny River Retreat Center, which hopes to economically reinvigorate the Franklin-area property on South Penn Road, near Old Route 8.
According to Brian Cross, ARRC’s soon-to-be appointed chief financial officer, plans are to bring a host of recreational activities, employment opportunities, tourism and redevelopment to the property, now known as AARC Mountain.
And, that plan got underway this past fall with an activity that has been growing in popularity nationwide — axe-throwing.
“As we waited for the grant funding to be realized for the overall project, we pondered what we could do in the interim and be financially feasible to attract people to ARRC Mountain and let them know we exist,” Cross said. “The idea of axe-throwing came up as we learned of similar amenities across the nation.
“With a lot of elbow grease, we knew we could construct a simple but first class attraction.”
Cross said the goals are simple — provide an atmosphere for families, individuals and groups to enjoy a safe, comfortable place to enjoy good food and try their hand at a new recreational opportunity.
The response to axe-throwing, he said, has been encouraging.
“We’ve hosted a couple of private groups, which was well-received,” Cross said. “Around the holidays, we began to promote axe-throwing to the community in general.”
Cross said he and his team are focused on making the development of ARRC Mountain into a tangible benefit to stakeholders, employees, customers, suppliers, the community and those who simply pass through.
Each aspect of the business plan, according to Cross, is centered on invigorating the family, increasing employment opportunities and enhancing the social aspects of recreation.
ARRC Mountain also intends to have an archery range, basketball courts, bike trails, fishing pier, boating, cabins, rustic camping, gun range, a rope course and swimming. A lodge and conference center also is planned, as well as an amphitheater for worship services and music.
Cross said he and his team believe that, in addition to the economic aspect, the shared experiences will enhance positive relationships between individuals, families, groups and corporations.
Although the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge, he is optimistic 2022 will be a year of progress.
“We are working closely with those associated with the grant funding for the project,” Cross said. “Certainly, as it has with many sectors of the economy, COVID has impacted the timing of the funding for the project.
“Based on recent discussions, it is our hope to see progress with this current hurdle and believe it will occur in 2022.”

Axe-throwing, a competitive sport once associated with lumberjacks, is now a worldwide recreation.
Hours
Monday/Tuesday: closed 
Wednesday/Thursday: 4 to 8 p.m. 
Friday: 4 to 9 p.m. 
Saturday: 1 to 9 p.m. 
Sunday: 1 to 8 p.m. 
For More Information
(833) 843-1771 
https://arrcmountain.com
Oil City police said they are searching for a man who was last seen on Jan. 14 in the area of Wabash Avenue.
SCHOLASTIC BOYS BASKETBALL: Rocky Grove 55, Reynolds 35; Cranberry 47, Venango Catholic 33; Keystone 50, Allegheny-Clarion Valley 45; Redbank Valley 77, Clarion 56; North Clarion 77, Moniteau 68; Clarion-Limestone 87, Forest Area 19; Karns City 61, Union 57
The following school districts have issued a two-hour delay for Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022:
When VisionQuest announced four years ago that it would close, there was much speculation as to what would become of the Sandycreek Township facility that had housed troubled and at-risk youths. At one time, VisionQuest was listed as one of the county’s top 10 employers.
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Boys basketball: Bishop Canevin 70, Franklin 52; Oil City 49, Corry 45; Rocky Grove 60, Jamestown 44; Clarion 59, Cranberry 43; Clarion-Limestone 77, Venango Catholic 39; Keystone 63, Forest Area 23; North Clarion 53, Karns City 36; Grove City 41, Slippery Rock 33; Saegertown 62, Cochranton 52
The following schools have issued a two-hour delay due to poor road conditions for today, Jan. 25, 2022:
Boys basketball: Lakeview 51, Rocky Grove 31; Keystone 64, Cranberry 30
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Wrestling: Warren 33, Franklin 25
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has restored the normal speed limits on both Interstates 80 and 79.
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Boys Basketball: Oil City 35, Fairview 30; Franklin 72, Sharpsville 38; Farrell 48, Rocky Grove 44; Keystone 48, Venango Catholic 30; Karns City 36, Allegheny-Clarion Valley 33; Clarion 65, Clarion-Limestone 56, 2 OT; Cathedral Prep 52, Grove City 41; Union City 60, Cochranton 49
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Swimming: (Boys) Oil City 113, Farrell 5; Franklin 87, Titusville 75; (Girls) Oil City 113, Farrell 6; Titusville 107, Franklin 63
Wrestling: Cochranton 62, Maplewood 10
Wrestling: Corry 39, Cochranton 27
Area residents spent much of Monday digging out from a major storm that dumped about a foot of snow across the region from Sunday afternoon into Monday morning.
The following school districts have issued two hour delays for Tuesday, Jan. 18:
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Girls Basketball: Franklin 57, Sharon 40; Lakeview 42, Seneca 35
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Girls Basketball: Franklin 49, Oil City 27; Allegheny-Clarion Valley 39, Cranberry 28; Karns City 36, Venango Catholic 33; Union 51, Keystone 31; Clarion-Limestone 46, North Clarion 43; Clarion 37, Moniteau 24
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Scholastic Swimming: (Boys) Franklin 66, Slippery Rock 22; (girls) Slippery Rock 114, Franklin 56
The Venango Area Chamber of Commerce has recognized Dr. David Wagner as the chamber’s 2021 Citizen of the Year.
Boys Basketball: Corry 52, Cochranton 41
Boys Basketball: Franklin 64, Slippery Rock 45; Oil City 61, Fort LeBoeuf 47; Cranberry 63, Forest Area 18; Redbank Valley 64, Venango Catholic 21; Union 50, Moniteau 40; Clarion-Limestone 58, Allegheny-Clarion Valley 47; Karns City 43, Clarion 31; Cambridge Springs 64, Cochranton 59
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Boys basketball: Union 52, North Clarion 50; Clarion 84, A-C Valley 35; Cochranton 46, Youngsville 31; Franklin 60, Grove City 30; Karns City 44, Moniteau 37; Venango Catholic 56, Forest Area 22
Scholastic Swimming: (Boys) Franklin 92, Grove City 58; Oil City 100, Slippery Rock 52; (Girls) Franklin 82, Grove City 81; Slippery Rock 104, Oil City 66
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BOYS BASKETBALL: Franklin 81, Hickory 69; Oil City 60, Conneaut Area 32; Rocky Grove 63, Commodore Perry 20; Grove City 54, Sharon 33; Cochranton 47, Maplewood 20
History was made Monday as Marie Veon was sworn as the first female judge in Venango County history during ceremonies at the county courthouse.
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