Robert Bomba credits his profession as a cross-country ski and golf shop manager at a vacation resort in New Paltz, N.Y. to his upbringing in Ridgway.
Bomba works at Mohonk Mountain House, a 266-room Victorian castle resort in the mid-Hudson Valley region of New York with 2,200 acres of property.
Mohonk offers access to 85 miles of hiking trails, tennis, golf, lake swimming, boating, ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and children's programs.
In the winter time, Bomba is the cross-country ski manager overseeing the cross-country skiing and snowshoe operations at the resort.
“We have a ski shop on property and 35 miles of trail system that we maintain for cross country skiing as well as some additional snowshoe trails,” Bomba said.
In the warmer months, Bomba oversees the operations of the golf shop.
Bomba began his work at Mohonk after an internship at the resort in 1994.
“After finishing my senior year of college, I returned here [Mohonk Mountain] and I have been working here ever since,” Bomba said. “I started out as a recreation intern and then worked my way up to a supervisor position to eventually where I am now.
“I worked corporate recreation for many years doing recreational activities for corporate groups and family reunions and working all aspects of the recreational area.”
Besides his love for the outdoors, another aspect he enjoys about his job is the opportunity it provides to meet people.
“I get the opportunity of being on the go and meeting a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds,” Bomba said. “Not only through who you work with, but with guests who come from all over the world. Mohonk is 142 years old and there have been families coming from many different generations, so I get to know many different families over the years.”
Bomba graduated from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh in 1995 with a B.S. in business administration and a focus in sports management.
“I was looking at internships and there is a national organization called RCRA [Resort Commercial Recreation Association] and they have a national conference every year and it's a neat place to go for college students looking for internships in resort recreation,” Bomba said. “So I went back in 1993 and by dumb luck it happened to be at Mohonk.
“I interviewed for several resort properties all over the country and I was given an offer from Mohonk. I wanted to work there because it was a similar environment to growing up in Ridgway and one thing led to another and I ended up sticking around.”
Bomba still looks forward to returning home to spend time with his parents, Ted and Carol Bomba, and his two sisters.
“I usually get back three times a year,” Bomba said. “I have a lot of great childhood memories of growing up in Ridgway.
“I miss the laid back atmosphere, I'm only 90 miles north of New York City, so it's nice to get back and relax.”