Why are you doing this, really?
This is not a simple answer. Not to be negative, but we are not heading in a good direction as a society. Too many people are out of work, not enough folks are happy, and a large part of our youth is doomed to debt and unhappiness. Simply put, we feel if more people were actually doing what they are passionate about everyday, we all would benefit in innumerable ways. There are organizations and individuals doing this type of work, but it must not be enough as we are losing ground way too fast; something big and bold has to happen, now!
When will ZIPPER JUNCTION™ open?
As soon as possible, but realistically this is a multi year project to get of the ground. Although huge amounts of time and work have gone into feasibility, plans, connections, and more, opening day is well off. But do not be discouraged, we will be engaged and transparent throughout the ENTIRE process.
How much will this all cost and where will the money come from?
A LOT and from MANY places. The budgets involved are huge and the methods to raise the funds are similar in size. In fact, three major waves of fund raising are planned. The types of solutions range from huge philanthropic grant giving organizations on one extreme to crowd funding from thousands of individuals on the other extreme. One thing is for certain, we will finance this project with funds in hand only, no debt!
Why build it in Northeast Pennsylvania, why not a more populated place like Philadelphia or New York?
First off, cost. It would be terribly cost prohibitive to build something this large in a big city, even if land could be secured, which would be challenging as we need several hundred acres. Second, NEPA is geographically centered within 55 million people only two hundred miles or less away. We are not only building a true destination, it will greatly impact the surrounding areas in a positive way.
What can I do to help?
GET INVOLVED! Call us, email us, send smoke signals, but whatever you do, get involved. We need folks to directly help in the process, we need folks to share all our social media content to get the word out, we need folks to support us in any way they can, and we need donations……lots of donations! You can get involved by clicking HERE!
If ZIPPER JUNCTION™ is not even built yet, where are all these pictures from?
Although ZIPPER JUNCTION™ is but a plan at this point, it is a VERY detailed plan, and as such, tremendous amounts of thought have gone into all the details of the facility, programs, and activities that will be built. In order to convey all this information, hundreds of places were visited and thousands of photos reviewed and acquired that represent as closely as possible what is envisioned. No, the photos are not of the actual facility, but they do represent it very well for purposes of illustration.
What is an experience and opportunity factory?
ZIPPER JUNCTION™ was conceived and designed as a place where people of all ages can come to see, feel, engage in, and be a part of activates that they normally cannot otherwise. The concept of a factory is one in which we consciously manufacture real experiences and real opportunities that most people would normally not get to be a part of so closely. There are three versions of a ZIPPER JUNCTION™ experience as well. One is the casual observer, anyone who may come in at any time to see various activities. Then there is the engagement perspective where someone can be involved in what is going on; there are many levels to that in and of itself. Then there is the operational side of things, the actual activities and places that make ZIPPER JUNCTION™ work. The neat thing is that ALL of this is open to everyone to see, experience, and take opportunity from.
Once ZIPPER JUNCTION™ is up and running, how will it sustain itself?
The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ is a non-profit entity, but that is where the line is drawn in terms of charitable business philosophy. Although we can solicit donations from everyone and anyone, which we intend to do, we also realize that our core purpose, our mission, can also generate revenue from operations, as long as the operations align with our mission. We intend to operate as a for profit would in terms of operations, but our only goal of profit is in the individuals lives we touch and make better, everything else goes right back into our mission, however it is generated.
Why can’t this start out small and grow over time?
This has been asked many times in different ways. Simply put ZIPPER JUNCTION™ is envisioned to be operated as one large machine. Imagine a car that only had the body built but the engine and wheels added later. All the parts are critical to all the others to operate correctly and must be present from the get go. Sometimes the whole must be built with all important parts from the very beginning. This is not to say things can never be added or improved upon, but the core elements must be present from day one.
What about security in a place like this, so many people?
Security has been on our mind since conception. In today’s world it has to be, unfortunately. But, as with all things that first appear as problems, opportunities always present themselves. In true ZIPPER JUNCTION™ fashion, programs were designs around security and law enforcement, modeling some of it from other programs in other places. But as with everything within ZIPPER JUNCTION™, these programs and facilities had to tie into all the others with purpose, and of course they did. So yes, security is very important, and yes we considered it and included it heavily in design, but we also made it a positive overall element to be embraced and not feared.
How would this help local businesses?
We consider local businesses just as important as local residents so just as much thought went into including them and helping them to grow and thrive. At first glance, some of the operations within ZIPPER JUNCTION™ may seem at odds with and even in competition with local businesses. The first thing that a lot of folks think about is food and lodging. Won’t the local restaurants and hotels and motels lose business if we have these elements as well? The answer is really quite simple. Although we will have these things within our operation, they are intentionally scaled to be too small, nudging folks to visit all the local establishments. In fact, the idea is to actually give all the local businesses a presence within ZIPPER JUNCTION™, a kiosk for all the restaurants with their menus and a direct phone to their front desks for example, as a way to get these options easily available to anyone visiting. We want to help the local business, not hurt them, it just requires a bit of alternative thinking.
Will the programs, facilities, and general operations of ZIPPER JUNCTION™ be accessible to people with physical and/or mental limitations?
ZIPPER JUNCTION™ was always thought of as a set of programs and facilities that were based on an open source philosophy, which by nature relies upon openness and inclusion of participants. To that end we intend to make as much as possible available to as many people as possible, regardless of any limitations they may have. Of course safety would be a concern for some activities, but generally speaking, yes, we intend to make the experiences and opportunities of our core mission available to everyone, in one way or another. Under certain circumstances, we intend to evaluate on a case by case basis if we unfortunately did not allow for a particular situation in advance.