Waterport resident develops travel website to help people see all regions of New York
WATERPORT – Spending the summers at the family’s cottage on Lake Alice proved to be the guiding factor on deciding where Peter Bartnik would spend his retirement, while continuing to pursue his entrepreneurial interests.
Bartnik, who grew up in the Rochester suburb of Chili, went to Potsdam State College and got his bachelor’s degree in computer science, followed by a master’s in innovative marketing at Syracuse University.
He invented contact management software for an insurance company, and when he left there, he went into business on his own. He borrowed $7,000 from family and friends to start his business and his first sale was one copy of his software for $99.
At one point he didn’t want to be a programmer anymore and went to live with his brother in Massachusetts, where he got a job as a telemarketer.
“I became good at it,” he said.
He decided to move back to Rochester in 1991 and went to work for the Sutherland Group, a computer re-seller.
“I began to envision myself in the position I wanted to be,” Bartnik said. “I envisioned myself at the top of the board. In three months, I was there.”
Several other jobs followed, one with a company in Buffalo for 20 years. He ran their Rochester office until 2018. Lincoln Financial Group was their biggest customer, selling them more than 1,000 computers a year, he said.
“They asked me if we had an asset disposal company to take their old computers,” Bartnik said. “We do now,” was his answer.
He formed Computer Systems Asset Disposal and it grew rapidly. They did $100,000 worth of business the first year, and in five years hit $5 million.
Bartnik sold the company in 2020 for what he said was “enough money to retire comfortably.” And he did just that at the age of 55.
“June 2020 was the best month of my life,” he said. “I got married to the love of my life, sold my business and got a recording contract.”
Bartnik explained he also writes country music and his songs have been pitched to Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban.
The song he wrote for his dad is titled “The Man I Hope to Be.”
He has 13 songs under contract with Merf Records.
It was also 2020 when Bartnik bought the house next to his family’s cottage.
His current endeavor is an online venture called “SeeNewYorkWithUs.com,” in which he goes to places, such as restaurants, museums, wineries, cideries and distilleries.
“We don’t tell them we’re reviewing them,” Bartnik said.
He had met Kellie Schrader a few years ago and reconnected with her as videographer.
“She is a terrific videographer,” he said.
After reviewing a site, Bartnik puts together a “Daycation” and posts it on his website. He recently finished Medina, then started on a feature of the Buffalo waterfront and plans to do Cooperstown, Corning and Lockport next.
His website is on track to have 150,000 followers by the end of the year, and he projects one million followers next year.
His website is designed in a way that anyone with a smart phone can open it up, type in a location and up pops a map for everything to do in that area.
Bartnik has visited 26 countries and 39 states.
“I highlight all the great things to do in an area – small towns and big towns. I just love helping people have the best possible travel experiences,” he said.