May 30, 2013

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Public comments on Belleayre resort project

HIGHMOUNT – Well over 200 people attended a public comment session on the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center expansion and the modified Belleayre Resort at the Catskill Park on Wednesday night.

Between afternoon and evening sessions, 126 speakers were heard with comments split close to evenly in favor and against the project.

Model of proposed residential development

Major concerns about the resort were over environmental factors. Arguments in favor of the development were for job creation.

The private development will include two hotels and a spa. It will create over 500 permanent full time jobs.

Pam Ellsworth, of the Mark Project, is in favor of the expansion and the resort. If the Catskill region is to be a destination it needs accommodations, she said.

“We have less than 500 beds between Olivera, and Andes, and Roxbury; let’s think about it,” Ellsworth said.

Karen Charming of Shandaken feels that the effects of the destination resort will be devastating.

“Because it is a destination resort, rather than enhancing the existing community as the hype promises, it will suck the economic lifeblood out of them the same way that Wal-mart has driven smaller stores out of business in communities all across the country,” Charming said.

Several representatives of school districts spoke of the need for the economic benefit of the proposed projects in order to keep tax revenues and provide services for students.

The public hearings have ended but written comments will be accepted until July 24, 2013 and can be e-mailed to  or mailed to:

Daniel T. Whitehead
Regional Permit Administrator - NYSDEC 
21 South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561-1620


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