Neighboring County Opposes Belleayre Expansion

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Publish Date

07/18/2013

SAM Magazine--July 18, 2013--A proposed $74 million expansion of Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, in Ulster County, N.Y., is being opposed by neighboring Greene County lawmakers. In a letter to the State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Greene County legislature claims that using taxpayer dollars for the expansion of the state-owned ski area would create unfair competition, would hurt private industries in Greene, as well as affect other, privately-owned ski areas Greene County, such as Windham and Hunter.

The letter opposes a draft revision of the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center Unit Management Plan developed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and put forth for public comment until July 24. For more on the expansion proposal, check out http://www.saminfo.com/news/belleayre-expansion-could-double-visits.

As of December 2012, Belleayre has been under the management of the Olympic Regional Development Authority, which also oversees Whiteface and Gore Mountain.

Comments

Effects will be felt in the Catskills and beyond

The manager at Belleayre stated in the Spring that expansion will provide capacity to increase visits from 4,500 per day to 9,000(weekends I assume). In an environment where skier visits nationally have been level at best, how in the world does Belleayre think they are going to create 4,500 new daily weekend skiers. This manager would have to think the increase would come from the other regional mountains. In addition to skimming from the other 3 Catskill mountains, Belleayre will also skim from the feeder ski areas just north of the city -Tuxedo Ridge, Mt Peter and Thunder Ridge- probably putting them on the brink of extinction. Further north, Catamount will feel some effects too. The Catskill and Hudson Valley ski areas all draw from the same market Belleayre draws from. Belleayre will grow at everyone's expense without having to grow from profitability. The State needs an independent study that shows the negative effects on the other ski areas. Plattekill will likely suffer the most but will still get my business.

FREE RIDE HURTS SMALL SKI AREAS

There are some small, family owned ski areas that work hard for every dollar they make, pay their taxes and crazy electric bills just to give a good ski experience. Tell me you get the same feeling skiing at Bellayere as you do skiing at Plattekill. 1100' vertical, great food and the friendliest atmosphere you can imagine. Go ahead and give the state owned ski area a bunch of money, if they don't turn a profit, they remain open. if a small area dosn't turn a profit, they go out of business and we loose another gem. Tell me a state worker is going to put their heart and soul into your ski experience like a small area and i will call you a liar. Sounds like another Montage Mountain in the making. the unfortunate part is that the money comes out of all of our pockets. Take some of this money and promote Catskill skiing as a whole and everyone benefits, the ski areas, the businesses, the employees and the skiers.

Bellayere Expansion

I often agree that government should not compete with the private sector but in this caseI think they should expand in the manner planned. The area around Bellayere is very depressed and could use the boost from a Bellayere expansion. Bellayere is a GEM and should be 'exploited' to foster the massive private sector expansion that would go on after expansion. I have skiied for 46 years and have been to 60 resorts in N AMerica and Bellayere is one of my favorites.

Tax Dollars

The local, state, and feds should stay out of the private sector. It is unfair to compete against a pot that never gets empty.

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