Why Save the Mountain?
The Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park is a huge development proposed to be located on Belleayre Mountain at the intersection of Routes 28 and 49A in Highmount, NY, with buildings and roads continuing up the steep slopes to over 3000' in elevation. The location is within in the Catskill Park, in the NYC Watershed and borders constitutionally protected, forever wild forest preserve lands rich in wildlife, on the West side of the taxpayer owned, DEC managed Belleayre Ski Center. Read more.
Photo Credit: Mark Loete
JAN 21, 2010 NY State confirms sale of 1200 acre Big Indian plateau property, part of the Belleayre Resort AIP, to be completed shortly:
NY Closing on 3 Land Deals Despite Moratorium Plan
By MICHAEL VIRTANEN, Associated Press
ALBANY -- The Paterson administration is completing deals to buy the last two undeveloped Finger Lakes, 1,220 acres in the Catskills and conservation rights to 89,000 acres of Adirondack timberlands while halting other purchases of wilderness and open space in New York.
The Department of Environmental Conservation said Thursday current dedicated funds will be used to buy 3-mile long Canadice Lake and 7-mile-long Hemlock Lake, which provide Rochester with water. The state will also close on the Big Indian parcel by Belleayre Ski Center in the Catskills and an easement on former Finch Pruyn timberlands mainly in the central Adirondacks.
"These projects have been in the works for years," DEC spokesman Yancey Roy said. Prices were not disclosed.
READ full AP story at Albany Times Union.
DEC 30, 2009 WAMC radio
Dean Gitter of Crossroads Ventures says he's back and the real estate project is once again "full speed ahead."
- Signed land contract with the State for the 1200 acre Big Indian parcel
- Sale will close in the first part of January -- no word on the price
- Crossroads SDEIS will be out by the end of January
- Developer to go before the Middletown and Shandaken Planning Boards shortly
DEC 3, 2009, Resort developer says land transfer will be completed
HIGHMOUNT — The line in the sand is gone. It was nearly three months ago that environmental groups that had signed onto an agreement with the developers of the proposed Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park warned they may back out of the deal should the developers not transfer 1,200 acres in Big Indian to the state within 60 days.
But well past the Nov. 13 deadline the groups imposed on Crossroads Ventures, those groups have not withdrawn from the agreement, which would spare those 1,200 acres from development and allow the $400 million resort to be built a couple of miles away. Full Story.
UPDATE: AUG 21, 2009, District 2 Legislator reports that Crossroads withdrew it's request for the license as revised by the UC Legislature.
Lawyers demanded "licenses" (development easements) from Ulster County, to raise the sale price from NY taxpayers to Crossroads to well-above current fair market value for the vacant Big Indian parcel in the NYC Ashokan watershed, "or else." UC's revised "license" was withdrawn.
Crossing Argeement PDF | Lenefsky Letter Big Indian Parcel PDF | Havranek Letter PDF
AUG 13, 2009 Phoenicia Times by Brian Powers
Is Crossroads Gambling? Spitzer-Gitter Deal On The Ropes Over Forest Land Appraisal Issue
AUG 9, 2009 Daily Freeman by Jay Braman Jr.
Resort's request for small parcel could cause big problems Read Article
AUG 6, 2009 MidHudson News
Ulster lawmakers hold off on Crossroads Venture license Read Article
MAY 29, 2009 Former DEP Commissioner Al Appleton on the proposed Belleayre Resort and other real estate development at Sierra Club event in NYC. VIEW VIDEO
MAY 28, 2009 Bellearye Resort discussion at Sierra Club water event, NYC. Sierra Club's Carolyn Zolas and Julie McQuain on Belleayre Resort and other threats to Catskill Mountains and NYC Water. VIEW VIDEO
JUNE 17, 2009 Hudson Valley Magazine - Both Sides Now: Two not-so-different visions for the Hudson River Valley by Lynn Woods READ ARTICLE
Tamarack Resort Closes; Employees cut loose
MAR 4, 2009 DONNELLY, Idaho (AP) By Jessie L. Bonner Tamarack Resort closes; employees cut loose Three months after Marcos Salvador was hired to wash dishes at a swanky ski resort in the central Idaho mountains, he stood alongside Roseberry Road in the frigid cold and tried to hitch a ride to his last day of work. Salvador, a 24-year-old college student from Peru, was among an estimated 250 employees being let go as Tamarack closed down Wednesday after four years of operation. (full story)
|Much land within Catskill Park is privately owned. ADK Map shows how much private land is above 2500 feet, as is the Highmount Spa development portion of the proposed Belleayre Resort.|
FEB 25, 2009 by Jay Braman Jr. Group wants stimulus funds used at Belleayre: The Coalition to Save Belleayre wants federal economic stimulus funds to be used at the state-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Center.
JAN 6, 2009 Judge dismisses Gitter libel suit against paper
By WILLIAM J. KEMBLE, Correspondent
PHOENICIA — A state Supreme Court judge has rejected a libel suit against the Phoenicia Times newspaper for publication of a letter with claims that developer Dean Gitter has used lobbying efforts as a form of bribing officials.
Phoenicia Times officials on Monday announced the Dec. 15 decision rejecting Gitter’s suit by acting state Supreme Court Justice Henry F. Zwack, who wrote that a letter using the name “Bonnie Grant” was an opinion about what a lobbyist represents.
"The court finds that the average reader of this letter would conclude what while it may be the writer’s opinion that bribery by (Gitter) may have occurred, the facts set forth by the writer only state that (Gitter) paid a lobbying firm, which is not disputed and is not a crime,” Zwack wrote.
Gitter has proposed the Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park straddling the border of Ulster and Delaware counties and comprising two complexes — one with a 250-room hotel and 139 townhouse-style lodging units surrounding an 18-hole golf course; the other with a 120-room hotel and spa, 60 lodging units in two buildings and another 60 detached units in up to 52 buildings. Read full story.
DEC, town leaders discuss Belleayre Resort
DEC 9, 2008 A State Department of Environmental Conservation representative has contacted the supervisors of the two towns most affected by the proposed Belleayre Resort review. The description of those exchanges differ between the supervisors of the towns of Shandaken and Middletown. Read full story.
Belleayre Resort opponents say cash-strapped state should withdraw funding
11/19/2008 By JAY BRAMAN JR.
OPPONENTS of the Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park see an opportunity in the state’s budget crisis, asking Gov. David Paterson to reconsider the $60 million in state money earmarked for the proposed public/private project.
In a November 16 letter to Governor Paterson, the Catskill Heritage Alliance, a 500-member grassroots community and environmental organization, wrote: “In our current crisis, when so much is being asked of so many, this kind of public spending to support private interests makes no sense at all.” Read full story | Read Letter to Gov Paterson
Save the Mountain, HART, WOMA, Catskilll Heritage Alliance members and others attended the meeting on September 13, 2008 wearing STM t-shirts, stickers and hats to show support for public Belleayre Mountain and its ski center, part of Catskill Park and forest preserve. They pointed out that, in a time of budget cuts, using scarce taxpayer dollars to enable a private proposed real estate development to abut, surmount and possibly overwhelm it, poses a serious threat to this treasured public, DEC-run facility.
DEC 9, 2008 Daily Freeman DEC, town leaders discuss Belleayre Resort
NOV 26, 2008 Daily Freeman EDITORIAL: Political vulturism
NOV 19, 2008 WAMC Radio: Susan Barnett Belleayre Resort Foes to Governor: Cut Spending Here! As New York legislators try to regroup after yesterday's aborted negotiations, some neighbors of a proposed resort in the Catskills say they have a proposal that could save some money - put the Belleayre Resort on hold. Hudson Valley bureau chief Susan Barnett reports.
OCT 7, 2008 Daily Freeman Cahill says he's OK with funding from state for Belleayre Mountain
Read Scoping Comments
Ulster County Environment Committee Scoping Letter
Orange County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs SPARC and Stewart Park & Reserve Coalition OCFSC joint comments
The Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park is a huge development proposed to be located on Belleayre Mountain at the intersection of Routes 28 and 49A in Highmount, NY, with buildings and roads continuing up the steep slopes to over 3000' in elevation. The location is within in the Catskill Park, in the NYC Watershed and borders constitutionally protected, forever wild forest preserve lands rich in wildlife, on the West side of the taxpayer owned, DEC managed Belleayre Ski Center.
Photo Credit: Mark Loete
The Belleayre Resort proposed by Crossroads Ventures, LLC with partners Dean Gitter, Emily Fisher and Ken Pasternak, now consists of two developments totaling 629 "units" of various sizes, an 18-hole golf course, driving range, clubhouse, two hotels, two spas -- one underground, five restaurants, ten retail stores, a conference center with a 12,000 sf footprint but unknown number of stories, parking, guest and service roads, gates, security guards, street lighting, service buildings and other structures not yet detailed. More details of the plan are below.
Many local residents, community and environmental groups are standing firm in their opposition to the scale of this project, its impact on the rural communities, picturesque hamlets and protected trout streams, and in particular to some of the buildings and roads built on very steep slopes and at elevations not usually allowed.
Please join our efforts to make this a good project, of sensible size, to enhance, not destroy the Catskill Park and the co-existing wildlife, towns and communities.
Here are the details of the Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park, proposed for steep slopes on Belleayre Mountain, the location is in the Catskill Park, the NYC Watershed, and borders constitutionally protected, forever wild forest preserve.
The "Deal" covers the Wildacres Resort whose plans, although constantly changing, have been public for some time, and the NEW Highmount Resort that was unveiled to the public for the first time by NY's Governor Eliot Spitzer in a press conference on September 5, 2007. View resort plan.
The information below is taken directly from a binding legal agreement, called the Agreement in Principle (AIP) that was negotiated in secret at the direction of Governor Spitzer. The negotiations were held in the Governor's chambers, under the direction of Deputy Commissioner Judith Enck.
The AIP, signed by Crossroads developer Dean Gitter, the Governor's staff and some members of the Catskill Preservation Coalition, caused the dissolution of the Coalition as other member organizations DID NOT AGREE. The list of which members did, and which did not agree to sign, is listed in the Who's Who. The developer's information has yet to be thoroughly verified. What is listed below was agreed to in principle by the signatories, and they are now legally bound to support it.
Belleayre Resort NOW consists of 2 developments:
To be located on Belleayre Mountain, on the West side of the NY State taxpayer owned, DEC managed Belleayre Ski Center at the intersection of Route 28 and 49A in Highmount, NY the Belleayre Resort now consists of two developments totaling 629 "units" of various sizes, an 18-hole golf course, driving range, clubhouse, 2 spas - one underground, two hotels, five restaurants, ten retail stores, a conference center with 12,000 sf footprint but unknown number of stories, parking, guest and service roads, street lighting, service buildings and other structures not yet detailed. See all exhibits and the AIP here.
By the numbers:
Total 389 units
250 unit (room/suites) Wildacres Hotel
139 lodging (2-bedroom) units in multi-unit buildings (initially planned as 21 eight unit Octoplexes)
(NOTE: Sf is for footprint only. Could be multiple floors in height or underground)
Hotel and Golf Clubhouse = 185,600 +- sf
Detached Octoplex Units = 7,900 +- sf per building
Parking Structure = 45,000 +- sf
Fitness Structure/Pool House = 10,000 +- sf
Maintenance Buildings = 9,5000 +- sf
Driving Range Structure = 5,500 +- sf
Water Treatment Plant and other minor accessory structures = 2,500 +- sf
PLUS, 18-hole golf course, ??? acres
Highmount Spa Resort
(a NEW segment, plans not seen by the public, nor yet reviewed by agencies)
Total 240 units:
120 unit (rooms/suites) Highmount Spa Hotel,
60 lodging (2 bedroom) units in two 30 multi-unit buildings,
60 individual lodging (3-bedroom) units (HOUSES) in either individual or duplex buildings.
(NOTE: Sf is for footprint only. Could be multiple floors in height or underground)
West Lodge = 32,000 + - square feet
East Lodge = 32,000 +- square feet
Hotel = 60,000 +- square feet
Spa (underground) = 30,000 +- square feet
Conference Center = 12,000 +- square feet
Detached Single Units = 2,800 +- square feet per building
Detached Duplex Units = 4,500 +- square feet per building
PLUS ROADS up the mountain, ??? acres
Get more information on our Resources page