The controversial Belleayre Resort, a $400 million project that will add another Mohonk-like getaway to the cache of upstate New York vacation spots — plus skiing — leapt over another hurdle last recently. “New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the approval of a contract for the purchase of 1,200 environmentally sensitive acres in the Catskills Forest Preserve adjacent to the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, now owned by the resort project’s developer, to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC),” reported Catskill Mountain News. Good news for pro-Belleayre folks, but bad news for the opposition, which feels it’s too big, too much, too located within protected lands and inside the watershed.
I think it’s rather extraordinary that developers are still pressing ahead with the project in this economy. I mean, a new golf course, a bunch of LEED silver buildings, a new spa…not exactly a stimulus package that appeals to the average New Yorker. But upstate New York has a surprising dearth of such getaways, and I actually think there might be a market for it. What do you guys think? Is it just too much, or will the jobs and revenue created by it — assuming, if they build it, folks will come — be worth the environmental impact?