Great News !!!
NYSDEC Commissioner Martens Directs DEC Staff to Issue Permits for Belleayre Resort Project
Commissioner's Decision Ends Adjudicatory Process and Allows Project to Move Forward
In a decision released Friday July 10, 2015, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens granted DEC staff's motion to cancel the adjudicatory hearing on the Crossroads Ventures LLC project, known as The Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park, and directed DEC staff to issue the necessary permits associated with the project. The project will be located on lands near the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center.
Commissioner Martens determined that significant modifications to the project and additional environmental studies have resolved environmental issues related to the project. Modifications to the project include eliminating development on Big Indian Plateau. The Commissioner also determined that concerns recently raised regarding the modified project are not substantive and significant.
Negotiations among parties to the proceeding resulted in the execution of an Agreement in Principle in 2007 that served the basis for a significant redesign and downsizing of the project that reduced environmental impacts. In addition, the proposed project has also been subject to considerable public review and comment.
DEC staff will now complete its responsibilities under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), including issuing a Findings Statement. The decision directs DEC staff to issue permits to the applicant, Crossroads Ventures LLC, consistent with the Commissioner's decision and draft permits that staff previously prepared. Permits are expected to be issued following issuance of the SEQR Findings Statement.
Click here to read Commissioner Martens' decision
The Catskill region has a long and storied heritage as both America’s wilderness and a premier destination. In keeping with that tradition, once built the Belleayre Resort will recall the heyday of the Catskills, which enjoyed a long tradition of tourism-related prosperity. At the peak of its popularity, the region surrounding Belleayre Mountain boasted more than 10,000 hotel beds in an area from the towns of Shandaken to Fleischmanns. Today, that same area has fewer than 450 beds, and travelers seeking a unique interaction with a breathtaking environment stop for short visits or bypass the Catskills entirely on their way to the Adirondacks and Vermont.
The Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park, as currently proposed, will become the premier, four-season resort directly serving the New York metropolitan area. It will also be the most environmentally advanced and responsible large-scale development project the region has ever seen.
The Resort is made up of two hotels, each with its own characteristics and amenities. The Highmount Spa Resort will be operated as a 5-star property consisting of a 120 hotel units, 96 other lodging units, a world-class spa which will include medical spa services, and food and beverage facilities. The family-oriented Wildacres Hotel will feature 250 hotel units, 163 other lodging units, a conference center, food and beverage facilities and a Wilderness Activies Center. The Wildacres Hotel will also feature an 18-hole public, championship golf course which will be maintained using a strict organic regimen with no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides used. All of the resort’s facilities will be open to the public, increasing the number of recreational options available to local residents.
The Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park will blend the physical assets of the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center and the Catskill Forest Preserve with world class hospitality facilities and programs that will enhance the experience of both visitors to the resort and the community. Created with a vision of a strong public-private partnership, the Resort will utilize local providers, guides, instructors, outdoor outfitters, as well as work with not-for-profit entities. A full-time information center will provide guests with ample information as they head out to the surrounding towns and villages, discovering an area with a diverse heritage of art, music, history and natural beauty. And, the Crossroads Foundation has been established to distribute funds to local charities focused on the arts, youth education and sports programs, civic improvements and care for the elderly.
The Belleayre Resort represents a new chapter in the Catskill region’s storied history as a venerable tourism destination.