To The Editor:
When Belleayre Mountain was opened with the first chair lift in New York State, it immediately became a point of pride for everyone in the region and a magnet for visitors who had, until then, rarely visited the mountains during winter months.
In summer, people rode to the top of the mountain on the lift with picnic baskets and checkered tablecloths. They marveled at the view, took hikes through the woods and learned to appreciate and protect the Catskill Forest Preserve. In winter, they flocked to the area to learn to ski, returning over and over again with friends and family, and stimulated the rise of a winter tourism industry for the entire region.
Local contractors, who often collected unemployment during winter months, were able to work year ‘round. Hotels that previously had only summer business were able to winterize and become full-year operations. Local kids learned to ski and instructors, patrollers, first responders. Ski shops opened, other ski areas developed around us and gradually, the Catskill Region became the biggest ski region in New York. The area served as an economic catalyst, protected the forest preserve, and provided a high-quality recreation experience to the taxpayers of New York who had voted it into existence.
Now, with a public/private partnership, we have the opportunity to return Belleayre to its full glory. We have a chance, with limited taxpayer investment, to build out the ski center and develop amenities around it that will allow it, once again, to be the heart and soul of the economy and the outdoor recreation opportunity in our region.
I’m writing to support the full build out of Belleayre Mountain and the development of The Belleayre Resort around it. I’m writing to urge speedy approval, at the end of the statutory comment period, and delivery to the developers of all permits and funding as may be needed to get this project built.
Please, let Belleayre Mountain keep its promise to our region.