I'm for Belleayre Resort progress

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To The Editor:
I refer to your December 21 article titled “Governor’s Commission says ORDA should take over Belleayre operations.” It is of the utmost timing for Belleayre Mountain to get a new directive, rather than keeping it in limbo, which has been very detrimental.  Under the DEC, we have witnessed massive layoffs, restrains of marketing, which now will adversely affect many of the local citizens, merchants and restaurants, while Windham and Hunter can market their income from skiers as they wish.

Here we go again with the Catskill Heritage Alliance (CHA) opposing ORDA taking over and with sadness I quote the words of Roger Wall “Claiming that the SAGE plan makes no sense.” Why? Let’s become real and face facts:

If ORDA enables Belleayre to operate like a private company under the guidelines of ORDA, with proper marketing, proper budgets in place, Belleayre will become the mountain it is supposed to be without DEC restrains. 

The likelihood is that Belleayre will not be a further tax burden for the state and its citizens. DEC has always comingled income and accounting, so that no one really knows if Belleayre Ski Center has been profitable or not.  Under the management of the DEC, subsidies will continue as operations are curtailed and who gets the benefit? Nobody.  Under ORDA, Belleayre will be able to operate as a business.

Employment by the mountain will revive to normal levels to satisfy the labor force required from an operating and safety point.  Right now the mountain is under staffed. Who ordered this? The DEC.

As to the comments by CHA that the taking over by ORDA would benefit the proposed Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park, you bet it will, but what you failed to mention in your article is that the Belleayre Ski Center will benefit the most.  The large number of guests which would stay at the resort would be attracted to the area. Do yourselves a favor, take a trip to Lake Placid as an example, without hotels, the ski population would be reduced drastically, same in Vail, Colorado or any other community where we have ski mountains. Why keep fighting reality and progress?

CHA is a small group of people who for years have been opposing any suggestions of progress. We need people to be employed, and with ORDA and the resort in place, this would be accomplished.
I presume this same group does not want to see our hard hit communities, rebuild and come back to life, as this would bring in tourists to the area. Talk to the local merchants who lost their livelihood, how much more sacrifice can we endure as communities working together, to revive business in each of our villages so hard hit. It is the hard work and dedication of our local citizens, the second homeowners and outsiders who have all come together as “one voice” to bring life back to Margaretville and the surrounding communities. Yes, let’s shop local, what an impressive phrase. 

We, should all be united, and make our voices heard and welcome ORDA to Belleayre Mountain and to our region, and let’s hope that after years of bickering that the Belleayre Resort at Catskill, will become reality and that Belleayre Ski Center will become a long-term viable part of our community under the proper guidelines of ORDA. All of us will gain, massive employment, so much needed here. I am for progress and for the vitalization of all our communities at large.
 
Denny Herzberg,
Denver