July 2, 2008: So fear not the effects of the resort

in

To The Editor:
A recent letter to the editor from Matt Frisch was so full of irony I had to respond. He says that Partners for Progress is using fear tactics in its effort to support the expansion of Belleayre Mountain Ski Center and the construction of the Belleayre Resort.
His group is called Save the Mountain. Just the name itself is a fear tactic because it makes one think a mountain is in some danger. That is not the case. The New York City DEP, the National Resource Defense Council, The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, and a whole bunch of other major watchdog environmental groups have already agreed that this project can be done without endangering anyone or any mountain. 
They named the project a “mega-resort” and have compared it to behemoth resorts out west in places like Vail with thousands and thousands of rooms and thousands of acres.  Yet this little resort, by comparison to those they compare it to, won’t even begin to approach that size even at its maximum build out.  Sounds like a fear tactic to me.
Save the Mountain has published pictures where they pasted renderings of houses at the top of the mountain and added smoke billowing from smokestacks from them.  There will be no wood burning fireplaces in any of those units, no smokestacks or chimneys like those are planned and they don’t even have the houses in the right place.  The fear tactics these people have used are just too numerous to mention.
The worst fear tactic they have used is more insidious.  It is the way they publicly and viciously attack, with personal slander and innuendo, anyone who comes out in favor of the resort.  It is the quiet threat – and actual carrying out – of boycotting business owners who are willing to stand up and publicly support this project.  I have heard from many business people that vocal Save the Mountain members have stopped going into the businesses of known project supporters.
For nearly a decade, project opponents have so intimidated everyone in the community that people who do support the effort have been afraid to speak up.  That is ending now. We will not be silenced any longer.  And it is that fact, that is now making people in the Save the Mountain group, so fearful.
So fear not, Belleayre supporters.  There are a lot of us out there and there is strength in numbers.  Join us. Sign the petition (www.supportthecompromise.com)  Pick up a bumper sticker or lawn sign.  Write a letter to the editor or get involved some other way. 

Erich Griesser,
Oliverea