July 30, 2008: Common good

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To The Editor:
Once again the bamboozlers of “blow up the mountain,” aka “Partners for Profit,” “Partners for Progress,” “Crossroads Ventures” and a host of other aliases have mailed local residents a piece of purely self-serving propaganda that seems to ignore or belie the fact that many people here live lives of peaceful contentment and comfort rather than the abject poverty that the developers would lead readers to believe.
I have been an interested observer of the regional economy and lifestyle since the days when the Funcrest and other hotels were flourishing in Pine Hill. To my knowledge, there has never been an economic turnaround in an area caused by an expensive, self-contained, all-inclusive resort (with or without fences), either here or in any other municipality in the U.S. or the Caribbean Islands.
The only turnaround that I am aware of occurred many years ago in Phoenicia when the Town Tinker began business and drew thousands of people to the relatively new craze of “tubing” on the Esopus. That turnaround occurred because the Tinker drew people to Main Street, where they patronized and enriched other merchants. Remote resorts on blown-up mountaintops are no such catalysts. Patrons of such resorts, more often than not, are geographically sedentary. They participate in resort activities and wait for the next meal or entertainment. That is no remedy for a sluggish regional (or national) economy. If the developers know of any remote resorts which helped the local economy, it would be nice if they shared that information.
It would also be nice if they developed and revealed any plans that they have to benefit the region, such as restoring the movie theatre, Lake Swit- zerland and any other projects for the common good.

Howard Mandell,
Pine Hill