Just don't parrot statistics

in

To The Editor:
With regard to the petition that you included in your most recent issue, how can a well-regarded, responsible newspaper quote and support statistical numbers and estimates conjured up by paid lobbyists rather than seeking objective, empirical data as to the possible benefits to people and businesses in this area? It is a well-known fact that people staying at all-inclusive resorts tend to be endomorphic and stay “on the reservation.”

Why would they go out to eat at less glamorous local restaurants when they are already paying for fancier meals at the resort? In the days when we had many beautiful hotels up here including The Funcrest, Paradise, Regis, Takannassee, Grand, Bonnieview, etc., the primary places that the guests left the reservations for were the Woodstock Playhouse and the Monticello Raceway.
I worked at the Funcrest for many years and never, ever remember a guest leaving to dine elsewhere. They also went to see movies in Fleischmanns and Margaretville, mainly on nights when the hotel did not offer entertainment.       

It is journalistically unethical and unprofessional to parrot statistics not corroborated by real, objective data and impartial professional reports. The people whose financial estimates you quoted have their own agenda and priorities, not necessarily in the public interest or this beautiful area’s environmental interests. Nor do they necessarily have anything to do with reality.

Howard Mandell,
Pine Hill

Editor’s note: The “petition” insert to which Mr. Mandell refers was a paid advertisement placed in the Catskill Mountain News, and one other area newspaper, by backers of The Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park and should have been identified as such. The insert was delivered directly to the News’ printer in Middletown and was not seen by anyone on the newspaper’s staff until after it was published. The News regrets any confusion it may have caused.