Looking for Belleayre Mountain ideas


To The Editor:
The recent scoop is that the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) is considering managing Belleayre, once they can digest the balance sheet for the facility then make a decision.
If you look at ORDA’s operation; managing Gore, Whiteface, Olympic facilities, museum, skating rinks, etc, quite an impressive authority but the negative affects Belleayre’s future is questionable.

ORDA is financed by sale of lift tickets of which Gore is 26 percent, Whiteface is 34 percent, NYS is 15 percent and is being reduced, three percent from Town of Elba and the remainder from venues. So we ask, will the profits derived from Belleayre be added to ORDA to operate the North Country tourist industry or used locally?

There needs to be a declaration from ORDA that the profits derived from operating Belleayre be retained and spent here in Ulster and Delaware counties to improve and promote the local skiing and tourist industries. The income statement for ORDA shows a loss of almost $4 million but with the accountant’s depreciation, the balance sheet barely shows a small profit.

The operating expense for personal services (salaries) is almost $18 million and this overhead
will only add to the burden.

I have made a FOIL request to see what the salaries of the management are at ORDA but still it has not been provided. I’m sure the management expense (salaries) are much higher than at Belleayre, or at DEC. What will their management contribute to the facility other then high- paid executive management.

The only way Belleayre and private local slopes like Plattekill can survive is for a local authority composed of skiers and townships to manage the facility without compensation in order to keep the overhead to a minimum and direct the profits to improving the facilities to attract more destination overnight skiers and tourists. ORDA facilities are used by longer visitations as it is not a day trip destination.

I had proposed this to Sen. Bonacic and Assemblyman Crouch who were receptive to the suggestion. I need to contact Governor Cuomo, Assemblyman Crouch, Congressman Hinchey, Sen. Bonacic and local towns and tourist organizations to consider such an authority.

Perhaps when Crossroads Venture turns its operation into reality they may be a party to such an authority. The recent storms have devastated our area and we all agree help must be provided to enable the neighbors and villages to survive.

Does any reader have an idea to contribute to make this a reality?

Charles Kowalski,