By Cheryl Petersen Contributing writer
The Daily Star
---- — Since 1999, the proposed Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park plans have undergone major discussion, collaboration and adjustments.
On Wednesday, more than 150 people showed up to voice their concerns, support and opposition to the latest plan.
The modified design calls for less acreage affected, one golf course instead of two and state-of-the-art, environmentally sensitive buildings. The Belleayre Resort expansion is meant to include the defunct Highmount Ski Resort along with constructing recreational options such as hiking, indoor swimming and tennis.
Two public hearings were held Wednesday inside Discovery Lodge at the state-owned Belleayre Ski Resort in Highmount.
Jack Schoonmaker, project manager with Crossroads Ventures, was on site with maps and models of the proposed projects. Crossroads owns 1,960 acres and is proposing the $400 million project. During the 14-year process of seeking approval, Crossroads classified 1,189 acres as a forest preservation area. The Belleayre Resort expansion is expected to impact 739 acres, sitting on the Ulster and Delaware counties boundary line.
“Capital improvements will include a ski lodge, the addition of 16 ski trails and upgrades to most of the existing ski lifts and lodges,” said Schoonmaker, who has been working on this project for 13 years. “Wildacres Hotel will sport 250 units, two restaurants, a lounge, a 500-person conference room, a spa and indoor pool.”
Nearby is a 19-hole golf course on the property that will house timeshare buildings. The second major building project will consist of constructing Highmount Spa Hotel, with 120 units and 53 residential suites.
The buildings will be LEED certified and environmentally sensitive, he said.
Officials and citizens were allowed 3 minutes each to voice their views at the meeting.