Albany Resort Project Moves Forward Despite Conflict
Saturday, February, 13, 2016
It took 16 years, but plans for the proposed Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park have finally been approved. However, there is still contention over the project and a lawsuit against a New York state agency is keeping the next step on hold for the time being.
The plans for the resort were first proposed in 1999 and were originally a much larger project than it stands today. The scaled down version will feature the Highmount Spa Resort, the Highmount Golf Club, and the Wildacres Resort.
Nearby towns of Shandaken in Ulter County and Middletown in Delaware County just recently passed resolutions that allow permits so the project can move forward. The final stumbling block is the lawsuit.
According to representatives involved with the project, once the lawsuit is settled, the project can move forward quickly, secure financing, and hopefully break ground before the end of 2016. Once construction begins, estimate show a completed project within three years.
This is longer than it would normally take for a project of this magnitude, because they are only allowed to open up so many acres at a time for building, according to DEC land disturbance regulations. They must build in shift, particularly with the golf course, and then move onto the two hotels.
The lawsuit was filed by the Catskill Heritage Alliance and three families against the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The debate over the project has been ongoing, but representatives believe the reduction of the project to include just one golf course instead of three should have resolved the matter and returned the appropriate amount of land to the forest preserve.