Important Message for Friends of Belleayre Mountain
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Dear Friends of Belleayre Mountain,
It is so important if you really care about Belleayre Mountain to read this document in it's entirety, please share this letter to the Governor's Office and our Legislatures through email and social media. Read below and sign the petition. Contact the Governors office with any additional comments or your own letter.
The future of Belleayre Mountain and our local communities have never been more threatened. #FundtheUMP
January 31, 2017
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capital Building
Albany, New York 12224
Re: Funding for Belleayre Mountain – Catskills Region
To The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo:
We are residents and business owners in the Catskill Park, as well as visitors to the region,including specifically to Belleayre Mountain.
We were disheartened to read your January 23rd Press Release, which stated (in part) that more than $50 million in state funding will be directed to the Adirondack Park for tourism and recreation. We understand that investment to include $20 million to ski areas Whiteface and Gore (in addition to $10 million already budgeted for those ski areas in the ORDA 2017-2018 budget) and an additional $32 million for a project to develop the “Gateway to the Adirondacks” (at Exit 29 on the Northway). Conspicuously absent from your Press Release was any mention of funding for Belleayre Mountain ski area in the Catskill Region which, we know you recognize as an important ski area in the state and Catskill Region, as well as to your “I LOVE NEW YORK” campaign.
Our purpose in writing to you is to make sure that the Catskill Region – and specifically Belleayre Mountain -- is on your immediate funding agenda, and that Belleayre Mountain remains one of your key priorities. Belleayre Mountain needs your continued support if it is to reach its full potential. We hope and expect that New York State will make a financial investment in Belleayre during this budget cycle, commensurate with the investments being made in Gore and Whiteface.
We are encouraged by your 2015 comments about Belleayre Mountain, including that:
"Belleayre Mountain offers some of the best winter recreation in the state and, with today's action, it's only going to get better," Governor Cuomo said. "Once these projects are completed, visitors to this majestic region hoping to hit the slopes will have an all new Belleayre Mountain to enjoy with friends and loved ones."
Statements like the above are what made the omission of Belleayre Mountain in the Press Release surprising. Not only does the omission completely disregard your stated commitment to Belleayre Mountain, but it also ignores the great work and strong public-private partnerships that have been developed over the years with New York State and the surrounding communities in the Catskills. These partnerships took years to forge and need to be protected for regional success and for the local economy to thrive. If New York State is to remain the tourism capital of the world (as you refer to it), Belleayre Mountain cannot be ignored. This is why the omission of Belleayre Mountain from the recent funding announcement needs to be addressed right away, especially in light of the older and fragile infrastructure at Belleayre Mountain and the critical need to maintain it in accordance with current industry standards.
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
January 31, 2017
We are encouraged that over the past few years we have witnessed incredible progress with one of the largest public-private partnerships in New York State with the “Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park” and Belleayre Mountain. This is an achievement we hope you do not take lightly, as it will bring several hundred good paying jobs to this region. While this development has had its share of delays, it is now closer than ever to reality and becoming one of the premier resorts in New York State. This resort will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the regional economy and will be a major success story for your “I LOVE NEW YORK” tourism campaign.
You have done a terrific job boosting tourism in New York State and the reputation of outdoor recreation. Your legacy is tied to the progress you have made (and will continue to make) with New York’s tourism industry, including New York State’s ski areas. Belleayre Mountain needs to be part of the success story. Belleayre Mountain though is in critical need of funding to improve its aging facilities, the negative effects of which are beginning to show directly and indirectly in the region. Historically, Belleayre has been one of the key economic drivers in the region for hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments – and it needs to remain so. Our region relies heavily on the customer base created by Belleayre Mountain’s year-round visitors, especially the skiers and winter visitors. Like the Adirondacks’ profile, the socioeconomic profile of the Belleayre Mountain and Catskill region is one where the residents and merchants depend largely on tourism to keep the economy growing and robust. Belleayre Mountain, however, has a major strategic advantage that Gore and Whiteface do not have – it is much closer to the New York metropolitan area and for that reason presents a unique tourism opportunity for New York State.
We would welcome an opportunity to meet with you in person at Belleayre Mountain or another location of your choosing. We are committed to working with you and your administration to ensure that New York remains the tourism capital of the world, and that Belleayre Mountain has its rightful place in that success. Please favor us with a written reply at your earliest convenience (we would expect no later than Monday, February 6, 2017) detailing your vision, financial commitment, and plans for Belleayre Mountain.
Respectfully, your partners in the success of Belleayre Mountain,
Paula K. Colbath
Rosina M. Montana
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