Now-closed Friar Tuck Inn scene of paramilitary maneuvers; Catskill suing over code violations
Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union the town of Catskill has taken legal action against the now-shuttered Friar Tuck Inn over alleged code violations. The 200-acre resort has been vacant for a decade, but last month it was the scene of paramilitary maneuvers, with people toting replicas AK-47s and using simulated explosive blasts, according to the town. In addition to the war games, there have also been reports of weekend gambling excursions, and allegations that a bear was shot on the property. The facility was purchased in September for $5.8 million by New York City real estate investor Elena Fu. Fu’s representative at the time said they planned to develop a mindfulness resort with a spa, horseback riding, hunting and fishing, cross-country skiing and possibly a water park. The plan also called for opening 120 rooms by March. In the town's complaint, filed April 22, in state Supreme Court, Greene County, town lawyer Ted Hilscher said about the alleged war games: “On March 13, 2021 paramilitary maneuvers were observed taking place at said buildings and lands," it reads. "Said maneuvers involved individuals in camouflage fatigues enacting battle scenes with what apparently are facsimile AK 47s and using grenades with realistic explosive discharges. They were seen occupying the buildings owned by NY-32 Realty Group Inc. which have no Certificate of Occupancy and are the site of asbestos." Town officials are asking for an injunction to stop what the website Military Simulation and Tactical Operations advertised as a “Catskill Crusade,” a war games event scheduled for April 30 through May 2 for up to 500 participants. The complaint also alleges the facility has been without an approved sewage discharge permit for a decade and is near the wetlands that feed the Kaaterskill Creek. The facility does not have a Special Use Permit for the military maneuvers, according to the complaint, and the town is seeking an order stopping all activity at the resort until the appropriate permits have been issued and potential fines for violations have been paid. The Friar Tuck Inn was opened in the 1970s by New York City restaurateur Salvatore “Rick” Caridi. It has a long history, being one of the larger and more elaborate resorts in the area. It is located on State Route 32, several miles outside of Catskill village and south of Cairo. Read the full story in the Times Union.