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Regional agency calls for Belleayre shifts

Jan 07, 2011 7:02 am
As if following up on a piece we did yesterday about the effects of the new DEC Commissioner's past experience on the ski industry in the region, Mid Hudson News Network and several other regional news outlets have pieces up this morning about a press release from the Catskill Watershed Corporation yesterday. "The Catskill Watershed Corporation will study possible alternatives to state ownership of the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center," reads the piece. "The state Department of Environmental Conservation operates the facility and with deep budget cuts, there are concerns services at the resort will suffer, negatively impacting the Catskills tourism industry. The Catskill Watershed Corporation, meanwhile, will look at other possible ways to operate Belleayre and present them to state lawmakers, said its Executive Director, Alan Rosa.

“We have to look at that and what that means to Belleayre and what our options are,” Rosa is quoted saying. “We may not have many options other than leaving it with DEC or perhaps looking at an authority type entity or maybe there can be a way it can be permitted and it can be permitted and it can be a revenue generating stream for the state.”

Rosa said it is not likely that Belleayre could be privatized. The Watershed Corporation’s board approved the investigation.

Rosa said Belleayre and privately owned ski centers in the region are key to maintaining a tourism and recreation-based economy in the Catskills. “The uncertainty we’re seeing at Belleayre is not conducive to building a tourist economy,” he said. “We need more stability there.”

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