Bonacic seeks to shield Belleayre from budget drama

In light of the deep staffing cuts planned for Belleayre Mountain, the idea of an authority to manage the ski center -- much like the one that governs Whiteface and Gore Mountain, New York's other state-run ski centers -- is once again getting some traction. The Times Herald-Record reports:

State Sen. John Bonacic, R-C-Mount Hope, said he will ask incoming Gov. Andrew Cuomo to undo the Belleayre layoffs. If that doesn't work, he'll introduce a bill to create an authority to manage the center.

"This is our fall-back position if we can't reverse what (Gov. David) Paterson has done," Bonacic said, referring to the layoffs. "I think the people at Belleayre and their supporters would want to go to an authority."

Under an authority, Belleayre would be managed by an appointed commissioner and a board. While it could still receive state money, the ski center also would have to survive largely on whatever revenue it makes from lift tickets, concessions and other forms of income.