Governor's commission is pushing Belleayre's transfer to ORDA, but not very hard

Above: A slide from a 12/15/11 presentation by the SAGE Commission discussing a potential transfer of Belleayre to ORDA management. Read the full presentation below or by clicking here.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration still wants to hand the management of the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center over to the Olympic Regional Development Authority [ORDA], according to a presentation made by the governor's Spending and Government Efficiency [SAGE] Commission on Thursday, December 15.

But plans for the future of the Catskills state-owned ski mountain, which is currently managed by the New York State Department of Conservation, aren't anywhere near solid yet.

At its meeting on Thursday, the SAGE Commission approved a number of recommendations for streamlining state government, the largest of which was a sweeping measure to merge state-owned transportation agencies. But the commission didn't make any formal recommendations to transfer Belleayre from the DEC to ORDA.

That means that the future of Belleayre's management is still in limbo, as it has been ever since last spring, when the SAGE Commission first announced that it was considering recommending the management change.

We wrote at length about the pros and cons of a DEC-to-ORDA Belleayre handover last June. At the time, officials at ORDA and at Belleayre voiced the idea that the ski center would be under ORDA management by this winter.

But since then, the conversation hasn't moved much. In October, the Catskill Mountain News reported that ORDA had "backed off" any plan to take over Belleayre this year.

The Times Herald-Record interpreted the SAGE Commission's remarks on Thursday as a whole-hearted endorsement of a handover to ORDA. However, there is no mention of the issue in the summary of recommendations approved by the SAGE Commission at the meeting.

SAGE Commission 12.15.11 PresentationSAGE Commission's 12.15.11 Summary of Recommendations Approved