To the Editor:
Andes Works! is a collection of Andes residents, both long-timers and newcomers, who have joined together to foster a sustainable economy that benefits all of our residents. We are committed to supporting area businesses, farmers, entrepreneurs, and workforce by supporting projects that build an economy that entices young families to move to the area, even as we work to protect all that we hold dear here — our clean air, our water, our quiet rural landscape, and our small towns.
While some communities have fared better economically than others in the region, the area has been in an economic decline for decades for a variety of reasons. As just one example, with the downturn in the dairy industry, Delaware County has lost $35 million a year in annual economic impact due to reduced milk production. In spite of heroic efforts on the part of local small businesses and community members, it continues to struggle. The region has seen an enormous drain of people, revenues, and opportunities, leaving it increasingly vulnerable to becoming a forgotten, throw-away part of the state, useful only as a site to extract natural resources for other areas.
We believe that the proposed Belleayre Resort is critical in the ongoing health of our community and those around us. The region needs a project that is large enough that it can shift the economic momentum in the area, and we believe that the plans for the Resort are, at this point, sustainable, and appropriate in scale and use for the region. Andes will benefit from having more people, more amenities, and more resources down the road. From development to operations, the economic impacts of the Resort will be enormous on the region, and the influx of visitors to our area will be key in the ongoing health of our tourism-based economy.
We urge our neighbors and the State of New York to join us in support of the Belleayre Resort.