To the editor:
The "Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park" naysayers, have views that are irrelevant.
They do not understand today's issues. It is time for the leaders of Save the Mountain, Catskill Heritage Alliance and others who want to block development in a tiny part of the Catskills, to start living and thinking in the present. How ever narrow, but well intentioned their view was fifteen years ago when the Belleayre Resort was first proposed, it is not relevant or realistic now.
At the turn of the century, local employment as well as, tourism, commerce and home values were stable to slightly improving. Then the huge disruption in the national economy in 2008, followed by devastating floods here, have changed everything.
Today, Middletown and Delaware County are slipping. We have been years on a downward slope and our neutral to optimistic future view has turned pessimistic. Today we have housing & land prices -down, wages -down, employment -down, tourism -down, welfare -up, drug use -up, & empty storefronts -up.
Opportunistic energy industries, sensitive to the timing of events, are now in a major push for fracking and pipelines. If they succeed, our greatest advantage as an eco-tourist destination will evaporate in a blitz of industrialization. On the other hand, The Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park, has been thoroughly vetted, has great respect for the environment, and has a minuscule footprint compared to extractive industry.
We need this resort. With hotel rooms we can attract & accommodate tourists. They will come. The economy will lift. Maybe some of our grown children will stay and work here. All will benefit- region wide. It will turn the economic tide in our favor.