nevele grande

The big gamble: Casino decision looms for Catskills

An artist's rendering of the Montreign Resort Casino, which a developer wants to build in the Sullivan County town of Thompson. Source:

The prize casino developers have been vying for all year is almost at hand. The New York State Gaming Facility Location Board is scheduled to announce plans to build up to four casino resorts across the state--with two possibly slated for development in the Catskills--later this month. 

But the economic impact of casino resorts may not be as big as developers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo hope.

In an article on Thursday, Nov. 6, the New York Times tells how a casino resort built in the Poconos in 2006 has failed to live up the promises of developers and elected officials. The hope was that the casino would revive the economy of the whole region, a Pennsylvania mountain resort area that thrived in the mid-20th century.

The NYT reporters reviewed Mount Airy Casino Resort's earnings and talked to locals about whether they're seeing more customers since its opening.   Read more

Catskills casinos threatened by Orange County rivals

Above: The Nevele resort in Ellenville, one of several Catskills sites jockeying for a casino. Photo by June NY and shared in the Watershed Post Flickr pool

Would-be Catskills casino operators in Sullivan and Ulster county got a nasty shock last month: They've got rivals further south who might knock them out of the running in the contest for new casino licenses in New York state.

The New York State Gaming Commission is expected to put out a call for casino applications this month. One or two of the winning projects, which will be announced in the fall, are slated for the Catskills.   Read more

It's official: The Nevele ain't what it used to be

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Adam Bosch of the Times Herald-Record reports that the disintegrating Nevele Grande, once the pride and joy of the Borscht Belt, has just had its tax assessment cut by two-thirds:

The 433-room hotel had been valued at $15 million, but town assessor Mike Sommer said the assessment no longer made sense. After touring the hotel and studying appraisals, Sommer cut its value to $5 million on his tentative tax roll May 1.

"I did my due diligence and said I can't justify a $15 million assessment, especially because of the condition of the hotel," Sommer said on Friday.

Naturally, this means the town of Wawarsing is going to be getting a lot less in tax revenue from the ailing property's owner, Mitchell Wolff, who's trying to sell the Nevele.

Still making the rounds on YouTube, to our delight, is the catchy TV jingle used to lure vacationing families to the Nevele in the '80s (posted above):  Read more

A tale of abandoned Catskills

Photographer Rusty Tagliareni is coming out with a book, he writes on LiveJournal, that will include some photographs of abandoned Catskills resorts. Yesterday, he posted a some images of one of the resorts, along with some tantalizing commentary:  Read more

"At the Nevele, there's so much to do"

As we mentioned earlier today, the Nevele Grande Resort is a shattered husk of the swank resort it used to be. Tonight, we discovered a wicked YouTube mashup that illustrates that fact. (Hat tip to Adam Bosch at the Times Herald-Record.)  Read more

Joel Hoffman loses custody of Nevele

In the Times Herald-Record today: State Supreme Court judge Mary Work has deemed developer Joel Hoffman unfit to continue to manage the famously decrepit Nevele Hotel, and given the property to Hoffman's former business partner, Mitchell Wolff.

In her decision, Work said she awarded the properties to Wolff because he was the Nevele's largest creditor, adding that Wolff also ran the hotel better than Hoffman and had a better shot of selling it.

"Hoffman's reputation in Ulster County is terrible," Work wrote. "A prospective buyer would have to be barred from reading a local newspaper, surfing the Internet, visiting the County Clerk's Office, and sitting in the coffee shops of Ellenville to remain ignorant of Hoffman's reputation."

At the risk of stating the obvious: The Nevele Sucks.  Read more

Nevele sale too good to be true

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated along with the Long Island Business News and Times Herald-Record that the Nevele had finally been sold. Well, it was under contract, anyway. Which is just paperwork, right?

Wrong. The THR's Adam Bosch reports that a few things still stand in the way of the sale. Among them: a lawsuit from the current owner's partner, $5 million in debt, an email to local officials that smells like a shakedown, and empty-sounding promises of bringing the Black Eyed Peas to Ellenville.

The tenor of discussions between local officials and Tricon has county lawmakers wondering if the deal is real.

"I've seen tactics like this before, and every time it's turned out to be smoke and mirrors," said Legislator Joe Stoeckeler, D-Ellenville.  Read more

Nevele bought at auction

Ellenville's floundering, decrepit, once-glittery Nevele Grande Resort has been sold. Finally.

Brooklyn builder Raphael Weiss of Tricon Development partnered with the Giluet Foundation is in contract to buy the resort from the Stratford Business Corporation. Sources estimate the price at around $20 million.

The Times Herald-Record has a little more on Weiss's plans (which, mercifully, don't involve casino gambling):

"The Nevele will be a class A resort with at least 500 people working there," said Rafi Weiss, president of Tricon Development, the group that plans to buy the storied resort. "It will have world-class amenities, just like the good old days."  Read more

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