The Catskills are about to get a facelift, and no we’re not talking about the Real Housewives.
This past week, The New York Department of Environmental Conservation issued permits that will allow Belleayre Ski Resort at Catskill Park the ability to execute development plans that have been in the works for almost 15 years.
The total cost of the development? A whopping $365 million dollars, according to recordonline.com.
According to the Belleayre website, over $ 1 million dollars have been put into ski area improvements from NY state alone.
The action comes on the heels of the Department of Environmental Conservation completing an environmental assessment for the projects planned at New York’s southernmost ski area.
“After an extensive review process, DEC, our partnering stakeholders and the applicant have crafted a comprehensive and balanced plan which will help guide responsible development of this world-class outdoor recreation destination that both reflects and protects the magnificent Catskill Mountains.”-Basil Seggos, New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner.
Included in Belleayre’s “Unit Management Plan” are a variety of additions, renovations, and improvements to the existing ski resort. Of the more notable developments, Belleayre will absorb the now defunct Highmount ski area, which contains 78 skiable acres to its name.
In addition to capital improvements, Belleayre will also innovate in how they obtain their energy. Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo finalized an agreement for Gore, Whiteface, and Belleayre to all go solar in the coming future.
Read more about the solar agreement here: 3 NY Ski Areas Go Solar
- 16 new trails
- 3 new lifts
- a new lodge
- Snowmaking upgrades
- Added Parking
- Renovation of existing lodges
- Chairlift upgrades
Although the upgrades are fairly comprehensive, some plans were rejected due to their unnecessary environmental impacts. Of these, development of the “Big Indian Plateu” was the most notable improvement to be shot down by environmental studies.
- Vertical Drop- 1,404
- Skiable Acres- 171
- Annual Snowfall- 141 inches
- Snowmaking- 96%
About Belleayre Mountain
Belleayre Mountain is located off of State Route 28 in Highmount, NY, just hours from New York City. It was declared “Forever Wild” by the New York State Forest Preserve in 1885. Early on, skiers would side-step or hike their way more than 3,000 feet to be the first to make tracks down un-named and woody trails. Since the very beginning of the American skiing experience, skiers gazed at the steep, rugged inclines of Belleayre Mountain and dreamed of refining them. In the 1940’s skiing enthusiasts pressured politicians to develop Belleayre as a safe and fun mountain for families and extreme skiers alike. In 1947 bills were introduced allowing New York State to create Belleayre Mountain. Construction began in 1949 and Belleayre began its premier winter season with five trails, an electrically powered rope tow, New York’s first chairlift, a summit lodge, a temporary base lodge with a cafeteria and dirt floors and parking to accommodate 300 people. It would become the center for winter sports in the region and an economic catalyst for the surrounding communities