$9.1 million upgrade slated for Belleayre’s Discovery Lodge

Look for another busy summer of upgrade work at Belleayre Mountain next year as the New York State hands over a newly-approved $9.1 million to support the expansion and modernization of the Ski Resort’s aging Discovery Lodge by its managers at the Olympic Regional Development Authority based in the Adirondacks.

“The project will improve resort offerings, helping to increase year-round visitation, enhance the customer experience and maintain Belleayre’s status as a catalyst for the tourism industry in the Catskills,” read a press release from the governor’s office regarding the long-awaited upgrade, outlined in new plans okayed over the past decade, but hinted at before the millennium’s shift nearly 19 years ago. “This funding furthers New York’s investment of over $30 million into the Highmount ski area since 2011.”

The announcement came within weeks of a state Appellate Court decision in favor of the long-proposed Belleayre Resort project that first came into view in the late 1990s, which opponents said was too big for the region, and rewarded private investment with state largesse at the adjacent ski mountain, which was founded by New York with the help of a constitutional amendment in the 1940s.

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The Discovery Lodge upgrade project is scheduled for completion in November of 2019.

In their announcement recent release, the state also noted “fulfillment” of a “three-phase, $11.1 million tourism initiative for the Upper Hudson Valley Region” that includes a new $4.5 million pedestrian-friendly traffic roundabout adjacent to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge between Columbia and Greene counties, with a new sidewalk leading from Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill to the Olana State Historic Site in Columbia County to be christened “the Hudson River Skywalk.”

The press release touted the roundabout and sidewalk project as having an economic impact equating “$16.13 million annually, supporting 340 local jobs…”

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