Belleayre Resort news

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JasonWx JasonWx
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Re: Belleayre Resort news

the vertical is 1400..top part is around 800-900 lower is 500 +or -
"Peace and Love"
Harvey Harvey
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Re: Belleayre Resort news

In reply to this post by ausable skier
Like I said I can't vouch for anybody's skier visit numbers including Bell's. Those are DEC numbers.

Belleayre's vert is about 1400. The lower mountain (below the lodge) is actually a really functional beginner area. Not sure how much of the vert is below the lodge.

DEC has also said that in some years Bell has lost a lot - up to a million - and in some years it has made break even.  If you figure capital improvements into it (Bell has had almost none in the last decade), Bell is at least a profitable as the ORDA hills that have had significant upgrades.

But leaving capital improvements aside (which I think in one respect is fair), I think this is one of the arguments pushed forward by those in favor of ORDA management of Bell: With ORDA in charge, Bell would break even on operations, and would also stand a chance of getting infrastructure improvements that Whiteface and Gore have had.

Staffing is one issue at Bell. If you look at the layoffs Bell had late last year they were mind boggling. They laid off 12 of 20 (+/-) full time mechanics.  I'd be surprised if Whiteface and Gore have full time mechanics between them.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
Snowballs Snowballs
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Re: Belleayre Resort news

One of the complaints by the " Save Belle groups " is that they cannot get info on whether Belle is profitable or not or basically any financial info at all.

It's kinda like NYRA. Throw hundreds of millions of dollars at them and NYRA still says they're broke.

Aren't Belle's lift tickets in the $54 range, substantially less than Gore/Face?

Even still, I would be surprised if Belle isn't profitable.
Jamesdeluxe Jamesdeluxe
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Re: Belleayre Resort news

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Harvey44 wrote
DEC has also said that in some years Bell has lost a lot - up to a million - and in some years it has made break even.  If you figure capital improvements into it (Bell has had almost none in the last decade), Bell is at least a profitable as the ORDA hills that have had significant upgrades.
To repeat my earlier points, here and in other threads, Belle has languished because it ended up in the East Germany of ski-area administration (DEC). Without getting into the dead-end "should it be unloaded to a private operator?" argument (borderline impossible due to state constitution issues), to say that the mountain doesn't deserve any further investment is preposterous. I doubt very highly if Gore and Whiteface would be getting their present-day skier-visit numbers with less than half of their current lifts/trails and antiquated lodges.
 
Will Belle ever be a top-tier East-Coast mountain like Stowe, Jay, Sugarloaf, etc.? Obviously not. But with infrastructure upgrades and trail expansion on both sides (a best-case scenario), it would compare favorably to Gore -- including a continuous +/- 2,000 verts from Cathedral Glen to Pine Hill and better general conditions.
x10003q x10003q
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Re: Belleayre Resort news

Jamesdeluxe wrote
Will Belle ever be a top-tier East-Coast mountain like Stowe, Jay, Sugarloaf, etc.? Obviously not. But with infrastructure upgrades and trail expansion on both sides (a best-case scenario), it would compare favorably to Gore -- including a continuous +/- 2,000 verts from Cathedral Glen to Pine Hill and better general conditions.
Belleayre is limited to 25 miles (like Whiteface) of trails. Gore is limited to 40 miles. There would have to be some changes to the NYS constitution to get Belle anywhere near the terrain of Gore. If they tie into Highmount they will pick up some good constant vertical on the Belleayre ridge. I think going down to Pine Hill might get you the 2000 vertical feet but it might put Belle over the 25 mile limit, especially if they connect to Highmount. Some of the lower sections look to be pretty decent terrain for blue and black trails. I hope it happens but I have my doubts.

Once they join ORDA maybe they can get a Gondola. Don't all ORDA ski areas get a Gondola no matter how silly?
Harvey Harvey
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Apparently there is a disagreement about if/how Highmount would be counted against the limit. Looks like ADK and Catskill 3500 want a strict interpretation of the 25 mile rule, and DEC isn't as concerned about it. Follow are excerpts from a pdf that I can't figure out how to link:

The Catskill 3500 Club joins the Adirondack Mountain Club in questioning plans for expansion of the state-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in relation to the New York State Constitution, Article XIV, Section 1:

EXPANSION OF BELLEAYRE MOUNTAIN SKI CENTER

According to the Draft Scope, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) proposes to acquire portions of the former Highmount Ski Center totaling approximately 78 acres to accommodate a westward expansion of Belleayre Mountain Ski Center. Given that the land to be acquired is located within the Catskill Park boundary line, we question whether DEC can legally acquire these lands for the purposes of expanding the Belleayre Ski Center without a constitutional amendment to Article XIV, Section 1 of the state constitution.

Since the proposed Big Indian Plateau and Highmount Forest Preserve acquisitions were not part of the Catskill Forest Preserve in either 1947 or 1986, it is ADK’s legal position that those respective amendments to Article XIV, section 1, cannot support the cutting of trees and alteration of the “wild forest character” of these properties in order to expand the Belleayre Ski Center.

Further, ADK understands that approximately 10 miles of new trails are proposed as part of the BMSC expansion. ADK believes that this trail expansion alone would expand the ski center to its full, constitutionally authorized build-out of 25 miles of ski trails. It appears that DEC has thus far not included the footprint of the seven proposed ski lifts, the new snow-making reservoir, new Tomahawk Lift Base Lodge, expanded Sunset Lodge, new Visitor Center, new Amphitheatre, new sand/salt storage facility, expanded snowmaking infrastructure and other appurtenances in calculating the current Article XIV, section 1 limits on tree cutting and wild forest character alteration.

ADK asserts that no new ski trails and facilities can be constructed on the proposed Highmount and Big Indian additions to the Catskill Forest Preserve without an authorizing amendment to Article XIV, section 1, approved by the voters specifically authorizing those improvements on these new parcels.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
Jamesdeluxe Jamesdeluxe
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Re: Belleayre Resort news

Harvey44 wrote
Apparently there is a disagreement about if/how Highmount would be counted against the limit. Looks like ADK and Catskill 3500 want a strict interpretation of the 25 mile rule, and the DEC isn't as concerned about it.
The DEC doesn't want to count Highmount against the 25-mile limit?


In that case....

I believe that we should listen to the DEC's very sound recommendations for Belleayre's future!
x10003q x10003q
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Re: Belleayre Resort news

Jamesdeluxe wrote
Harvey44 wrote
Apparently there is a disagreement about if/how Highmount would be counted against the limit. Looks like ADK and Catskill 3500 want a strict interpretation of the 25 mile rule, and the DEC isn't as concerned about it.
The DEC doesn't want to count Highmount against the 25-mile limit?


In that case....

I believe that we should listen to the DEC's very sound recommendations for Belleayre's future!
I do not think they should count Highmount either. The Highmount acres are approved for skiing beyond the 25 miles of Bellayre. Why should it reduce Belle's plan? There is so little lift serviced acreage in the Catskill Park (700,000 acres inside the blue line).  ADK needs to worry about the Adirondacks. There is plenty going on in there own back yard. Catskill 3500 does not represent the general public.
Here is how they define the membership:

"The Catskill 3500 Club was founded in 1962, to foster interest in hiking in the Catskills. Membership is open to anyone who has climbed on foot each of the 35 Catskill peaks above 3500 feet in elevation.

Anyone wanting to become a member has to climb all 35 Catskill High Peaks and, (in a departure from the requirements of most other hiking clubs), climb Slide, Blackhead, Balsam and Panther mountains again in winter, which is defined by the Club as the period from December 21 thru March 21, inclusive.
 
Those who aspire to membership are invited to join the club as aspirants and to participate in the hikes the club regularly schedules to all 35 peaks in all seasons."
http://www.catskill-3500-club.org/

I really do not think the 3500 club should be defining what should be available for skiing.

 
skunkape skunkape
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Re: Belleayre Resort news

In reply to this post by ausable skier
Hi,
I am a Californian that started snowboarding in Tahoe in the 80's, then stopped and picked it up again last year. I have a house near route 28, so I checked out all of the catskills mountains. Plattekill was a little too narrow, natural and little for me, Hunter didn't have enough Green terrain for someone learning to ride again, then when I got a few weeks in and got better, it got boring after I had done all of the runs. Hunter was also extremely Icy. The food was pretty decent. Still,
I had many fun days at Hunter. The park was really well maintained last year although thats not where I ride. I never made it to Windham, but didn't hear anything to tempt me enough.

I really enjoyed Belleayre the most out of the three and ended up spending about 10 days riding there last year. On some weekdays I could look up and down the mountain and not see anyone at all for the whole run. When I was still learning, the bottom of the mountain at Belleayre offered some good variety at not too scary pitch. On the weekends, it was never as crowded as Hunter, but pretty crowded. Call me crazy, but I really liked the rustic old lodges. Food was not good.  I also liked the family atmosphere at Belleayre, I am bringing my kids to the mountain this year and plan on buying a season pass.  

I talked to an OG skier on the lift who told me about the High Mount trails and how they still poach them after a storm. I don't think you can rehab lifts that have been rotting for 15 years, but the trails are already cut at least. What is obvious is that it is not run like a business, it is run like a weird new york state facility. They don't give a shit about selling you cappuccinos, sushi, salad, or having some amenity around every corner. There is never going to be a base village or apres scene. There are white van shuttles instead of a regular parking lot shuttle bus. What they do care about is safety and snow. Every employee was nice and professional during my visits, and there seemed to be a really nice community of skiers and riders there. You just get the feeling that the whole place has been on autopilot for quite some time, but there is still a beating heart in there that makes the place lovable.
Jamesdeluxe Jamesdeluxe
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Re: Belleayre Resort news

skunkape wrote
 On some weekdays I could look up and down the mountain and not see anyone at all for the whole run. When I was still learning, the bottom of the mountain at Belleayre offered some good variety at not too scary pitch. On the weekends, it was never as crowded as Hunter, but pretty crowded. Call me crazy, but I really liked the rustic old lodges. Food was not good.  (...) What is obvious is that it is not run like a business, it is run like a weird new york state facility. They don't give a shit about selling you cappuccinos, sushi, salad, or having some amenity around every corner. (...) What they do care about is safety and snow. Every employee was nice and professional during my visits, and there seemed to be a really nice community of skiers and riders there. You just get the feeling that the whole place has been on autopilot for quite some time, but there is still a beating heart in there that makes the place lovable.
A great description of Belleayre for the angry ADKers who claim that it's worthless: no crowds on the trails, pleasant employees, a rustic lodge with lousy food (bring your own), better-than-expected conditions, and a great community feel -- even though the tri-state area is well represented there, you'll run into zero douchebags.

The only thing missing for advanced skiers is a wider variety of terrain, which could be accomplished by adding Highmount and Cathedral Brook on both sides.
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