Argument uses flawed logic


To The Editor:
In a recent letter to the editor, Laszlo Vajtay, owner of Plattekill Mountain Ski Center, says that the plans for Belleayre Mountain are flawed when in reality, it is his logic that is flawed.  Here’s how.
He begins by saying, “I understand the support the Belleayre Mountain expansion project has been receiving, and I acknowledge the positive economic impact it could have.”  Then he goes on to argue against it. 

He says, “I have reservations about the magnitude of Belleayre Resort, but I don’t have a problem with the project itself.” It’s sort of like saying the food is lousy and the portions are too small.  You can’t have it both ways!

Mr. Vajtay is going into his 20th year as the owner of Plattekill, 20 years he could not have survived without overflow skiers and second homeowners attracted by Belleayre, which is how Plattekill got started in the first place, 10 years after Belleayre was built.  He started seven years after a constitutional amendment passed, statewide, by voters seeking the expansion of Belleayre Mountain. Mr. Vajtay was well aware of plans to expand Belleayre before he made his investment in Plattekill. 

He’s in a tough business – no denying that.  He cites lots of negative statistics about private areas that closed.  But none of those areas were near large, state-owned facilities.  It could be argued that if they had been as close to Belleayre as Plattekill is, maybe they’d still be open today.  And if you ask the owners of local resorts that did close, few if any would tell you that it was because of Belleayre.  With the exception of Highmount and Simpson Ski slopes, all the others came along after Belleayre - drawing from the crowds the state attracted to the region. 

Finally, Mr. Vajtay complains he can’t get tax breaks or public funding.  But when I served as a member of the Delaware County IDA and when I served as the director of the MARK Project, we all tried extensively to help Plattekill get tax breaks, grant funding and additional investment.  Sadly, he was unable or unwilling to do his part or to comply with the terms, which were necessary to acquire those funds.

Mr. Vajtay is where he is because of the choices he has made in his life.  I honor and value his hard work and the asset that Plattekill is to us all.  But his investments were his choice to make and to now say that everyone else in the region should continue to suffer economic decline because he is suffering is a flawed logic we just can’t accept. 

Joan Lawrence-Bauer,
Former Executive
Director –
MARK Project
Former Board Member – Delaware County IDA