March 12, 2008: Bad policy


To The Editor:

With‚ÄÇBelleayre Mt. Ski Center‚ÄÇabandoning plans to expand‚ÄÇon the eastern side toward Pine Hill, the remaining expansion of the ski center would only be for the purpose of giving the proposed Highmount Spa Resort ski in/ski out access to the rejuvenated slopes of Highmount Ski Center.‚ÄÇ
The Belleayre expansion is now nothing more than a gift of citizens’ tax dollars and environmental security to Crossroads Ventures. The proposed Highmount Spa Resort, consisting of 240 units sprawling from 2,600 feet to the ridge top above 3,000 feet is environmentally unsound. The final DEC scoping document suggests that Crossroads eliminate the Highmount Spa from the development plan to avoid a host of adverse environmental impacts. The state should not be questioning the wisdom of this high-slope development on the one hand and paying for it on the other.
Coupled with the governor’s agreement to buy the developer’s land holdings on Big Indian Plateau for three times the going rate, the expansion of the ski center to accommodate the developer’s far-fetched scheme cannot be justified financially or legally. 
Belleayre Mt. Ski Center needs to disentangle itself from the proposed private resort for its own good and for good public policy.‚ÄÇThe proposed Belleayre Resort must pay its own way‚ÄÇwithout the gift of a taxpayer-owned ski center.‚ÄÇ

Matt Frisch, coordinator
Highmount Preservation Association