Our Real Catskill Heritage

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To the Editor:
It is difficult to follow the logic of the Catskill Heritage Alliance. They purport to protect the “heritage,” that is, historical traditions of the Catskills.

But they don’t seem to want to look back very far into that same history. They seem to have forgotten the era when Pine Hill, Big Indian, and Fleischmanns swelled to over 15,000 summer residents. The proposed Belleayre Resort could house at its maximum 1,800 guests. That’s our heritage!

They ignore the more recent 10 years of economic decline as business after business has shuttered their doors for lack of customers. Tourism is our heritage and visitors need services.
They maintain that we don’t need cell service and computer access. Despite documented repeated pleas of emergency responders and every motorist who has ever had an unfortunate encounter with a deer or bear on a lonely stretch of Route 28.

I realize that change can be very difficult, even frightening. But to argue against expanding and improving the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center to its fullest potential is to ignore 65 years of our heritage as home to a publicly supported recreational asset and the main economic engine in our region.

Let’s really continue our “Catskill Heritage” by moving forward with improvements to the Belleayre Ski Center and creating much needed lodging to welcome visitors to the Catskills.

Jane and John Rossitz,
Shandaken