I don't really have a dog in this fight since I live 300 miles from Belleayre, but a question I have is: would Belleayre have ever been built and still be in business if the state had not been involved? Same question for Gore and Whiteface. And if these places had never been built would the private areas have done well without them? Sorry if this is topic drift.
Down my way the state of WV has long operated Canaan Valley Ski Area since the early 1970s. It is in a relatively excellent location for natural snow and cold winter weather with a base elevation around 3000', but there was a private ski operation nearby that failed a decade or so before Canaan Valley was opened. A very good argument could be made that when the state opened Canaan Valley it became an important anchor re-establishing winter sports in that part of WV. Around 1980 a new privately owned ski area, Timberline, opened nearby and there is also a flourishing (when Mother Nature complies) Nordic ski center sandwiched between the two downhill ski areas. All are within about 3-4 miles of each other. Canaan Valley has now been eclisped by Timberline for skier numbers and more advanced skiing, but if the state had never got involved who knows if this nice trio of mid-Atlantic ski operations would exist at all?
I don't really have a dog in this fight since I live 300 miles from Belleayre, but a question I have is: would Belleayre have ever been built and still be in business if the state had not been involved?
Being 35 miles away, I can not comprehend why you would even ask such a question. Belleayre was voted into the state constitution because the people of NY state thought it was a good idea in the 1940s when they voted on the state wide proposition in November. Belleayre being state owned is not good or bad. It is what it is. I have ridden up the Belleayre lifts with people from Maryland that have told me Belleayre is the best kept secret on the east coast. Others may disagree.
Belleayre being state owned does not sell land next to the ski area for millions of dollars for a 1/16th of an acre like many private ski areas. To compare Belleayre to a private ski area is like comparing apples to oranges, which is a waste of time.
There were a number of things that people thought were good ideas in the 1940s.
Last time I checked, NY didn't have a budget surplus. Why do you object to running the area in a fashion that maximizes the return to the state from the existing infrastructure? I'm not suggesting selling any land or building any condos.
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 - 12:34 PM GMT
Edited: Jun 13, 2012 - 12:42 PM GMT
Why do you object to running the area in a fashion that maximizes the return to the state from the existing infrastructure? I'm not suggesting selling any land or building any condos.
The only thing I am objecting to is comparing a state owned ski area to a private owned ski area. If Belleayre's objective was to break even at no cost to the tax payer that would be fine by me. If NY state wants to try to pump up the economy by investing some tax payer dollars in Belleayre, I would personally be ok with that also.
The numbers I see right now is NY state tax payers spend about $1 million a year on Belleayre and get back $12.5 million a year in economic spending in the region. Not a bad investment. Personally I am ok with those kind of numbers. Others may not be ok with that.
I also know that a lot of people have learned to ski at Belleayre and then gone on to ski in Vermont, NH, Maine, and out west. For example, my son learned to ski at Belleayre on discounted ski tickets and now lives in Boston area. He skies in NH, VT, and Maine. Belleayre is an excellent feeder ski area.
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 - 12:39 PM GMT
Edited: Jun 13, 2012 - 12:43 PM GMT
[quote]I don't really have a dog in this fight since I live 300 miles from Belleayre, but a question I have is: would Belleayre have ever been built and still be in business if the state had not been involved?
Being 35 miles away, I can not comprehend why you would even ask such a question.
To compare Belleayre to a private ski area is like comparing apples to oranges, which is a waste of time. [/quote]
I guess the point I was making is that if a guy starts selling apples on the corner and does well, maybe another guy will start selling oranges on the next corner and between them they could better satisfy customers and generate even more business and before long you have cherries, grapes, etc.
Jimk its a very complex problem here in NY State. The 1940s after WWII the 10th Mountain division started making skiing popular in the USA. NY state had all these mountains. Unfortunately most of NY state mountains were owned by the state and protected by the Forever Wild Law. NY State still has that problem. It would be great if Hunter mountain was allowed to buy the land up to the top of the Real Hunter Mountain. Unfortunately that is not remotely possible given the state forever wild law.
Creation of state run Belleayre in the 1940sw was a solution to carving out some of the land protected by NY State forever wild law for use as a ski area. Now we have Belleayre mountain. These days some people use Belleayre and other government run entities like state parks/camp grounds, state boat landings, state beaches, and state golf courses as examples of socialism and anti capitalism. Fine . At the end of the day Belleayre is what it is by promoting the sport of skiing, significantly helping the local economy, and most important many families depend on the income they get directly or indirectly from the existence of Belleayre.
BTW - The state park land protected by NY state forever wild law is larger than the 3 biggest National Parks. It is HUGE.
BTW volunteer fire departments are also a good example of socialism at its best. We should privatize them also.
One more factor in the Catskills - New York City gets most of its water from the Catskills. There are many NYC resevoirs and land/watershed rights and this also puts more limits on what can be developed in the Catskills.
BTW - The state park land protected by NY state forever wild law is larger than the 3 biggest National Parks.
perhaps at the time it was created, but no longer; Death Valley, Denali, Wrangell St-Elias and perhaps a couple others are larger. Since we're strictly sticking to facts in this thread.
Agreed it is huge (2.9 million acres give or take), but not really an accurate comparison since NPS acreage counts don't usually reflect private inholdings. Shenandoah & Acadia, for example, the maps are like checkerboards that do not include schools, communities, businesses, etc. while the NY State Preserves count all those acres. Not saying one is less valid than the other, just saying that it isn't really accurate to compare land use in a State Preserve to a National Park.
[quote]The root of the problem is the state is running what should be a private enterprise.
To the point and true.
Blame all the 1940s NY State voters that voted YES on a state proposition to create Belleayre in a November election. Your ancestors have spoken and now you are stuck with it. [/quote]
I blame NYS ( or better said corrupt individuals in places of advantage ) for setting up the voters by obscuring the fact that they drove the Simpson Slopes "niche" as a method to promote skiing there and capture the interest of skiers to the Catskills. In other words, they "planted a seed". They took what they nurtured, this new growth of skier visits to that area and promoted the need to build a new and bigger area and gave only the information to the public necessary to cement the creation which was 'their" original intention all along. It appeared to be a good thing to the average Joe but in fact was an obfuscation designed to build and create control, on Forever Wild Land, the "certain anything" they, the corrupt bastards that they were, had originally intended to do anyways.
The current plan to expand Belleayre is an obfuscation within the larger original obfuscation. They were telling us and showing us expansion on one side of the mountain when in reality the intention was to go to Highmount. Simply put, its a smoke and mirrors game.
Other individuals in places of advantage did the same but different on a place called Bearpen.... lay out a game plan, with right timing and positions of control in place, they are all doing the same thing, just differently.
They are all crooks... its been this way, is this way now and will continue to be this way. Its nothing new under the sun.