Category Archives: Windham
In April of this year the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) unveiled the most recent unit management plan (UMP) for Belleayre Ski Center. It included a recommendation for $74M in upgrades over the next several years. At the same time they released a revision of the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Belleayre Resort development.
The UMP for the Belleayre Ski Center calls for the construction of three new lifts, refurbishing two others, cutting 16 new ski trails (primarily at Highmount) and upgrading the ski center’s snowmaking infrastructure. The plan also includes a new lodge, expansion of both the Discovery and Sunset Lodges and several parking lots.
In its current form, the Belleayre Resort project includes plans for two hotels, 270 hotel rooms, 250 fractional units and an 18-hole golf course. The most recent proposal is about half the size of the original and would be privately funded.
The EIS estimates that the Belleayre Resort would create 771 full-time and seasonal jobs with $25M in annual payroll. It’s also estimated that an additional 264 jobs would be created from the economic impact of the resort. Precise numbers aside, no one would argue the point: this public and private investment is going to produce economic development along the “Onteora Trail.”
Many people have written heartfelt essays about the magic of skiing — how it takes us out of our sometimes drab everyday lives filled with responsibilities and routine, puts us in the middle of nature, and allows us to physically and metaphorically fly for a few minutes. If we’re lucky, the snow will be soft and the lift lines short. If we’re extra lucky (especially here in the northeast), we might score untracked powder.
But this past weekend at Windham Mountain, the ninth annual northeastern Wounded Warriors winter event — where 31 servicemen and women who’ve suffered spinal-cord and orthopedic injuries, amputated limbs, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) came to ski and snowboard together with their families — gave me a new appreciation for skiing’s transformative power.
The true test for an eastern ski resort is always the early season warm spell or r**n event. The Catskills’ major ski areas have only been able to open a few runs this season and this most recent system that dropped snow on northernmost New England primarily produced the wet stuff farther south. Nevertheless, I packed my bags and headed for Windham NY at 6:30 this morning.
The mountain was reporting that the two top-to-bottom runs were still open, along with an additional connector at mid-mountain, along some beginner terrain near the base.
Opening was delayed to allow extra time to finish grooming some previously ungroomed terrain. I was content waiting in an Adirondack chair in the sun, thankful for the change in plans. The mountain had solid coverage across both Upper Whistler and Upper Wolverine; the groomers did an excellent job in most places, leaving most coverage as loose granular.
The Catskills Winter Sampler Card will cost $199 and includes one unrestricted adult lift ticket valid any day of the upcoming season at each of four premier winter ski and snowboard destinations in the Northern Catskills: Hunter Mountain, Windham Mountain, Belleayre and Plattekill Mountain. In the next few weeks the card will be available online at CatskillsWinterSampler.com.
The combination lift ticket program is designed to encourage visitors from major metro areas to sample the skiing and riding available in the Northern Catskill Mountains. Located just two and a half hours north of the New York metro area, the three Catskill counties of Greene, Ulster and Delaware offer a selection of lodging, outdoor activities, restaurants, arts & culture, shopping and winter fun that is close to home for millions of people.
The promotion was unveiled at the First Tracks Media Night at Arno’s Restaurant in New York City on Tuesday. The annual event in Manhattan was attended by Thunder Ridge, Mount Peter, Hunter, Windham, Plattekill, Catamount, West Mountain, Gore Mountain, Whiteface, Greek Peak, Ski Areas of New York (SANY) and I Love New York.