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For Release: Thursday, December 3, 2015

DEC Announces Major Catskills Recreation Destination Plan Can Move Forward

DEC Issues Findings and Permits for the Modified Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park and Belleayre Mountain Ski Center UMP

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos today issued the Findings Statement for the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center Unit Management Plan (UMP), as well as the Findings Statement and permits for the modified Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park in accordance with the Commissioner's decision on July 10, 2015. The issuance of the findings statement and permits allow the development plan to move forward. The decision follows a thorough and rigorous review of the project to ensure all applicable laws and regulations are met to adequately protect the environment.

"After an extensive review process, DEC, our partnering stakeholders and the applicant have crafted a comprehensive and balanced plan which will help guide responsible development of this world-class outdoor recreation destination that both reflects and protects the magnificent Catskill Mountains," said Acting Commissioner Seggos.

Throughout the process, which included a lengthy public comment period, DEC worked with various partners, including local residents, businesses, municipalities, environmental groups and the project's sponsor to modify the plans to ensure environmental impacts and concerns raised among the many stakeholders involved were carefully considered. Significant modifications to the project, including elimination of development on Big Indian Plateau, other project changes and additional environmental studies, resolved environmental issues related to the project earlier in the process.

Highlights of the final UMP include the installation of three new ski lifts and 16 new trails, construction of a new lodge, as well as major upgrades to existing lifts and facilities, including: significant upgrades to snowmaking operations; expanded lodges; and additional parking. The project site is located in the town of Shandaken (Ulster County) within the boundaries of the New York State Catskill Park and adjacent to the State-owned Forest Preserve Lands comprising the Shandaken Wild Forest and Big Indian Wilderness Area.

The Modified Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park, which includes the Wildacres Resort and Highmount Spa Resort, is located generally west of the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in the towns of Shandaken (Ulster County) and Middletown (Delaware County). The Wildacres Resort will include a hotel building with 250 units and ancillary hotel uses (dining, spa and hotel related commercial), 163 detached lodging units in multi-unit buildings, and an 18-hole golf course. The Highmount Spa Resort includes a 120 unit hotel with spa facilities, 96 additional lodging units, a ski lift and two ski-trails.

To read the Findings Statement, visit DEC's website.

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