The Latest On Our Local Resorts...
REGIONAL – As the final pieces get put in place for a formal building start at the huge new casino and resort being planned for nearby Thompson, in Sullivan County, we felt it time to check in with what might be planned closer to home. In particular, we wanted to see what was in the works, or not, at the Hudson Valley Resort, in Kerhonkson, which had talked about bankruptcy proceedings last spring; at the former Homowack in Spring Glen, which was bought last year for rebuilding as a high-end eco-resort, and at The Nevele, outside Ellenville, which lost its bid for casino status a year ago.
Eliot Spitzer, general partner for Hudson Valley Resort, said that nothing much has changed since the specter of foreclosure was hung over the hotel back in June.
"The property continues to operate," he said, despite the fact that financial backer Kennedy Funding, Inc. demanded that the keys be turned over if video lottery terminal legislation was not approved by June 30. "We're trying to do the best we can, and we're working on a plan for the future."
The VLT legislation is dead, and Kennedy could proceed in court to foreclose on the property, but the letter sent to Spitzer does not automatically mean it will go that way. It's possible that the resort's principle owners are hoping to avoid owning a struggling hotel, and will give Spitzer some time to work on alternatives.
Spitzer suggested the Shawangunk Journal check back in three to six months about the hotel many still remember, locally, as The Granit.
Meanwhile, Lex Heslin of Beautiful Earth Group, which bought the old Homowack buildings with the intention of renovating and rebuilding them into the eco-friendly, solar power Spring Glen Resort, was seen last summer looking into state funding incentive streams for upstate businesses. Although later, other developers in the region noted that he was wearying of the search, and thinking of either changing or abandoning plans.
The latest word? Caught charging his car outside a Whole Foods somewhere out west a few weeks back, Heslin said he was still "putting many things together on the project" with no taste at all for "giving up and pulling out." He, too, asked that he be checked back with in the coming months, at year's end, when state funding decisions and other financials line up before a new year starts.
Finally, checking in with Michael Treanor about his recent post-casino plans to transform The Nevele into a sports-oriented family resort, he noted simply that he was currently "just working away on documents." Asked to explain in a bit more depth, the developer noted that he wasn't trying to be cagey, just honest without building up any false hopes in the community.
"I am moving as fast as I can but it's a complex redevelopment with lots of moving pieces requiring a lot of money," he emailed. "I'll let you know when there is something to say publicly."
Up the 209 corridor in Rosendale, meanwhile, demolition work is nearly finished on the new resort at what was Williams Lake, with development representatives saying that new construction is planned to start in the coming months, with a completion date now planned for 2017.