link to full article is here:
New York State owned Belleayre Mountain's season was a question mark as lawmakers recently grappled over a state budget wrought with red ink. At one point it looked like the resort in the Catskills would be running with one lift and a half dozen trails open, not the kind of attraction worth most skier/rider's time.
But after a community uproar and grass roots lobbying effort, in which it was pointed out that a fully functioning Belleayre provides income for the state and is an economic stimulus for a downtrodden region, they're back in business and opening Friday. Money is still tight for the mountain and they are opening a little later than their competition, Hunter and Windham Mountains. They'll also close for the season a little earlier than usual.
Guest will see a few cutbacks to reflect the times, such as equipment rentals available at only the lower lodge and not the mid mountain lodge. (It cost bucks to stock the rental shops).
The Catskill Region is a hot bed of slopeside controversy as Hunter and Windham managements believe a state subsidized resort creates an unfair advantage, but that's a story for another day (although you can get background on the hullabaloo here). The important thing for snowsliders is Belleayre is still a good destination option this season, an easy drive for northern New Jersey and they have some pretty good preseason rates and deals.
Here's their press release.
BELLEAYRE MOUNTAIN TAPS INTO WINTER FRIDAY NOVEMBER 28TH
$99 Four-Pack of Lift Tickets Available this Weekend Only
Highmount, NY November 25, 2008 - Belleayre Mountain will open the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 28, with $25 lift tickets. Pre-season rates are in effect for Saturday and Sunday with full day adult lift tickets at $43. The popular $99 four-pack of lift tickets will be on sale, November 28-30, from noon to 4pm in the Overlook Lodge at the Guest Services desk (limit - one per household). The Annual Tap into Winter party will be held in the Overlook Lodge on Saturday, November 29th. This year's party will include free food sponsored by Freestyle Realty and Centennial Mortgages, DJ Wavy Davy, Jimmy's Belleayre Ski Shop Fashion Show, plus prizes and giveaways.
The temperatures have been cold enough for around the clock snowmaking over the last two weeks and with the help of natural snowfall this will be the best opening for the mountain in the last 25 years. Belleayre is projected to open with 8 trails and 5 lifts with terrain from top to bottom for all ability levels. Belleayre has received 30 inches of snow to date, with 8 inches in the last 24 hours.
The Belleayre Mountain Snowsports School will have private and group lessons for beginners to experts available starting this weekend. The popular Kidscamp program and the Nursery will be open starting December 19th. Advanced reservations are required. Belleayre staff will be on hand for customers interested in purchasing season passes and programs including Alpine Development, Race, Freestyle, Adult Weekend Workshop, and the midweek Silver Sliders program.
Belleayre Mountain is a year-round outdoor recreation area in the Catskill Mountains operated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.