Cuomo: $8M to upgrade ORDA-run Belleayre

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants the state to invest an additional $8 million for upgrades at the Belleayre Ski Center in Highmount in the Catskills.

The Belleayre investment, which the governor announced Thursday, includes installation of a new, high-speed gondola, multiple lodge expansions and new amenities for both of the resort’s lodges. The project is intended to increase visitation, enhance the customer experience and provide a boost to the Catskills’ tourism economy.

That’s comparable to a $20 million investment Cuomo announced in January for Whiteface and Gore, two other state-owned ski centers run by the state Olympic Regional Development Authority, based in Lake Placid. In addition to major lodge upgrades, the Whiteface portion would include two warm-weather thrill rides: a “mountain coaster,” similar to a roller coaster, at nearby Mount Van Hoevenberg and a large-scale zip line at Whiteface.

The money is not yet a done deal; Cuomo’s press release said they’re additions to his state budget proposal and are subject to negotiations with the state legislature. They are on top of $12.5 million for ORDA facilities previously included in Cuomo’s budget.

“These new capital investments are being added to the Executive Budget as part of the 30-day amendments, submitted today,” Cuomo’s press release said.