Luxury Resort in the Catskills May Depend on Gaming License

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The Catskills were once a prime vacation destination for New Yorkers, but the popularity faded over the years. Now, according to a Wall Street Journal article, that may all change.

For more than a century, the Nevele Grande Hotel was a classic Borscht Belt resort in the mountains, featuring comedians like Buddy Hackett and Milton Berle. Now, a group of investors are trying to revive the shuttered resort as a full-scale casino and luxury resort.

Claremont Partners plans to raze most of the old buildings and put in their place a 450-room hotel, golf course, spa, winter lodge and a restored ice-skating rink, all in the shadow of the Shawangunk Mountain Ridge about two hours northwest of Manhattan.

But the entire project hinges on securing a New York casino gambling license—something that doesn't yet exist. Claremont is one of the first contenders to jump into the still-informal contest to open a New York casino, the leading edge of a flurry of expected interest following a political deal this year to legalize gambling.

Claremont bought the Nevele out of receivership for $2 million in April, about three years after the hotel closed having accumulated $21 million in debt. The property included a once highly regarded 18-hole golf course and a nine-hole golf course that are also closed and have fallen into disrepair.

The partnership will present additional details about the 500-acre, $500 million project to Wawarsing town officials, in preparation for a state environmental impact assessment.

 

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