The following story was just posted on FTO.  I hope it's true, because this
will be the best ski area for both terrain and snow in western and central
NYS if they can get it off the ground.  I thought about hiking the place for
two years now and even visited it last winter-it's like a spooky ghost
resort right now.


An investment group with ski industry ties is looking into developing a $100
million-plus resort community in the long-closed Bluemont Ski Area and
surrounding land in Cattaraugus County.
The unidentified group has contacted several government officials and
agencies in Cattaraugus County in recent weeks to lay the groundwork for a
project similar to the ill-fated Kingbrook ski and golf development in the
Town of Yorkshire.

Though no plans have been filed, Cattaraugus County officials said the
1,000-plus-acre development would include a resort hotel, several hundred
residential units, two ski hills, a signature golf course, tennis courts,
hiking and mountain biking trails and support services.

A representative of the investment group indicated they expect to take
ownership of the property this spring and open the first phase of
development in 2005, said Yorkshire Supervisor Richard P. Fuller.

"We had quite a conversation, and he sounded serious," Fuller said. "He said
they had a solid money commitment and would really like to see some action
out there soon."

The developers also contacted the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development
Agency. The agency previously crafted a $70 million inducement package for
the Kingbrook project, which was never built.

The new group inquired about similar assistance for its project, said Norman
Leyh, the agency's executive director.

"We had some dialogue about how our agency could be involved, and we talked
about the process. They said they want to be extremely aggressive and really
move things along," Leyh said.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation's district office also
confirmed it received an inquiry from the developers regarding what would be
involved to reactivate permits to pick up where the Kingbrook group left

Both Leyh and Fuller claim they don't know the identity of the development
group, saying their contact so far has been through a third party, not the
principals. Leyh said he's focusing on the project and what it could mean
for Cattaraugus County.

"Many people would be very excited if this comes to pass," he said. "It
would mean construction jobs, long-term jobs, new property tax revenues, a
boost for tourism, many, many positives."

The original Kingbrook proposal forecast an additional $4.2 million in
property tax revenues for Cattaraugus County, while creating more than 200
new full- and part-time jobs. Economic spinoff was estimated at $23.3
million annually.

The revived resort would be located about seven miles off Route 39 in the
Town of Yorkshire. It would include the original 140-acre site of the former
Bluemont Ski Area, plus another 1,000-plus acres of the Kingbrook site.

The Kingbrook group tried for nearly a decade to develop a private resort
community drawing upscale clients from Western New York and Southern
Ontario, west to Cleveland and south to Pittsburgh. While the lineup of
investors was overhauled, the group never managed to secure the private
dollars it needed to begin construction.

Kingbrook filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000, but the petition was
withdrawn in 2002 and the property was foreclosed on by a Colorado bank.
Cattaraugus County officials said tax bills currently are being paid by
Kingbrook Funding, which has a Broomfield, Colo., address.

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