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$500M Golf Resort Slated to Replace Classic NY Hotel

Wed June 20, 2001 - Northeast Edition
Mary Gelling Merritt

A long time gateway for thousands of New Yorkers, the Concord Hotel on Kiamesha Lake in the Catskills, is undergoing a renaissance. The legendary, old resort hotel, which decades ago used to feature such entertainment greats such as Harry Belafonte, Jerry Lewis and Don Rickles, is being torn down to make room for a brand new 520-room luxury hotel and convention center complex.

The new four-star, world-class hotel and conference center, designed by the Hillier Group, will be called the Westin Turnberry Golf and Resort Spa. The building’s style will capture the essence of a traditional mountain lodge. The management of the resort is being turned over to the Starwood Hotels and Resorts company, based in Westchester, NY.

The company is one of the largest hotel chains in the world, with 700 hotels and resorts in 70 countries, including the Westin chain of hotels, Sheraton hotels, St. Regis luxury hotels, the W boutique hotel chain and Four Points Hotels.

The estimated $500-million project will create a year-round resort and residential community, which will include the reconstruction of the main hotel, resort housing, time shares and all-weather recreation and entertainment facilities including a Spa Ranch — all on 1,600 acres. William B. Tabler

Architects of New York City, in coordination with Divney Tung Schwalbe, an engineering and environmental design firm based in White Plains, NY, are designing the development of the entire complex plan. The site resides next to the world famous, par 72 “Monster” Golf Course. The 7,471-yd. course is known for its variety of strategically placed water hazards.

Developer Louis R. Cappelli, the head of Concord Associates, LP, a joint venture of Cappelli Enterprises and Reckson Strategic Venture Partners, bought the ailing resort in 1999. The Concord filed bankruptcy in 1997.

Cappelli said he believes the one key criteria in planning the development of the property is to maintain the area’s environmental integrity. “We are extremely sensitive to the beauty and value of this property. Our plan is carefully designed to fit within the environment. We are looking at providing internal transportation systems that will minimize the need for private automobile use within the site,” Cappelli said.

The $200-million first phase of the project is expected to begin in August. The construction project is estimated to create 8,000 construction and new permanent jobs.

The Concord resort, 90 mi. northwest of New York City in Sullivan County, dates back to 1937 when Russian emigre and founder of the Jeris Hair Tonic Company, Arthur Winarick, took over a small hotel to settle a debt.

The Concord grew to become a year-round resort after World War II. After a series of expansion projects in 1960s the resort became a popular destination for New Yorkers trying to escape the hot city.

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