If the Nevele Hotel in New York’s Catskill mountains is renovated, will people actually flock there?
In other words will the old saying, ‘You can’t go home again’, be proven false in this case if the Nevele Hotel Casino and Spa is successful with its proposed $640 million dollar renovation project? Will people who have become accustomed to vacationing elsewhere actually be enticed to spend scarce time and even scarcer money in the Catskills of New York State?
Taking a quick trip down memory lane I was a bellhop at Grossinger’s in the late 1970’s which was right around the time that the popularity of the Borscht Belt, as it was affectionately known, severely began to wane as other alternatives became available and affordable.
I would typically drive down from school in Albany on weekends and work during the summers as well and, even then, saw the region as economically challenged save for any opportunities that the hotels provided.
Grossinger’s, one of the iconic hotels of the time, met it ultimate demise in the mid-1980’s along with the other resorts in the region although a few, including the Nevele, persevered and somehow survived.
On a trip back to play golf on the still open Grossinger’s golf course a few years ago these were some the very sad images of a hotel that once stood so proudly and that helped to define my youth and the lives of so many (i.e Dirty Dancing).
So continuing with the liberal use of cliches in this story, if the Nevele renovates will they come?
They plan on offering casino gaming and a spa, both of which are of course available in any number of other hotels in any number of different locations.
In my opinion this is going to be a difficult sell but as a veteran of a bygone era I wish them nothing but success if the project is approved and ultimately finished!
The Nevele Project Explained (from Press Release)!
Preparing to re-establish the historic Catskills region as a premier destination in the New York metropolitan area, the design for the new Nevele Resort, Casino & Spa was today unveiled at a press conference in the village of Ellenville, NY.
Described as “neo deco,” the design is inspired by three overarching principles:
- Reflecting the history of the famed resort that once drew more than 100,000 visitors per year;
- Respecting the pristine natural setting and surrounding environment – from the nearby natural waterfall to the majestic Shawangunk Mountains; and
- Recreating a family-friendly destination resort that can be the economic foundation for the region.
“The Nevele was a legendary resort, and with this design, it will be again,” said Michael Treanor, CEO of Nevele Investors, LLC. “It is important that the new Nevele be modernized in a way that honors its rich history, incorporates and respects its setting and creates a reason for families to come back to the Catskills.”
Situated on 500 acres at the foot of the Shawangunk Mountains, the lush countryside property will offer luxurious accommodations with rich furnishings and stunning scenic vistas, a world-class casino and outdoor recreation for every season.
Retaining two of the Nevele’s iconic structures – the distinctive nine-story round tower of rooms and the ski chalet – the new design merges the existing complex with new development.
The plush amenities, world-class gaming and myriad of recreational offerings that will make the new Nevele Resort, Casino & Spa a one-of-kind destination, include:
- A world-class casino, complete with a poker room, reel and video poker and table games that include everything from blackjack to craps to roulette, baccarat and pai gow poker
- 446 luxury guest rooms and suites, many with picturesque views of the mountains
- Luxury spa facility with steam and sauna rooms and a solarium, as well as a fully-equipped fitness center
- Premier restaurants and dining options, including a steakhouse grill, noodle bar, Las-Vegas style buffet and a food hall featuring Hudson Valley wines, farm-to-table and locally-sourced, organic foods
- Rooftop pool with spectacular, wrap-around views of the Shawangunk Mountains and sloping hills of the surrounding countryside
- A redesigned 18-hole, 7,333 yard, par 71, championship golf course
- Downhill ski, snowboard and sled trails and forested cross-country ski trails with a year-round chairlift that will give visitors a panoramic view of the nearby farmlands and cascading mountains
- Iconic ice arena and two-story ski chalet restored for visitors of all ages and abilities to enjoy
- Five miles of scenic hiking and biking trails recreated along an old railroad corridor
- Additional recreation facilities, including an equestrian facility and trails, eight tennis courts and summer zip lines
The design for the Nevele Resort, Casino & Spa was created by a team that includes Wilday Architects and Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture, firms known for designing major casino resorts and creating evocative public spaces in cultural, civic, and academic buildings that are intended to reflect their setting, rather than separate the facilities from their environments.
“The Nevele – with its expansive casino and recreational offerings – is truly a destination resort,” said Peter Wilday, principal at Wilday Architects, the firm behind Peppermill Resort, Spa & Casino and Montego Bay Resort Casino in Nevada. “For this purpose, the design caters both to gambling enthusiasts looking for a world-class gaming experience and families looking for a weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of New York.”
“Our design celebrates the history of the resort and the natural splendor of the region by converging the art deco aesthetic of the original Nevele Grande with today’s clean-line, neo-modernism,” said Douglas Moss, partner at Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture, whose projects of note include the restorations of the iconic Radio City Music Hall and the historic New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway. “This spirit of uniting the old and the new, the natural and the man-made, into what we call the “neo deco,” will be carried throughout the space – element to element – from the lighting fixtures to the décor finishings to the flooring. In doing so, we hope to restore the intrinsic specialness of the Nevele for new generations to enjoy.”
The redevelopment of the Nevele will be completed by one of the world’s leading builders, AECOM’s Tishman Construction, known for successfully managing complex, iconic projects including some of the largest gaming properties in the country, from the MGM City Center in Las Vegas to the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway and the Borgata and Water Club in Atlantic City.
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