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7 hours ago · by · 0 comments

Historian to showcase Wyer photos

Bovina – “The Photographs of Bob Wyer: Bovina People and Places” will be the topic of Ray LaFever’s fourth annual Bovina Historian’s program at the Bovina Community Hall on April 28 at 7:00 p.m.

During a 40-year career, Wyer took more than 150,000 images of people, places and events in and around Delhi. He was well known for producing most of the post cards sold in the region for decades. The focus of this program will be on photographs he took in Bovina, including aerials of some Bovina farms in 1946, as well as wedding, family group and passport and chauffeur license pictures of people from Bovina.

A free will donation to benefit the Bovina Historical Society will be collected at the door. For more information on this program, contact Ray LaFever at 607-832-4609 or at bovinahistorian@gmail.com.

7 hours ago · by · 0 comments

“Something Fishy” opens at Longyear

Margaretville – “Something Fishy and Other Currents,” a group show featuring the artwork of all Longyear Gallery members, opens this week at Margaretville’s Longyear Gallery. The show opens on April 20 and will be part of the community’s Something Fishy on Main event Saturday, April 21. The Artists’ Reception will take place the following week, Saturday, April 28, from 3 – 6 p.m.

“Something Fishy and Other Currents” is really two exhibitions in one. Joining in Margaretville’s “Something Fishy on Main Street” celebration of Trout and Troutfishing, a number of Longyear artists will exhibit fishingrelated art while other members will exhibit artwork unrelated to the event. “Something Fishy on Main” will be a 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. day of various activities including lessons in fly-tying, trout kite making, etc. in Margaretville

A cooperative art gallery, Longyear Gallery’s boasts 33 member artists.

Upcoming Longyear Gallery shows include a two solo exhibitions featuring the works of Helane Levine-Keating and of Jennifer Jefferson from May 18th to June 11th, with the Artist’s Reception on Saturday, May 19th from 3-6 p.m.; and two solo exhibitions featuring the work of Robert Axelrod and David Leveson from June 15th to July 9th with the Artist’s Reception on Saturday, June 16th from 3-6 p.m. David Leveson’s solo exhibition of fine art photography will also serve as a tribute to the beloved photographer, founding Longyear member, and late Longyear Gallery director who passed away on March 15th after a short illness.

“Something Fishy and Other Currents” will be open Friday, April 20 through Monday, May 14. Longyear Gallery is located Downstairs at the Commons, 758 Main Street, Margaretville. Gallery hours for “Something Fishy and Other Currents” are Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and by appointment. For information, please call 845.586.3270 during gallery hours or Gerda van Leeuwen at 607.326.4402 for appointments.

7 hours ago · by · 0 comments

Relay for Life set for April 28

Delhi — The Delaware County Relay For Life a signature fundraising event of the American Cancer Society gets underway Saturday, April 28 at 11 a.m. at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Walton. The opening ceremony will be at noon near the 4-H Youth building on the fairgrounds.

Relay For Life is free and open to the public and all are invited to come down for the day to enjoy everything that is offered. The fundraising goal for this year’s Relay is $50,000. There are currently 37 teams that have been raising money over the last few months and half of the goal has been met.

A series of relay events will take place all day and into the night, helping to raise money for the American Cancer Society. There will be teams set up all around the track that has been set up for the event. Teams will have someone walking the entire time. There will be themed laps throughout the day as well.

Teams will sell foods and have raffles. There will be 15- 20 different vendors on the grounds including food vendors, an ice cream truck and a popcorn wagon. There will be a bounce house and games for kids and a dunk tank too. A mission tent will showcase the cancer society and its programs and hairstylists will cut hair for Wigs for Kids in the mission.

From Noon to 4:00 p.m. the Walton Fire Dept. and EMS will be do demonstrations throughout the day with fire prevention and life safety. They will talk to anyone who is interested in joining the department.

Entertainment will include a DJ throughout the event with live entertainment from noon until 8 p.m. with Rising Star Productions singers, hula hoopers, and Randy Hulse, RPH Band of One playing from 6-8 p.m.

A Luminary Ceremony begins at 8:30 p.m. People can purchase luminaries in honor or in memory of loved ones, family or friends until 5 p.m. They all are lit and around the track and every name is read out loud during this very emotional moving ceremony.

A Relay For Life event is not only a way to join communities to fight back against cancer, but it is also a way to inspire hope by raising funds and cancer awareness to help those facing the disease.

For more information, contact Lynn Pickett (lynnpickett123@gmail.com), 607.437.3 276.

1 week ago · by · 0 comments

Catskill Conquest traces 1903 Auto Run

Mt. Tremper — The second annual Catskill Conquest Pilot Rally, which retraces th 1903 Automobile Endurance Run is set for September 22.

All vintages are welcome! If you love your car come and drive it on this route.

Follow the historic 1903 route over the Catskill Mountains to the Susquehanna River along a 75 mile course with six hosts/checkpoints, festivals and attractions. We travel from the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper to Unadilla, following one of the most beautiful drives in New York State. The start will be at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center, 5069 State 28 Mt. Tremper.

The route follows the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway along the historic Ulster and Delaware Turnpike and then finishes along the Catskill and Susquehanna Turnpike.

The road crests four hills over 2000 feet elevation along the way. Your car should have good brakes and good power to run the Catskill Conquest.

For info, visit: 1903autorun.com, e-mail: 1903autorun@gmail.com or call 845.657.6982.

1 week ago · by · 0 comments

Magda Biernat show at Roxbury

Roxbury – “Adrift,” a solo exhibition of the works of photographer Magda Biernat, opens in the Walt Meade Gallery of the Roxbury Arts Center on Saturday, April 21 and will run through May 26.

“Adrift” is a project that uses a visual language as a means of polar comparison,” says Magda Biernat of her project and upcoming exhibit. “By pairing photographs of Antarctic icebergs and empty Iñupiat Eskimo hunting cabins, it offers a restrained commentary on the parallel effects of global climate change at opposite ends of the Earth. Average temperatures in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are rising twice as fast as they are elsewhere in the world. The rising temperatures are causing more icebergs to break off from glacial floes; polar ice is getting thinner, melting and rupturing. Near the opposite pole in the Arctic, the melting of once permanent ice is already affecting native flora, fauna and the frozen ground on which they live. Global warming is threatening the cultural identity of native people. The hunting cabins of the Iñupiat are mirrors of the lone ice mountains in the south, singular polar structures under pressure by a changing ecosystem. Silent and static witnesses to change.”

“Biernat’s work marries art with social concerns in a way that can truly touch the viewer,” says Annie Schwed, Gallery Coordinator of the Roxbury Arts Group. “Sharing this exhibit with the public gives us the opportunity to highlight this fantastic photographer as well as the issue of climate change.”

Magda Biernat, a native of Poland currently based in NYC, is a contemporary art photographer specializing in architecture and interiors and is the former photo editor of Metropolis Magazine. She received her MFA in New Media from Transart Institute in Berlin and New York. Her photographs have been published in, among others, the New Yorker, the New York Times, National Geographic, Interior Design, Wallpaper, Metropolis, Dwell and Afar.

Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally with exhibitions in Poland, Belgium, France, Canada, The Philippines, Taiwan and the United States. She is a recipient of awards such as the Center 2016 Director’s Choice Award, LensCulture 2015 Emerging Talents Award, TMC/Kodak Grant, Lucie Foundation Awards and Magenta Foundation Flash Forward. Her work is represented by Robert Klein Gallery in Boston and Clic Gallery in New York City. “Adrift” will be hanging through May 26 and will close with an Artist Talk at 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.roxburyartsgroup.org or call 607.326.7908.

1 week ago · by · 0 comments

Something Fishy on Main April 21

Margaretville — With Trout Tales in full swing, “Something Fishy on Main” will be hosted on April 21 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. by the Business Association of Margaretville.

The Trout Tales season was officially kicked off two weeks ago at Spillian where enthusiasts met to swap stories, learn the latest tips and trips, and feast on trout tacos. For “Something Fishy on Main,” businesses throughout the Village of Margaretville will feature fish-themed specials and activities throughout the day.

Some of the festivities include fish-themed wine at the Margaretville Liquor Store and fish cookie decorating at Home Goods. For those with children, the Catskill Artisans’ Guild will be holding a station for making your own fish-themed kite.

On the fly

From 10-2, local legend Lenny Millen will be giving free fly-tying demonstrations at Catskill Seasons Ltd. Millen is a professional guide and expert fisherman who is a staple throughout Trout Tale events. For those inspired to get started fishing, licenses can be acquired from Catskill Seasons Ltd and Northhill Outdoors.

Other fishy happenings include themed apparel at the Margaretville Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop and activities at the Fairview library that are based around books on fishing. The Department of Environmental Conservation will present a clinic on fishing in the Binnekill stream which is sure to be useful to beginners and experienced fishermen alike.

For those looking for something different altogether, the Longyear Gallery will feature an exhibition called Something Fishy Art Show with trout-themed art donning the walls. The works will show another side of the inspiration that fishing in the Catskills provides. To that same end, Margaretville will host a public art project from Memorial Day until Labor Day that will see wooden trout customized by local artists displayed around the Village.

For additional information on this event, please visit: Margaretvilleny.org or call 845 586-4177.

2 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

HSM announces 2018 programs

Margaretville — The Historical Society of Middletown has a busy schedule of talks, tours and special activities planned for 2018.

The season will start with a friendly battle of wits when HSM sponsors its first Trivia Challenge Saturday, May 5 at 7 p.m. at its hall, 778 Cemetery Rd., Margaretville. Teams of two and four will compete for awards. Door prizes and libations will be offered. Register your team ($25 per person) at 845-586-4689.

The Second Annual Underground History weekend for metal detectors will be held June 2-3. This ‘relic hunt’ will happen at select sites throughout Middletown. To participate (there is a fee) contact mrmetaldetector@aol.com.

On Saturday, June 9, a free, illustrated talk, “Trees, Skis and the Triple Cs,” will discuss the lasting contributions made by the New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps camps in the Catskills. The talk, by Diane Galusha, begins at 10 a.m. at the HSM hall, and will be followed by a walk through a local CCC plantation.

The 6th Living History Cemetery Tour will be held at Halcottsville Cemetery Saturday, July 7. One of HSM’s most anticipated events, the tour introduces visitors to former community residents who share their stories of life, love and loss. Reserve a tour time at 845.586.4736.

Celebrated photographer Art Kane will be the subject of a free, illustrated talk, “Marking Time,” by his son, Jonathan Kane, on Saturday, July 21, at 7 p.m. Kane, who lived in Margaretville in the 1960s and ’70s, was noted for his fashion, celebrity and editorial photographs and was considered among the most influential visual artists of the 20th century.

Autumn events include a Family History Afternoon Sept. 8 at the Margaretville Cauliflower Festival Sept. 22, the Annual Meeting and Luncheon Oct. 20 and, on Nov. 3, an observance of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. “Middletown in the Great War” will feature a slide show with photos of many local veterans, and readings of soldier letters, by members of Open Eye Theater. This program will take place at Middletown American Legion Hall 216.

For more information on these programs, and to become a member, visit mtownhistory.org, or email history@catskill.net.

2 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Historian to showcase Wyer photos

Bovina – “The Photographs of Bob Wyer: Bovina People and Places” will be the topic of Ray LaFever’s fourth annual Bovina Historian’s program at the Bovina Community Hall on April 28 at 7:00 p.m.

During a 40-year career, Wyer took more than 150,000 images of people, places and events in and around Delhi. He was well known for producing most of the post cards sold in the region for decades. The focus of this program will be on photographs he took in Bovina, including aerials of some Bovina farms in 1946, as well as wedding, family group and passport and chauffeur license pictures of people from Bovina.

A free will donation to benefit the Bovina Historical Society will be collected at the door. For more information on this program, contact Ray LaFever at 607-832-4609 or at bovinahistorian@gmail.com.

2 months ago · by · 0 comments

New W. Kortright Director

East Meredith – Amy Helfand will take the reins of the West Kortright Centre this month according to an announcement from the nonprofit arts and community center in East Meredith. Helfand comes to the WKC from Brooklyn, with a background in studio art, performing arts administration, and community building. In 2012, she founded the House of Love house concert series in Red Hook, and has nurtured it into a thriving venue for local, national, and international musicians.

Helfand was also deeply involved with Miles of Music Camp, serving on its Advisory Board and managing a weekend camp in Brooklyn. Her own art practice has evolved into a decade-long collaboration with weavers in Nepal, who translate her designs into handmade rugs. Amy has a BA in American Studies from Hampshire College and MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Helfand will replace retiring director Martha Van Burek who over the past 35 years, has developed The West Kortright Centre into a model of high quality programming and institutional stability. She will be retiring after booking the 2018 performance season.

2 months ago · by · 0 comments

Outdoor Expo May 5 in Walton

Walton — Complimenting a vast array of outdoor enthusiast and sportsmen-focused vendors at the Walton Chamber of Commerce, the inaugural All-Seasons Sportsmen’s Expo to be held on Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Walton, there will be a full day of free demonstrations, workshops, educational seminars and hands-on learning opportunities. Those include:

• FREE Fishing for All. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is sponsoring a FREE day of fishing on the West Branch of the Delaware River at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. License requirements are waived and DEC staff will be on hand, with fishing tackle, to teach anglers of all ages how to fish.

• Creepy Crawlers, Stealthy Slitherers and Rascally Reptiles. SUNY Cobleskill Fisheries and Wildlife staff will have native reptiles and aquatic insects on display and talk about their habits and habitats as predator and prey and what their presence means to ecological health and balance.

• Casting 101. NYS Licensed Adventure Guide Brian Foster of Reel Catskills will give introductory hands-on fly fishing casting lessons throughout the day.

• All Tyed Up. NYS Licensed Adventure Guide Jeff Foster of Reel Catskills will give hands-on fly-tying demonstrations. Jeff will also discuss typical hatches on the Upper West Branch of the Delaware River and its tributaries.

Climate change effects

• Vital Signs: Climate Change and Global Warming. Delaware County Soil & Water Conservation District staff will discuss cyclical climate change, trends in global warming, what that means to the health and balance of the ecosystem and how it effects outdoor enthusiasts and sportsmen.

• Spanning a Lifetime. Industry experts will be on hand to talk about the lifespan of a deer and how to determine a deer’s age and health.

• Dirty Rock and Roll. Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District staff will discuss weather event impacts, restoration projects and why dredging streams is no longer preferred as a means of flood prevention. Stream health and connectivity will be discussed using the West Branch of the Delaware River and its tributaries as examples.

Wild critters

• Catskill Critters: Foxes and Squirrels and Bears, Oh My! Walton resident and local author Leslie Sharpe will host a book signing, reading and discussion of The Quarry Fox and other critters of the Wild Catskills, published in 2017, based upon her observations from her secluded, hilltop homestead.

• KidFit – Wild, Whimsical, Wondering and Wandering. NYS Licensed Adventure Guide Lillian Browne of Catskills Unleashed will lead kids of all ages on an introductory nature hike where they will learn plant and tree identification and learn how to use their imaginations to immerse themselves in and connect with nature.

• Chasing Rainbows. Heralding from the Lake Ontario region, expert angler John Giovenco will provide a glimpse into the exciting and challenging world of steelhead trout and salmon fishing. Necessary tackle and equipment will be on display.

Admission is $5 for adults and anyone under aged 17 is admitted free. Vendor space available. Raffles and door prizes. For more information, sponsorship opportunities or to reserve vendor space visit All-Seasons Sportsmens Expo on Facebook, email sportsmensexpowalton@gmail.com or call 607.761.2670.

2 months ago · by · 0 comments

Events Calendar

Thursday, April 26

The Delaware County Chamber of Commerce will host a Veterans Resource Workshop in Delhi from Noon to 2:00 p.m. They will present opportunities for starting a business, maximizing Veterans Administration benefits, attending college, financing, and more, 5 1/2 Main Street, Delhi. Lunch will be provided. Preregistration is encouraged, but not required. For details contact Matthew LaLonde at 607.746.4534 or lalondmm@delhi.edu.

Author Gail Straub will read from her new book, The Ashokan Way, which chronicles a year’s worth of walks near the Ashokan Reservoir, at the Catskill Interpretive Center on Thursday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. at 5096 State Rt. 28, Mt. Tremper. For information, 845.688.3369 catskillinterpretivecenter.org

Friday, April 27

Friends of the Upper Delaware River and Hancock Gateway Tourism Council host a VIP Boat Float in Hancock. Local officials and those from the NY and PA Governors offices will attend. The VIP Boat Float is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information on how to participate, call 410.245.8021 or email info@DestinationHancock.com.

Saturday, April 28

The Heart of the Catskills Humane Society holds a special 50th Anniversary Spring Dance & Auction at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center’s Overlook Lodge. The event will be held from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. and will feature a dinner, dance, live and silent auctions. For more information contact The Heart of the Catskills Humane Society at 607.746.3080

Spring Open House at the Catskill Interpretive Center features guides from the NY State Outdoor Guides Association and Catskill Center staff on hand from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. leading short guided walks, outdoor skill demos, and lots more! The new Fishing Rod Loaner Program in partnership with I Fish NY will be launched with casting basics from local experts.

The Bovina Community Hall will host Ray LaFever’s fourth annual Bovina Historian’s program at 7:00 p.m. The topic will be “The Photographs of Bob Wyer: Bovina People and Places” For more information on this program, contact Ray LaFever at 607.832.4609 or at bovinahistorian@gmail.com.

Margaretville’s Longyear Gallery hosts “Something Fishy and Other Currents,” a group show featuring the artwork of all Longyear Gallery members with an Artists’ Reception from 3-6 p.m.

Phoenicia Library hosts “Sporting Clubs; Saviors of our Catskill Rivers,” from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Austin “Mac” Francis and Beth Waterman present. For more information, 845.688.7811 or phoenicialibrary.org

Susan’s Pleasant Pheasant Farm hosts two Catskills Trout Tales events. Lenny Millen leads “Trout Appetizers on Lake Wawaka,” showcasing stream analysis, fly tying, hatch match and casting. Judith Millar, herbalist and forager explores meadows, water banks and forests covering edible plants, sample preparations, eating with the season and other information and recipes. Participants can wander the grounds throughout the day. Reservations are urged as space is limited. 607.326.4266. For more information, kayakingnewyork.com

American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life gets underway at 11:00 a.m. at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Walton. The all day event features dozens of vendors and teams, activities, events and entertainment from day into night. For more information contact Lynn Pickett 607.437.3276 or lynnpickett123@gmail.com

3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Literary journal to make debut

Fleischmanns — A new literary journal, the brainchild of Shandaken native Paula Dutcher and Fleischmanns resident Dr. Bill Birns will be published late spring 2018.

The publication will feature various styles of poetry, prose, creative non-fiction, and even some digitally-formatted art, created by those who call these mountains home, or, perhaps wish they did. Theme of the premiere issue is “Home.”

“This area is deep and diverse and challenging, and so magical that Dr. Birns and I want to use our combined literary passions to help collect and deliver the myriad voices of the Catskills spiritual children,” says the journal’s editor,

Paula Dutcher, a Summa Cum Laude English-major graduate of SUNY New Paltz, now running her own, woman-owned, contracting and remodeling business.

Birns, the journal’s Publisher, is a retired Margaretville Central and Onteora High School English teacher, a local author and regional historian, who has lived in the mountains since 1971.

“Nobody knows the mountains like the people who are making our lives here,” Birns said. “The power of telling one’s story has gained nationwide attention lately. Paula and I hope that Mountain Arts Reviewoffers an opportunity and a spur for mountain folks to express stories in our own voices.”

If one has the desire to express through writing (or even art) and feels a connection to this geographic region send submissions to the email address listed below.

Mountain Arts Review, a brand new Catskill-centered literary journal, seeks submissions of poetry and short prose from locals and others who care about the Catskills and mountain life.

Please send submissions by February 1 to mountainartsreview@gmail.com

3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Creative Nonfiction classes planned by WIM

Pine Hill — Writers in the Mountains (WIM) has announced its spring Creative Nonfiction workshop with Anique Taylor, February 1 to May 3. The class will be held Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pine Hill Community Center, Main Street, Pine Hill.

In a college-like semester packed with excitement and growth, this extended class will offer writers possibilities for deepening their craft, group support and continuing work on long projects. With a preference for exploring memory, risk, danger, dreams, different versions of reality and deeper connection with self, the class will explore personal essay, memoir, journal work, writing for ourselves and for publication.

Class exercises will familiarize students with techniques of poetry, fiction, playwriting to provide tools to hone their work.

The topics

Classes will include freewriting, exploratory exercises, supportive feedback on students’ writing, along with discussions on short works by famous authors (nonfiction essays, stories and memoir, along with essays on craft and the writer’s life). Between classes, reading and work suggestions will be offered for those interested.

All welcome, students with long projects, short projects or those who want to take it week by week. All levels welcome.

Anique Taylor has co-authored works for HBO, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The World (St. Mark’s Poetry Project), Rattle, Common Ground Review, Adanna, Earth’s Daughters, Stillwater Review, and e-Bibliotekos’ Pain and Memory. She’s given featured NYC readings at St. Mark’s Poetry Project, Dixon Place, the Speakeasy, Cedar Tavern. Her chapbook Poems is published by Unimproved Editions Inc. Her chapbook Where Space Bends was chosen Finalist for both Minerva Rising and Blue Light Press’ 2014 Poetry Chapbook Competitions and Under the Ice Moon was Finalist in Blue Light Press’ 2015 Competition. She holds a Poetry MFA from Drew University, a Drawing MFA from Pratt Institute and a Diplome in French Literature from the Sorbonne. She has taught Creative Writing for Benedictine’s Oncology Support Program, Bard LLI, Artworks and Phoenicia Poetry Workshop.

To register, call Jean Stone at 607.326.4802, or e-mail her at jtstone@catskill.net. To register online, visit writersinthemountains.org.

4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Bowling alley owner rolls with major changes

By Brian Sweeney
Reprinted from Catskill Mountain News

The former Margaretville Bowl has a new owner and is undergoing an extensive transformation that will keep the retro 1960s feel of the building while adding a modern spin and amenities.

Somerville, MA native Paul W. Collyer closed on the purchase in late October and has been working steadily to transform the building constructed in 1960 as a bowling center into a multi-faceted event space — complete with a restaurant and bar, live music, movies and, of course, bowling.

Extensive work has already been undertaken, including installation of new drainage, addition of an 800-square-foot storage area and clearing of landscaping plantings in preparation of adding decks on the front and one side of the building.

Paul, assisted by an array of area contractors, has been working steadily to transform the bowling alley into a space that will be attractive to visitors on multiple levels.

New name

Renamed The Ark Bowl and BBQ (the property is technically part of Arkville), Paul’s vision includes installation of expanded kitchen and bar area, adding windows, new entryways, dining/entertainment decks, creating a small space for live music, recreating the indoor spaces for bowlers and installing all new synthetic lanes.

It’s a large-scale project, but Paul feels the changes he’s implementing are necessary to create a facility that offers a variety of reasons to visit. Most of the changes have been on the exterior so far and Paul has been able to keep the alleys open for his league bowlers, but the business won’t be open to the general public until June or July when he expects the renovations to be complete.

Having spent more than three decades promoting music and other types of events in Massachusetts, Paul said he was ready for a change and last year began exploring business opportunities. He’s been coming to the Catskills on a regular basis for about 15 years and noted that his love of the region was actually kindled during childhood after reading the classic tale My Side of the Mountain.

“Last spring, as I started to seriously consider a ‘semi-retirement’ career, I sent out notes to brokers in the Catskills to see what kind of commercial properties were available,” Paul recalled.

Coldwell Banker Timberland Properties agent Esther de Jong was one of the respondents and provided him with information about her listing for the Margaretville Bowl, which had been owned for about 25 years by Michael Finberg.

Checking the choices

Intrigued by this prospect, Paul traveled here to check out the property and then began extensive research into the bowling business — a sport he had never tried. In a bit of irony, Paul found that the popularity of bowling had been in decline for decades and numerous establishments had gone out of business.

On the other hand, he discovered that many bowling center were enjoying resurgence thanks to makeovers that incorporated more entertainment offerings into the facilities. That model made sense to Paul and it’s the vision he’s pursuing for what he feels will be a good fit for the economic turnaround happening in the Catskills during the past few years.

“Bowling alleys are actually coming back with added flair, live music, refreshments and good food,” Paul commented. That’s the balance he’s looking to strike with his new venture.

Paul explained that there will be separate entrances for bowlers and patrons who are simply coming in for drinks or a meal. Naturally, customers will be welcome to participate in all the offerings, if they wish.

He added, “More people now go to bowling alleys for the social aspects – to enjoy a meal or a drink, even if they may not want to bowl.”

To ensure there a multitude of appeal, Paul is a planning a 10- foot-by 56-foot deck and awning across the front and an outdoor café off the western side of the building. As the name implies, BBQ will be a staple offering in the food department and he’s also planning many other menu choices with an eye on simple, quality meals. The new addition that’s in place will also include space for a smoker preparation of BBQ products. Paul has cooking experience, but says he’s planning to hire a chef among the 10-15 workers he’ll need when fully staffed.

60-year history

He is also planning a number of cosmetic changes to the building, including a new paint scheme and lighting to reinforce the retro appeal of the building that traces its origins back nearly 60 years when it was started by Bob and Betty Veit as Evergreen Lanes.

In addition to long days spent working on renovations to the business, Paul is in the process of purchasing a home in the area. The two projects leave the new bowling proprietor with little “spare” time. That’s OK with Paul as he puts down real life roots in the place he’s been fascinated with since reading about a fictional escape to the Catskills.

4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Gondola up & running at Belleayre

By Victoria Levy
Reprinted from Catskill Mountain News

The long awaited Catskill Thunder Gondola opened last weekend, just in time for the holiday season. The gondola took it’s maiden voyage on Saturday December 30, 2017 at 9:37 a.m.

The gondola is a major asset for Highmount and surrounding towns as it boosts tourism, creates jobs, and gives locals and tourists an incredible experience of viewing all the beauty and nature that Belleayre offers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been committed to growing New York’s tourism industry in the Catskill region since taking office. Last year, Cuomo joined by Robert De Niro, hosted the first-ever Catskill Summer Challenge to focus on attractions and activities in the Catskills with hopes of driving tourism and boosting the area’s economy.

Cuomo calls Belleayre Mountain one of New York’s “crown jewels.” He said “The opening of this gondola is an investment which will not only boost the region’s growing tourism economy, but it will also allow New Yorkers to experience some of the best views and attractions in the world year-round.”

The Catskill Thunder Gondola opened just nine months after Cuomo added it to the 2017-2018 budget.

New experience

The Catskill Thunder Gondola begins from the lower mountain’s Discovery Lodge to the summit next to Tomahawk in seven minutes. The gondola holds up to eight people per cabin and can accompany up to 2,000 people per hour at a maximum speed of 1,000 feet per minute.

The gondola required 16 lift towers to be installed to enable transportation from the resort’s base to the mountain’s summit covering, 6,272 feet horizontally and 1,354 feet vertically.

In addition to the gondola install, the resort’s entire electrical service was modernized and expanded. A new trail was cut and a skier bridge was installed to connect the west side of the mountain and the lower base Discovery Lodge. Many locals are thrilled to have upgrades to the mountain. As the coldest of temperatures have hit the region in recent weeks, the gondola gives skiers a break from the cold wind while enjoying the sights.

Tourism employs many

Tim Maxwell, general manager of Belleayre Ski Resort, said “This had been an all hands on deck project. It’s exciting to see all of this hard work come together today. We’ve taken a tremendous amount of pride in this project and this will be a tremendous asset to not only Belleayre but to the entire Catskill region.

In 2015 the total economic impact of tourist industry in the region reached $1.83 billion. This is an increase of more then 13 percent since 2010. Tourism represents more then 15 percent of the region’s employment creating over 17,000 jobs. Making it through the winter months is vital to many businesses in the area and locals are thrilled at the expansion and traffic coming into our area.

Belleayre has made history throughout its long run. It holds a prominent place in the history of New York, as it was the first lift-assisted ski resort in the Catskills, a Roebling single chair installed in 1949. Major expansions were made in the 1960s and 1970s and eventually Life 6, a Hall double chair replaced the Roebling. The 1980s saw some expansion with lifts 1 & 2 receiving side-by-side double chairs to service lower mountain beginner terrain.

ORDA operation

In recent years Belleayre is run by the Olympic Regional Development Association (ORDA), which also operates Gore and Whiteface Mountain Ski Resorts.

Belleayre offers 55 trails (including moguls) and eight lifts open to skiers and snowboarders. With the recent renovations and innovations like the gondola, electrical modernization, new trails, and the skier bridge connecting the west side and lower base of the mountain, Belleayre continues to be one of the most innovative and loved mountains of New York State.

11 months ago · by · Comments Off on Village Spruce Up

Village Spruce Up

HEAVY LIFTING — Matt Sluiter, above, hauls brush away as part of volunteer cleanup in the Village of Margaretville on April 23. Sluiter Agency, Inc. was well represented in the project, with Peter Sluiter, below, also lending helping hands with some raking duties to spruce up the village. — Photos courtesy of Diane Galusha

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Sluiter Agency, Inc.

P.O. Box 170, 761 Main Street
Margaretville, NY 12455-0170

(845) 586-2641

Fax: 845 586-3809