Sixteen years ago, a broad coalition of organizations and individuals—including the Trail Conference—led a successful effort to protect 22,000 natural acres at Sterling Forest from development. Sterling Forest State Park was created to preserve an important watershed for millions of people in two states and the natural habitat for wildlife and outdoor recreation. Today it is endangered by a proposal to build a large casino resort at its center-one projected to attract nearly 7 million visitors annually.
The Trail Conference is opposing this project and urges New York State's Gaming Facilities Board to reject it.
Dec. 4 at 7pm: Public hearing on Draft Environmental Impact Statement
Click here for Sterling Forest Resort DEIS. Public comment period extends from Nov. 19 through Dec. 19, 3pm.
The Sterling Forest Resort is a $1.5 billion project proposed to be built on land now occupied by Renaissance Faire and Tuxedo Ridge Ski Center along Route 17A. The developers, RW Orange Inc., LLC, comprise the Genting Group, a Malaysian conglomerate that specializes in casinos and large “integrated resorts.” The site was selected, according to the application, “because it is the closest location permissible by law to NYC, just 35 miles from the George Washington Bridge.” The applicants also argue that the site is well-placed to compete successfully with new casinos expected to open in northern New Jersey after 2016.
The developers claim the adjacent park and hiking trails as amenities. “…very scenic and picturesque, surrounded by 21,935 acres of Sterling Forest Park [… w]ith connections to thousands of miles of hiking and ski trails and the 2,200 miles Appalachian Trail. . . .”
The group’s vision (view it on their website) includes a 1000-room hotel, spa, winter ski resort and summer Renaissance Faire, Adventure World, and other entertainment facilities. It also includes a new Exit 15B from the New York State Thruway that would require 0.7 acres of state park land that it would acquire in exchange for 10 acres of its “forestland on the upper reaches of its ski slope.” The developers propose to fund construction of the new exit.
The Tuxedo town board unanimously approved a resolution of support for the application to the Gaming Commission. The Trail Conference had earlier submitted a letter urging a No vote, citing the negative impacts that the development and increased traffic could be expected to have on the park and the watershed for drinking water for millions of people. We are now working with residents and partner organizations—including many who worked with us to save Sterling Forest as a state park—to stop further progress for this project.
Documents about this project are being posted on the Town of Tuxedo website.
For further information, go to No Tuxedo Casino.
November 17, 2014: Sterling Forest Resort DEIS Shows Casino Impact. Story at SloatsburgVillage.com.
November 10: Tuxedo Town Board approves Draft Environmental Impact Statement and releases it for public comment.
September 17, 2014: PIPC votes to deny Genting Americas access to Rt. 106 for building a new Exit 15B from the NYS Thruway to its proposed casino site in Sterling Forest. Story in Times-Herald Record.
--August 14, 15, 2014: Visual impact testing of the proposed 21-story casino-hotel was conducted these two days using balloons to mark building high points.
--August 18, 2014: The Final Scoping document for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is planned to be ready for consideration by the Tuxedo Town Board at a special meeting, Monday, August 18 at 7pm at Town Hall.
Schedule of Applicant Presentations (The Gaming Facilities Board is to make its decision by late fall 2014.)
--September 8 and 9: Casino applicant presentations will take place over the course of these two days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Meeting Room 6 at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. The presentations will be open to the public and will be Web streamed on the New York State Gaming Commission’s Web site (www.gaming.ny.gov). Each applicant will be expected to give a 45 minute presentation about their proposal and allow 15 minutes for questions from the Board. The Board will announce the order of applicant presentations as the dates approach.
Hudson Valley/Catskills Region Public Comment Day
--September 23, 2014, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
176 Rinaldi Blvd.
This is one of three public comment events in September to provide opportunity for members of the public in each eligible region to comment before the Board in support of or opposition to any particular applicant’s proposal within the respective region. Each event will take place from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. to accommodate participation from those who have varying availability. In each region, the Board purposefully selected large, accessible venues located in counties and municipalities where no casino applicants have proposals.