Concord Resort Hotel

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The Concord Resort Hotel (pronounced KAHN-cord) was a resort in the Borscht Belt part of the Catskills, known for its large resort industry in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. Located in Kiamesha Lake, New York, the Concord was the largest resort in the region until its closing in 1998. There were over 1,500 guest rooms and a dining room that sat 3,000; the resort encompassed some 2,000 acres (8.1 km2).

Concord remains, summer 2005.
Front entrance known as "The Towers", the newest part of the hotel, containing the most expensive rooms.
View looking up old main driveway with the demolished hotel in the background, June 2010.

According to the Concord Resort & Golf Club Website, the hotel is now

"...home of the World Famous "Monster" Golf Course rated by Golf Digest as one of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses" which "features full service pro shop, driving range, overnight accommodations, meeting rooms, restaurant and bar, large catering and banquet facilities, individual and corporate memberships, golf school, and a PGA professional staff for all golf instruction programs."[1]

There are currently 42 guest rooms and the website indicates that more rooms will be built as well as amenities not related to the golf course (i.e. swimming pool, tennis courts, etc.) The "Monster Golf Academy" is under the direction of PGA Professional Todd Barker. The former hotel portion, though, was completely demolished in 2008 and the site remains vacant.

The Concord was used several times a year by the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs for live fire training. Because of its size, relative isolation and heavy type 1 concrete construction, it was ideal for firefighter training.

In 2010, financial disputes between the owners led to a legal settlement, splitting property between the parties. Entertainment Properties Trust REIT won 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) of the Concord site from developer Louis R. Cappelli, who retained control of 116 acres (0.47 km2).[2] Monticello Raceway owner Empire Resorts announced plans to explore development of a racino resort on the property in partnership with Entertainment Properties.[3]

On May 5, 2011 the owners of the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Connecticut announced a competing joint venture with Cappelli Enterprises Inc. to build a $600 million racino on the site of the former hotel. According to the statement, the new resort will include a 258-room hotel, 75,000-square-foot (7,000 m2) casino with 2,100 video lottery terminals, five restaurants, a harness racing facility and grandstand, and a simulcast facility for pari-mutuel wagering.[2][4][5]

Concord timeline[edit]

  • 1935 – Russian immigrant Arthur Winarick took possession of The Ideal Plaza in Kiamesha Lake in settlement of a debt. This marks the beginning of what would become the Concord Resort Hotel.
  • 1950s – With a reputation for sumptuous kosher dining and top entertainment, the hotel becomes one of the top vacation spots in the Northeast. Winarick's daughter, Clara, and her husband, Raymond Parker, take over the hotel operation. The hotel is passed on to Raymond's sons.
  • 1960s – The decline of the Catskills resort industry takes hold, as city dwellers move out to air-conditioned homes in the suburbs, affordable air travel makes vacations to more exotic locations possible, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 allows the Jewish clientele of the Catskills resorts to choose other, previously exclusive domestic resorts for their vacations.
  • 1985 – With mounting debt, Grossinger's is sold for $9 million. Attempts to reopen it fail. It is later sold again in foreclosure.
  • January 1997 – Albany lawmakers reject a casino referendum, which Concord owners were banking on heavily.
  • February 1997 – Concord files for bankruptcy protection. Sullivan County, owed more than $8 million in taxes, is the resort's largest creditor.
  • January 1999 – The hotel sells at a bankruptcy foreclosure auction for $10.25 million, to a partnership led by Joseph Murphy with Westchester developer Louis R. Cappelli as a silent partner. Cappelli later buys out Murphy.
  • March 2000 – Cappelli and the publicly traded Reckson Strategic Venture Partners announce a plan to redevelop the Concord as a world-class resort.
  • October 10, 2000 – Cappelli and his partners break ground and begin demolition.
  • Reported by Concord Hotel: What It Looked Like Inside The Hotel in 2005: December 2004 – Concord sold by Reckson Strategic Venture Partners/Cappelli, which purchased it out of bankruptcy, to Empire Resorts. Empire owns Monticello Raceway as well as Mighty M Gaming, which operates the "racino" at the Monticello Raceway. It's been reported that Empire hopes to locate a casino at the Concord.
  • January 2008 – Outside of the golf course, the resort remains an abandoned ruin.
  • April 2008 – Demolition begins in the new Concord hotel / Racino. The $750 million project is expected to be completed in five years.[6]
  • May 2011 - Owner enters into a joint venture with Mohegan Sun casino to develop a new $600 million Concord resort.
  • December 2014 - The Gaming Facility Location Board of New York State chose The Montreign Resort Casino to be built in the Catskills town of Thompson on the grounds of the old Concord hotel. The $630 million project will come with an 18-story hotel, meeting spaces and an indoor waterpark. Its developer, Empire Resorts, operates through a subsidiary, the nearby Monticello Casino & Raceway.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°40′44″N 74°39′17″W / 41.678854°N 74.654642°W / 41.678854; -74.654642