By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO February 8, 2002 It appears that, at least for the foreseeable future, work on the Concord Hotel has stopped. According to developer Louis Cappelli, the events of September 11 and waiting to see what happens with the two possible casinos in the area has caused him to delay the project indefinitely.
In January 1999, Cappelli, as a silent partner with Joseph Murphy, bought the Concord at a bankruptcy foreclosure auction for $10.25 million. After Murphy faltered and ran into many difficulties, Cappelli bought him out. Cappelli began work on plans to redesign and redevelop the Concord.
The project broke ground on October 10, 2000. After some debate between Cappelli and the Sullivan County Legislature, Cappelli appeared before the Legislature on January 11, 2001 to update them on the project. Besides reviewing and updating the project, Cappelli pitched a jointly owned convention center project to the county.
After the county reviewed the numbers for the project, they passed on it. Cappelli vowed to find funding on his own and build the convention center himself.
In May of 2001, Cappelli signed a deal with Starwood Hotels and Resorts to manage the facility. Starwood runs the Westin chain, and the Concord would be based on their design.
However, Cappelli recently stated he is not sure where the project stands. He wishes to see what happens, as gaming agreements have been reached for casinos at Route 17s Exit 107 in Bridgeville and at Kutsher's Sports Academy in Monticello. The Oneida Nation of New York and Harrah's hotel chain have reportedly expressed interest in the Concord for a possible casino.
The hotel was scheduled to open summer 2002. In fact, several conventions have been booked there for 2004 and 2005.