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AN AERIAL VIEW of Kutsher's Resort Hotel. According to the Kutshers family, Louis Cappelli has an opton to buy the hotel.

Kutsher's Hotel may become part of Capelli's empire

By Jeanne Sager
MONTICELLO — March 11, 2008 — For all intents and purposes, Louis Cappelli has cornered the market.
The Westchester developer has entered into a $2.5 million option agreement with the Kutsher family to buy their century-old resort.
If and when he exercises the option – plunking down a cool $35 million for the 1,400 acres encompassing the famed hotel, sports academy and golf course – Cappelli will become owner of the Borscht Belt’s “Big Three.”
Already in his stable are Grossinger’s in Liberty and the Concord just down the road.
A deal with Empire Resorts, with a plan to move Monticello Gaming and Raceway, was announced for the Concord last month.
Now Cappelli's shifted his focus to Kutsher’s which is bustling with contractors these days.
“It’s not only business as usual,” said Mark Kutsher with a laugh. “We’re in hyperdrive running around trying to get things going.”
The Marquis building is in the midst of renovations as the family joins forces with the Americas Best Value Inn hotel chain, setting aside 60 rooms in a sort of franchise agreement.
Ownership of Americas Best Value Inn at Kutsher’s Marquis will remain with the Kutshers – or Cappelli, once he exercises his option to buy the resort – but that section of the property will sport the national chain’s name.
In the past seven years, Americas Best Value has grown to encompass more than 700 hotels around the country. The affiliation will give Kutsher’s a national presence, Mark Kutsher said, with a national advertising campaign.
“I hope it just broadens the base of our operations,” he noted.
For people traveling, the name will convey what amenities are offered and the level of quality, he explained.
The Marquis rooms will be European style – rooms only – but guests will have access to dozens of services on-site at Kutshers, from the dining rooms to the golf course.
Improvements completed over the winter will be apparent as the hotel opens up for the precursor to the summer season with a Passover celebration featuring Cantor Dudu Fisher and the New York Synagogue Choir under the direction of Lior Himmelstein.
Started in 1907 by brothers Louis and Max Kutsher, the resort has hosted its fair share of Passover seders.
But Mark Kutsher said this pairing with Cappelli has had little affect on the way he sees the business.
“We still own it, we’re investing money to upgrade things and make it as efficient as possible,” he said.
In 2000, the Kutshers entered into an option with Caesar’s that fell through.
Now it’s Cappelli. If the developer exercises his option to buy, Kutsher said he’ll end with an improved facility, and then the family may start feeling the emotions of actually letting go.
Then again, there’s no date set for a changeover.
“Whatever will happen will be on a much better property,” Kutsher said. “We’re still here, plugging away, doing the hotel thing.”

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