Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
March 10, 2009 Issue
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Laura Stabbert | Democrat

WHILE THE LAST of the old Concord Resort Hotel’s buildings gets demolished yesterday morning, US Senator Charles Schumer, third from left, talks about his staunch support for improving Route 17. Also pictured, from the left, are project developer Louis Cappelli, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini, Congressman Hinchey’s Aide Julie Allen, and SC Legislature Chairman Jonathan Rouis. See story and photos on 1B.

Concord seeks abatement

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — Want to have a say on the tax abatements the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) plans to give the $1.5 billion Concord redevelopment project in Kiamesha Lake?
Then set aside an hour on Tuesday, starting at 9 a.m., to be inside the Thompson Town Hall in Monticello. Comments will be taken at that public hearing.
Here’s the basics of what you need to know, culled from a cost/benefits analysis independently conducted for the IDA by Shepstone Management Company out of Honesdale, Pa.:
• Developer Louis Cappelli is planning to build a 1.5 million-square-foot, 750-room hotel, casino and convention center on top of the now-demolished site of the Concord Resort Hotel in Kiamesha Lake.
In association with Empire Resorts, he wants to move the Monticello Raceway next door to the hotel.
On the opposite side of the International and Monster golf courses, he is hoping to create a 125-room, 200,000-square-foot hotel, spa and clubhouse, the center of a future upscale housing development.
Total estimated cost: $1.5 billion.
• Cappelli and company are seeking nearly $6 million in county and state sales tax abatements, nearly $13 million in mortgage tax abatements, and more than $136 million in real property tax reductions.
In fact, if approved by the IDA, the Concord project will pay no property taxes from 2010 to 2018, then make payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) at an increasing rate from 2019 through 2025, followed thereafter by payments equal to 100 percent of the owed taxes.
Total value of requested abatements: $155.76 million.
• There will, of course, be costs sustained by local municipalities and school districts. Not counting the abatements, that includes nearly $80 million in additional costs for local schools and nearly $58 million in additional costs for the Town of Thompson.
Total anticipated costs (not counting abatements): $138 million.
• With upwards of 2,000 jobs anticipated to be created in the long-term (with about half coming from Sullivan County), the benefits to the surrounding communities are expected to be substantial, from increased buying power and retail sales to spinoff jobs and room taxes.
Using formulas based on the “multiplier effect” (growth in employment and income spurs exponential growth in the same for the rest of the community), taxes over the period 2008-2050 are expected to increase by $636 million, while for the same period personal income gains are projected to total $802.4 million.
Total anticipated benefits: nearly $1.5 billion.
• When costs and abatements are subtracted from the benefits, the Concord hotel project yields a 5.91 benefits-to-cost ratio, while the spa and clubhouse project yields a 5.81 ratio.
Total estimated net benefits (subtracting all costs): nearly $499 million.

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