Splashy Sullivan resort planned

Details include indoor water park and spa
A Pennsylvania-based resort company wants to build a $100 million-dollar resort off of Route 17 in the Town of Thompson hamlet of Bridgeville. The Sandstone Resort would feature 350 rooms and suites.Rendering provided by American Resort Management

Adam Bosch LINK IS HERE:

http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080401/NEWS/804010333

BRIDGEVILLE — A national resort company yesterday announced its plans for a $100 million resort, spa and indoor water park in Sullivan County.

The Sandstone Resort at Hudson Valley would be located just off Route 17 in Bridgeville and would feature 350 rooms and suites, a 60,000-square-foot indoor water park and a high-end spa. The project’s developer, American Resort Management, said it would create 250 jobs.

Richard Coleman, senior vice president of the company, said the location is ideal because millions of potential customers live within a three-hour traveling radius, especially in New York City.

“We want to have a throwback to the glory days of hospitality in that region,” Coleman said, evoking the Catskills’ heyday as New York’s top resort destination. The project already has attracted investors, but Coleman said those details will be announced in the future.

Sullivan County has a healthy skepticism about projects this large, given the recent history of multimillion-dollar plans that never come to fruition.

“It would be a great thing for the area,” said Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini. “But I’ll believe it when I see it.”

American Resort Management is working with Bridgeville USA LLC, a partnership that owns the 18 acres off Exit 107. Bridgeville USA’s investors include Charles Petri and Gene Barbanti, who failed in a business venture with the Unkechaug Indian Tribe a few years ago. Working with the Tribe, Petri and Barbanti wanted to install a casino and high-stakes bingo parlor at the run-down Apollo Mall in Monticello, court papers said.

The gambling plan ultimately failed, in large part because the Unkechaug are not a federally recognized tribe. Financial disputes eventually pitted the tribe against Petri and Barbanti, both of whom were absolved of any wrongdoing in court.

Now the two men are back, with partners that have considerable experience. American Resort Management owns or manages 13 resorts, water parks and restaurants across the country. The company said it will contract with Hy-R Building Systems in Liberty, where Barbanti is a managing partner. He and Petri could not be reached yesterday.

Assuming the project is approved by the town, American Resort Management said it would break ground this fall and open in summer 2009.

abosch@th-record.com

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