On Tuesday evening, representatives of Westchester developer Louis Cappelli, at a Town of Thompson Board meeting, floated "Ritz-Carlton" as the possible operator of a planned 125 to 200 room 5 star hotel on the site of the now-shuttered Concord Hotel in Kiamesha Lake. (See Times Herald Record Article.) They stated that Cappelli is trying to reach a deal with the luxury hotel chain to operate the hotel, a centerpiece of a 1,700 acre redevelopment of the Concord that could include 3,000 homes and retail.
Up round these parts, we’ve heard the Ritz name bandied about before. Three years ago, a group hoping to redevelop the old Campbell Inn outside of Roscoe talked about a possible Ritz tie-in. More recently, Livingston Manor resident Andy Krieger has floated plans for a luxury hotel there, possibly branded as a Ritz Carlton.
Both the Campbell Inn and Livingston Manor proposals lacked one key feature to earn a Ritz Carlton resort designation — neither has (or planned to have) an on-site golf course, a diregeur requirement for a 5 Star resort, except maybe at the North Pole.
Cappelli, however, may be just the person to finally succeed in bringing the Ritz nameplate to Sullivan. Cappelli’s Concord property includes two golf courses, and one, the Monster, is world-class. He already has a relationship with Ritz Carlton, having signed a contract with them for a hotel in White Plains. And most important, Cappelli has an impressive track record as a developer, often in ‘marginal’ areas, like New Roc City in New Rochelle or the Yonkers Downtown Redevelopment project, as well as luxury and upper end projects, including Trump Towers in White Plains and New Rochelle.
Maybe, just maybe, this will be the magic formula that will bring a luxury hotel back to the Catskills — one part Louis Cappelli, two parts golf courses, and a hefty serving of deep pockets.