The rumor mill has been buzzing for months that a deal was afoot to sell the Chapin Estate to a new development group. The news is now public. In a press release posted on the Sullivan County Partnership site last week, the deal isn’t being referred to as a ‘sale’, but rather that Chapin has brought in two new partners, Bighorn Capital, a Las Vegas financing firm, and SunCal, a real estate developer based in Irvine, California, and that Steve Dubrovsky, one of the founders of Chapin (who will remain managing partner) has sold a majority interest to them.
The deal, which is being touted as moving the Chapin Estate into the next phase of development, is great news. Chapin has been very successful at selling it’s lakefront parcels, which are now largely built out with the large, lodge style homes that have been Chapin’s signature. But the lion’s share of Chapin’s remaining 250 unsold lots are non-lakefront, which can be a tougher sell. So the announced plans for a boutique hotel and spa, an equestrian center and expansion of the Lake Club, can round out its offerings and increase its appeal.
With a more amenitized Chapin Estate anchoring the upper end, the large Double Diamond at Lost Lake community aimed at the mid market, and the plans for Adelaar around the new Montreign Casino, Sullivan County could see more new second home construction in the next few years than in the decades since the heyday of the Catskills. And if the new hotels planned come to fruition (at Montreign, Chapin and Lost Lake), we could hit that magic tipping point as a destination getaway again, and that will likely spur other developer interest. Sullivan has some great sites — the back side of Lake Joseph, the area around the Tennanah Lake golf course, the old Campbell Inn outside of Roscoe, the former Laurels Hotel site on Sackett Lake and the former Krieger holding south of Livingston Manor. Sullivan County could be a very different place in the next five to ten years.