What’s ahead for the Nevele?
During the ’60s and ’70s, the Nevele Grande Resort and Country Club was the place to be for a wedding, a golf outing or a good old-fashioned vacation with the family. its championship 18-hole golf course was the envy of its neighbors, as were its 500 acres of manicured grounds and resort amenities.
Today, the hotel sits amid tall weeds and broken lawn chairs, the courts taking ownership of it from Joel Hoffman in March. Hoffman owed millions to more than a dozen entities, including the village of Ellenville, its water department, the state Department of Taxation and the town of Warwarsing.
State Supreme Court Justice Mary Work put the hotel in receivership and turned it over to Hoffman’s former partner, Mitchell Wolf. “It was a beautiful place in its prime,” said town of Warwarsing Supervisor Leonard Distel. “I think mr. Wolf would like to sell the hotel, but in this economy, it’s difficult to find a buyer.”
Distel, an avid golfer, says the hotel’s 18-hole golf course was a magnet for its layout and for the amenities once offered to resort-goers. “It’s a shame to see what happened to it. the former Fallsburg Hotel (re-opened in 2008 as Honor’s Haven Resort) now has one of the best nine-hole courses in the Northeast. the new owners have put a lot of money and effort into making that hotel a showplace. They have also reached out to partner with the community.”
Village of Ellenville Mayor Jeff Kaplan would like to see the Nevele replicate the investment the new owners of Honor’s Haven have put into the former hotel, which sits right next to the Nevele.
“It is a challenging economy for any resort owner these days. I have to commend the ones that are open and doing their best to create a different resort experience.” In their heyday, Catskill resort owners had a different mindset, as did their customers, said Kaplan: “You drove in, you parked your car, and you never left until it was time to go home. But the world has changed, and the hotel business has to change with it, because people are looking for more than what these hotels used to offer – a one-stop experience where you never left the grounds. Honor’s Haven has poured a lot of money into the former Fallsburg Hotel, and they are encouraging guests to visit the village and to “partner” with local business in building up tourism. I think it’s a great model and most likely the way the resort business will go if it is going to survive.”
As for the Nevele, the hotel that the Slutsky family put on Ulster County’s map, Kaplan said Wolf has been in touch with him and inquired about having the water turned back on in the near future.
“That’s a positive sign there’s some active interest in the hotel and the property. … And, needless to say, we’re hopeful someone will buy it and make it a success story. We’re in a beautiful part of the county, and we’re working to re-invent ourselves. We’re making our downtown more pedestrian friendly and sprucing it up to attract visitors,” said Kaplan. “We’re staying positive and hoping we are going to have a happy ending with the Nevele.”
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