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Sullivan County, NY - Mysterious Foreign Millionaire Buys Nevele Grande Hotel

Published on: September 2, 2009 10:35 AM
By:  Record
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Sullivan County, NY - The public auctioning of the Nevele Grande hotel was canceled Tuesday after a wealthy man reportedly signed a contract to purchase the classic resort and its roughly 500 acres.

The mysterious purchaser is not from the United States — and he’s wealthy enough to buy and refurbish the property into a four- or five-star resort without depending on a bank loan, said Marvin Neuman, CEO of the Long Island auction company that was hired to sell the Nevele.

For now, that’s where details end in the latest Borscht-belt hotel saga.

Neuman refused to identify the owner or say how much he’s agreed to pay. The starting bid was supposed to be $15.5 million. When asked why he could not identify the soon-to-be owner of one of the Catskills’ most famed hotels, Neuman said he feared the buyer would be scared off by skeptics and the “nasty” people who have left comments on online message boards.

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“He has a gentle demeanor and I’m not going to risk these people not welcoming him,” Neuman said, adding that the man’s identity would likely be revealed after the current owner, Long Island investor Joel Hoffman, pays the roughly $1.5 million in back taxes, wages and state penalties that he owes.

Ulster County filed a lawsuit this week in state Supreme Court to make sure Hoffman pays nearly $291,000 in various back taxes. County Executive Mike Hein said Hoffman had an obligation to create jobs and make tax payments under an agreement with the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency, but he did neither.

Still, the atmosphere at the Nevele Grande was celebratory on Tuesday, as Neuman touted his success and gushed over the old hotel.

“You wanna see the Presidential Suite?” he asked his family and guests.

They agreed. The trip to the ninth floor revealed what lies ahead for the mystery buyer.

Musty staircases and rooms, big and small, with odd smells wafting out of them. It’s a structure that seems solid but has obvious blemishes, such as wallpaper falling down in some places, ceiling tiles that are gone, and carpets that are stained from floods.

Guests can see the entire grounds from the ninth-floor suite, including the golf course that has grown nearly into a hay field, the pool that’s filled with greenish water, and an array of buildings that were modern 50 years ago. Neuman clearly believes it can be turned around.

“I don’t care what anybody says — this is not disrepair,” Neuman insists. “I don’t see any problems that can’t be rectified with some fun glamour.”

While complimenting the old hotel, Neuman scolded locals for being skeptical while he tried to sell the Nevele and “put Ellenville back in the spotlight.”

But after watching people with big wallets and big dreams fail at other Catskill hotels, locals say they have good reason to be weary of a mysterious “savior.”

“We’ve heard this before,” said Yanki Prager, a property owner in Ellenville. “I think people come to the mountains here and get a little too excited.”


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1

 Sep 02, 2009 at 09:57 AM PMO Says:

Unless the government is willing to give the vacationers what they really want... GAMBLING... there will never be real success up there. Cruise ships are far more fun than the hotels. People need a reason to show up. This is not 1975. There are far more exciting vacation choices out there of similar cost that offer much more.

2

 Sep 02, 2009 at 09:56 AM Anonymous Says:

I just hope it isn't the prince of Dubai!!!

3

 Sep 02, 2009 at 10:34 AM Anonymous Says:

The local media are speculating that it is some middle eastern money or sovereign wealth fund and they are betting on the liklihood of a new track and casino complex in monticello. Dubai is very unlikely given that they have not shown much interest in these kind of ventures but several Kuwaiti and UAE equity funds are the most likely buyers. Either way, its clearly not the Skvre rebbe buying a replacement for the Homowack

4

 Sep 02, 2009 at 10:37 AM Concerned Member Says:

The catskills resort industry died when airplane travel became easy and affordable. Why go to the catskills where there isn't very much to do, when in the same 2 hours you can go to places like miami or myrtle beach etc. Redoing old hotels will accomplish very little because again, there's nothing to do in the surrounding area. You're going for the hotel and only the hotel.

As far as the casinos go, the current operation at the Raceway is a complete and total failure that isn't making any money because it only has slot machines. Anyone in the tourism or hospitality industry will tell you that a casino is a failure without table games and a place to stay. The Raceway has neither and is therefore destined to be a flop.

The problem with the catskills, especially monticello is the disrepair the town itself has fallen into. Anyone drive on broadway recently? Until the town stops busying itself with complaining about the Jews and starts busying itself with digging out of the rut it has been in, any rehab of old hotels will flop miserably. You can't open a restaurant in the middle of a sewage plant, sorry.

5

 Sep 02, 2009 at 11:03 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

The local media are speculating that it is some middle eastern money or sovereign wealth fund and they are betting on the liklihood of a new track and casino complex in monticello. Dubai is very unlikely given that they have not shown much interest in these kind of ventures but several Kuwaiti and UAE equity funds are the most likely buyers. Either way, its clearly not the Skvre rebbe buying a replacement for the Homowack

#3 said: Either way, its clearly not the Skvre rebbe buying a replacement for the Homowack”

How are you so certain?

6

 Sep 02, 2009 at 11:58 AM mewhoze Says:

hopefully its more chasidim just to spite the locals who already hate them

7

 Sep 02, 2009 at 01:35 PM PMO Says:

Reply to #6  
mewhoze Says:

hopefully its more chasidim just to spite the locals who already hate them

Yes. Every community needs more people who operate illegal businesses, violating building codes, defy judges orders and don't pay taxes. If only this trend could spread across America.... our country could be as nice as rural Nicaragua.

8

 Sep 02, 2009 at 01:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

#3 said: Either way, its clearly not the Skvre rebbe buying a replacement for the Homowack”

How are you so certain?

#3 said: Either way, its clearly not the Skvre rebbe buying a replacement for the Homowack”

How are you so certain?

Reply » Because of the Skvre rebbe is the mysterious "foreign buyer" who has over $15 million readily availalbe to buy a rotting borscht belt hotel and golf course and then spend another $100+ million turning it into a 5 star hotel for his chassidim, he will have a lot of mechila to be seeking this rosh hashanah.

P.S. the last time I checked, the Skvere were not into golf...it might be Belzer or Bobover who have been known ot play a round of golf now and then, but definitely not Skvere

9

 Sep 02, 2009 at 01:17 PM TUMLER Says:

Willing to bet its chasidim

10

 Sep 02, 2009 at 04:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
TUMLER Says:

Willing to bet its chasidim

how much? maybe jewish but no chusid

11

 Sep 02, 2009 at 05:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
mewhoze Says:

hopefully its more chasidim just to spite the locals who already hate them

They may have every reason to do so.

12

 Sep 02, 2009 at 10:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

#3 said: Either way, its clearly not the Skvre rebbe buying a replacement for the Homowack”

How are you so certain?

Reply » Because of the Skvre rebbe is the mysterious "foreign buyer" who has over $15 million readily availalbe to buy a rotting borscht belt hotel and golf course and then spend another $100+ million turning it into a 5 star hotel for his chassidim, he will have a lot of mechila to be seeking this rosh hashanah.

P.S. the last time I checked, the Skvere were not into golf...it might be Belzer or Bobover who have been known ot play a round of golf now and then, but definitely not Skvere

I dont know who you are but I yhink you should call the Belze Rebbe and Bobov Reebbe to ask michala before Rosh Hashana, I don't think you ever saw them playing golf, I don't think that it's wrong to play golf.

13

 Sep 02, 2009 at 11:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

I dont know who you are but I yhink you should call the Belze Rebbe and Bobov Reebbe to ask michala before Rosh Hashana, I don't think you ever saw them playing golf, I don't think that it's wrong to play golf.

Not the Rebbes, but some of their Chasidim FOR SURE!!!!!

14

 Sep 03, 2009 at 02:01 AM Anonymous Says:

I wish the buyer of the Nevelah all success, unless he brings in gambling.

15

 Sep 18, 2009 at 12:39 PM Anonymous Says:

True, there's not much to do up there. But it should be noted that the property next to the Nevele is a hang glilding/paragliding flight park. While it's certinaly not for everyone, it does draw people to the area from all over the world.

16

 May 19, 2010 at 08:47 PM Anonymous Says:

any chance it could be Wallmart trying to stay anonymous

17

 Jun 17, 2010 at 10:35 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
PMO Says:

Unless the government is willing to give the vacationers what they really want... GAMBLING... there will never be real success up there. Cruise ships are far more fun than the hotels. People need a reason to show up. This is not 1975. There are far more exciting vacation choices out there of similar cost that offer much more.

I hope that it turns into a place for everyone to come. I would rather vacation here then a bed bud invested cruise ship..

18

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