The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Voices Strong Opposition to Proposed Sterling Forest Resort in Tuxedo, New York

Date Published: Aug 20, 2014

Harpers Ferry, WV (August 20, 2014) – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) today announced its opposition to the proposed Sterling Forest Resort in the Town of Tuxedo in Orange County, New York, a project that would threaten the scenic beauty and the integrity of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) corridor through the 22,000-acre Sterling Forest State Park. The resort is billed as a world-class destination with an estimated 6.9 million annual visitors, a casino, ski area, 1,000 hotel rooms and a 7,000 car multi-story parking garage. The project would be built by Genting Americas, an affiliate of the Malaysia-based Genting Group. Genting has applied for permission to construct one of the new casinos in New York allowed by recent legislation but intended for low income, high unemployment communities, not for a state and federal park.

The proposed site of Sterling Forest Resort is in the center of the northern section of the state park, which was protected after years of litigation. The park, which features a 6-mile section of the 2,185-mile long A.T., was created through a strong collaboration between the National Park Service, the states of New York and New Jersey, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and private conservation and trail organizations including the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and the ATC. Approximately $55 million was contributed toward the purchase and protection of Sterling Forest by the federal government, the two states and the private sector.

“The magnitude of the proposed casino resort development would inevitably have a devastating impact on the immense value of the public investment to date to protect Sterling Forest,” said Ron Tipton, ATC’s executive director, in a written statement to the New York State Gaming Commission. “Distinct ecologic communities, unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities, and a magnificent scenic landscape are afforded to visitors of Sterling Forest. These values are the essence of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and projects of this magnitude are incongruous with the scenic and culturally significant experience that the A.T. provides to its visitors.” 

Preliminary viewshed impact assessments indicate the resort would likely be visible from one or more places on the A.T. above Sterling Forest. In addition to these impacts, the area is a critical habitat for nesting and migratory birds and is a nationally recognized Important Bird Area. The proposed resort site is also in an area critical to the regional water supply.

The ATC has formally requested the potential visual and noise impacts on the A.T., as well as the potential natural and cultural resource damages, be carefully evaluated according to the State Environmental Quality Review.

”The Appalachian Trail Conservancy believes that the Tuxedo site is clearly the wrong location for a casino resort,” said Tipton. “Sterling Forest is one of the most treasured natural and cultural resources in the eastern United States, and we should keep it that way.”

Read the ATC’s complete statement to the New York State Gaming Commission at

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park Service, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,185 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit

Contact: Javier Folgar                                                                    
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.535.2200 x117
Fax: 304.535.2667
Email: [email protected]


Leave a comment
  1. Mike Kiekbusch | Mar 01, 2015
    im an avid section hiker of the AT, I support the ATC on not allowing the casino to be built, let them find another area in New York. Please protect the AT for future generations to enjoy!!!
  2. Donna Ashby | Sep 24, 2014

    The Tuxedo Resort needs to be moved to another location that would not destroy the scenic and cultural beauty of the Sterling Forest, and the Appalachian Trail.   Natural areas like the Sterling Forest are rare, and very valuable.   There are many locations that could host a casino/resort without destroying a protected forest.


  3. Rachel | Sep 24, 2014

    I have a life time goal of hiking the AT and have no desire to have that hike interrupted by a casino. Why should nature be set a side for commerce (of which the trail provides as well).

    Stop the Casino!



  4. Michael Kiess | Sep 24, 2014

    Thanks to Javier Folgar for this report.

    We can all lend our voices. Which decision makers should we contact?

    New York State Gaming Commission is [email protected]

  5. William L. Speer | Sep 24, 2014
    I support the position of the ATC that the casino resort should not be built in the Sterling Forest State Park region. The impact of the development would be severe to the environment let alone the ATC trail corridor. The economic value projected with casino projects have proven, in almost all cases, to be overstated and are insufficient to over ride the environmental impacts upon the protected lands of the state park. I encourage the Commission to deny the casino development petition.
  6. Gary Murphy | Sep 24, 2014

    As a frequent visitor to the
    Orange County area (I am scheduled to visit next weekend in fact) I can tell
    you I am one tourist who will not be returning to the area if this casino is
    built. The state would be foolish to allow a project that diminishes the
    natural beauty of the region in the name of tourism in a region where the tourism
    business is currently based on environmental beauty.

    There are many urban locations
    in NY that could benefit from the economic effects of a casino. People who want
    to travel to a destination casino are not the same people who want to travel to
    a wonderful wooded environment. A casino in Orange County will hurt the current
    tourism business.

  7. chris hockl | Sep 24, 2014

    losing open space no casino

  8. Jon Stark | Sep 24, 2014

    This  would be an uneccasary destruction of the Appalachian Trail, ruining this area for future hikers f!orever

  9. Jeffrey Kunkleman | Sep 24, 2014
    Please preserve this area for future generations. Once this is built, the serenity of the area is lost forever. As an avid hiker and outdoorsman, I know the value of the great outdoors.

    Respectfully yours,

    Jeffrey Kunkleman
  10. Alex Sanders | Sep 23, 2014
    I oppose the proposed casino development in Sterling Forest Resort in Tuxedo, NY.  This project would threaten the scenic beauty and the integrity of the Appalachian Trail corridor through Sterling Forest State Park.
  11. Andrew J. Neill | Sep 23, 2014

    I for one am against any development in county, state or federal parks period.

  12. Joanna Ezinga | Sep 23, 2014

    As a member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and a 2010 thru-hiker, I am writing to add my voice to the many opposed to the building of the massive Sterling Forest Resort in Tuxeudo, NY.  I remember this section of Trail well, having visited there as a child. I remember walking through those beautiful woods.  On all accounts, a massive resort it is a terrible idea and directly conflicts with the values of the Trail and the national legislation which created and protects it.   

    As a resident of New York, I urge the NYS Gaming Commission and any other regulatory bodies involved to deny permits and approvals for this project.  

  13. Buddy Johnson | Sep 23, 2014

    There are many ways to have co existence  The trail is important to many people and to compromise the natural beauty would be bad for the outdoor people who frequent as well as business revenue generated through ecotourism. There are many places to build a casino but only one Appalachian Trail 

    Thank you

    Buddy Johnson

    Foxfir Ga Me 02

  14. Rhett Perry | Sep 23, 2014
    This is a terrible idea. I agree with ATC 100%
  15. Ronald M Hart | Sep 23, 2014
    Please consider the real value that will be lost if the casino is built close to the AT. Thank you for your consideration.  Ron Hart
  16. Janet Paul | Sep 23, 2014
    Please reconsider any develop in Sterling Forest. It is so important to preserve this section of land. The development will have a devastating effect on the forest. I am concerned about the watershed area of the forest. Please leave this area undeveloped!
  17. BJ Lipofsky | Sep 23, 2014
    This is an example of corporate welfare gone wild.  There can be no excuse for giving public park lands to casinos or any other commercial venture. The Kings of the corporate world get a playground carved out of the public domain.  What a good deal for them!

    Leave a comment