Above: The groundbreaking of the Z Living/Veria Nature Cure & Ayurvedic Wellness Center. From left to right: Mike McCormack, LMV Architecture, LLP; Chrissy Schiff, representative for Congressman Chris Gibson; Sullivan County Legislative Chairman Scott B. Samuelson; Town of Thompson Supervisor Bill Rieber; Mark Kutsher; Walter Garigliano; Sullivan County Partnership President and CEO Marc Baez; Sullivan County Visitors Association President and CEO Roberta Byron-Lockwood; hotel magnate Sant Singh Chatwal; and Dr. Subhash Chandra, the media mogul behind the project. Photos courtesy of Z Living and the Veria Nature Cure & Ayurvedic Wellness Center.
A billionaire Indian media mogul's plans to build a wellness retreat center and resort on the bones of the defunct Borscht Belt Kutsher's Country Club in the Sullivan County village of Monticello became reality during a groundbreaking ceremony held on Sunday, June 21, according to media reports and a press release.
The Z Living/Veria Nature Cure & Ayurvedic Wellness Center will be a "wellness resort" offering programming and treatments based on ancient Indian healing traditions of Ayurveda and yoga.
Left: Subhash Chandra at the groundbreaking.
The resort's developer, Dr. Subhash Chandra, is the chairman of a large group of Indian conglomerate whose net worth is $4 billion. Chandra plans to spend $250 million on the resort and to have it up and running in 12 to 18 months, according to the Times Herald-Record.
Chandra also plans to "assimilate" the project into the surrounding community, where Kutsher's was an anchor business that attracted stars and tourists for 100 years before slowly sliding into disrepair.
Chandra is quoted at length about his plans for the resort in a press release sent out by Z Living on Monday:
“The community of Sullivan County has welcomed us and supported us for this project. We will reciprocate by assimilating ourselves into the community. This Wellness Center will bring peace, harmony, jobs and a boost to the Monticello economy. Our project will create 1,000 construction jobs and 800 permanent jobs ... We will bring the Town of Thompson much pride, and we will make the Kutsher family proud. We will preserve the legacy of the Kutsher Hotel by keeping sections that could be saved, and adding to it, so that tourism activities can be continued at the original site.”
Chandra and his project, which were proposed less than three years ago, have been embraced by the town of Thompson and by the former owners of Kutshers, according to the Times Herald-Record.
“Between our town dealing with a billion-dollar project, the casino and the water park and all the infrastructure over there, we sort of squeezed in a $100 million dollar project which was ready to build, fully approved, in six months,” said Bill Rieber, supervisor of the Town of Thompson.
Mark Kutsher, the scion of the Kutsher family, attended the groundbreaking and contributed a hearty endorsement to the new project. From the press release:
“This is personal for me, the memories and nostalgia are extensive,” said Mark Kutsher, son of the late Milton and Helen Kutcher who ran the resort. “We hope that our property would go to someone who was going to make it special and we can be proud of, and that is what this project is.”