‘World class’ resort proposed at Blue Chip Farms

BY RICK REMSNYDER
Posted 12/8/21

A proposal to turn much of Blue Chip Farms into a tourist destination was revealed in a presentation to the Shawangunk Town Board by Hudson Valley developer and film maker David Alexanian on Dec. …

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‘World class’ resort proposed at Blue Chip Farms

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A proposal to turn much of Blue Chip Farms into a tourist destination was revealed in a presentation to the Shawangunk Town Board by Hudson Valley developer and film maker David Alexanian on Dec. 2.

During a slide presentation of what was described as a “concept plan,” Alexanian said 200 acres of the 700-acre property would remain a horse farm.

The remaining 500 acres would be used for “world-class eco-friendly cottages,” homes, a spa and fitness center, two restaurants and a café, a multi-use theater, a sculpture trail, a vineyard, a dairy farm, a children’s barn where youngsters could learn about agriculture and a golf course.

Alexanian said the golf course could be a 9- or 12-hole layout, noting that many golfers no longer have the time to play 18 holes of golf.

Alexanian noted that the British Open originated at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland and the original course was only 12 holes.

Since Blue Chip Farms has acres of open land because it’s a horse farm, Alexanian said the developers plan to plant a lot of trees to fill in the vast open space.

The developer also would like to partner with the New York State University system to establish an apprenticeship program for prospective chefs with the Culinary Institute of America.

“In short, we want to build something that we hope becomes exemplary for future developments of its kind,” Alexanian said. “Not just in New York or the U.S., but around the globe. We want to embrace what the Hudson Valley does best and celebrate its agricultural history, incredible farms, extraordinary landscape and gentle people.”

He stressed that he wanted most of the food used at the property’s restaurants to be grown locally.
“We want the term ‘farm to table’ to be replaced with ‘roof to table’ as our chefs and guests harvest fruit and vegetables grown on our very own green roofs,” Alexanian said.

Since its inception in 1969, Blue Chip Farms has been the leading commercial horse breeding and breeding farm in North America, according to information on its website. The farm is comprised of 700 acres of rolling hills, has six barns with 122 stalls and 18 sheds.

Owned by Thomas Grossman, Blue Chip has 30 full- and part-time employees, most of whom live on the farm. Blue Chip has produced five world champions and over 1,000 Stakes Winners. Blue Chip bred and raised horses have won in excess of $150 million in purse money.

Although Blue Chip has been very successful over the years, Alexanian said Blue Chip’s method of horse breeding is “under threat,” which has led the owners to consider developing the property for other uses.

“He (Grossman) has been in the horse business for most of his life,” Alexanian said. “The idea is to keep the horse farm alive and develop it to make it more economically sustainable. The options other than this are to sell it to a developer who will probably do what a traditional developer would do which is to build as many homes as possible.”

Town Supervisor John Valk said he asked Alexanian to present the conceptual plan to the Town Board and the public “since there are a lot of rumors floating around town” about the possible development of Blue Chip Farm.

Valk said the developers’ next move would be to present their plans to the Town of Shawangunk Planning Board.

In addition to being a developer since 1990, Alexanian has been a film director and producer since 2000.

According to his profile in LinkedIn, Alexanian is the CEO of Elixir Films, which he co-founded with his sister Alexis Alexanian.

His most recent venture was “Long Way Up,” a British television series which debuted on Sept. 18, 2020, documenting a motorcycle journey undertaken in 2019 by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman from Argentina through South and Central America to Los Angeles.

During his presentation, Alexanian told the Town Board that he was planning to produce a documentary on the Blue Chip Farms project.

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