POSTED 01/27/2015

To the Editor:

We have owned a home in Lenox since 2003 and are here all summer and many other times during the year as well. We love the area and attend many cultural events in music, dance and theater, as well as visiting the outstanding museums throughout the year. Our family members and many guests do likewise.

We are writing in strong support of the new resort and spa at Elm Court.

Rather than one more immense derelict home and unused land, I believe the Berkshires would benefit greatly from a new high-end resort in a historic home. We are familiar with the aging cohort that support and attend Tanglewood, and have concerns regarding the economic and cultural future of the Berkshires. Therefore, we are in favor of projects and facilities that will attract more visitors to our area.

There are plenty of low to medium price motels and hotels in our area, particularly in the Lenox-Pittsfield stretch. Most of the new ones add nothing to the architectural attractiveness of our towns.

The future economic and cultural success of the Berkshires necessitates an emphasis not only on museums and Tanglewood, dance and theatre, but on facilities that are destinations in themselves. The new Elm Court will be a wonderful attraction, and will be an added reason for visitors to be here and participate in our many other great activities

We believe the concern regarding traffic on Old Stockbridge Road is overblown. At the height of the summer concert season, we often drive to and from Tanglewood via Old Stockbridge Road and are always amazed at how few cars we encounter. We can understand that those who live on that road may wish it to continue to be virtually empty, but the increase in traffic will not destroy their neighborhood. Canyon Ranch and Cranwell traffic have not ruined our neighborhoods, and neither will Elm Court traffic. We cannot recall one instance of cars or trucks being delayed entering or leaving those resorts.

A beautifully maintained high end resort will add to the beauty and economic success of our region, far more than the empty mansion and land going to seed. Eventually, of course, if this proposal is rejected, then the estate will be sold to someone else, and the result may be far more problematic than the wonderful proposal now being considered.

There are always some folks who see more deficits than gains in development, and I suppose there probably were those who opposed Tanglewood being developed in the 1930s. We strongly favor this kind of growth for the Berkshires and hope that the appropriate Lenox boards will approve.

Martin S. Kaplan
Wendy Tarlow Kaplan

Lenox, Mass.