Rita Willey

POSTED 02/22/2015

Sold on proposal after Elm Court visit

To the editor:

I am writing to support the development of Elm Court by Front Yard LLC with operation by Travsaasa Resorts.

I am a close neighbor of Elm Court living on Old Stockbridge Road and see the gorgeous property every day. I have also had the pleasure to meet my neighbor, Les Freeman, general manager of Elm Court. I reached out to Mr. Freeman several months ago and he was gracious enough to provide me and my mother with a tour of the property.

To say that we were amazed and awed by the property states it mildly. What was most striking was to see the beautiful renovations to date, yet the amount of restoration work remaining is enormous.

Walking through the property with Mr. Freeman was an amazing experience. I now have a better vision of where the additional 96-room structure would be built. For a total of 112 rooms, it would be smaller than Red Lion, Cranwell, or Canyon Ranch, all of which have over 112 rooms. My recent tour allowed me to feel the history and view the magnitude of work to maintain such a gorgeous structure, let alone the amount of money still needed to restore it to its previous beauty.

While I appreciate the opinions expressed by the opponents, I must stress that if Lenox shoots down these plans, we may be facing much graver circumstances down the road. Clearly, if these plans are not approved, a different developer could eye the property and God only knows what could happen to Elm Court.

I urge anyone who is against the plan to contact Mr. Freeman and have a tour and see for themselves the property, the beautiful renovations to date, and also the remaining structure which is in disrepair but would be fully restored if this is approved. The fact that LLC has the drive and vision to restore and maintain such a dynamic estate along with the stunning acreage by not dividing up the land is something we much all appreciate and cherish.

I urge Lenox to approve this plan which will save Elm Court mansion from further decline.

Rita Willey