WOO HOO, a fountain! Now that's what I'm talking about! Can't you imagine pulling up on the A train and seeing that?
Hey, look, isn't that the Big A paddock!? What are they suspending that chandelier from? Durkin's booth? Are those guys actually standing on top of the bar and singing? Are they Hanson? And why are those two women looking back warily at the man in the lower right corner? Has he been sent here to tell them, and us, something?
It was a walkover for Genting, and we're only waiting for the three stewards up in the booth in the state capitol to make it official. The governor had already agreed to go along submissively with whoever the Lottery chose; Senator Sampson wouldn't dare say a word; and Genting's offer, with its whopping $380 million upfront, and the scrutiny of it and the company by the Lottery would appear to conform to Speaker Sheldon Silver's conditions, unless he's changed his mind since he established the rules that eventually sunk AEG.
So it's time for the Big A - the only racetrack in New York City proper - to get its long awaited facelift. Seriously, I don't think I can take another winter in that place in the condition it's in now. And if slots are only an artificial means of propping up a dying sport and the fatally flawed business model that is racing in New York State; and if the gambling bubble in the Northeast is already well on its way to its eventual bursting; and if some of the unfortunate weak-willed amongst us will succumb to the temptations and disease of compulsive gambling....so be it (he says coldly). The fact is that we're way too far gone to turn back now, and only when the frenzy is past, and the states and the racing industry are picking up the oversaturated pieces and wondering where to turn next, will we all realize the sheer folly of balancing budgets and basing the survival of an industry on an endeavor as utterly vapid and dehumanizing as slot machines. But until then....
Genting claims that it can turn on the spigot in six months after final approval. But even the Lottery, as ebullient as it was in its recommendation, seemed to have doubts about that.
Although Genting has provided a very detailed timeline, the six month start-up proposed may be overly ambitious due to any number of unanticipated issues which could arise during construction. Genting has the resources, experience, and management teams to overcome many of these, and has already announced a cooperative labor understanding. Nevertheless, even with highly experienced and seasoned prime contractors, issues could arise during construction which may cause delays – such as regulatory issues, SEQRA or even weather.Nonetheless, Genting promises than just six months following the first round of 1600 machines will come the full complement of 4,525 VLTs, a 2,100-space parking garage, and a new pedestrian bridge to the Aqueduct subway station, and a final phase with completion of abatement activities and construction of a new porte cochere.
What's a porte cochere? Is that the fountain?