In case you missed it, the press got a preview of the Aqueduct racino, which I think I'll start calling Aquecino for short. Resorts World just doesn't do it for me. It conjures images of places and things a world away from Ozone Park in Queens. There's some video here in this NY1 report (HT: @BklynBckstretch). It's a familiar looking scene for those of you that have been to the racinos at the Yonk and Saratoga; and I imagine to most others as well.
The racino will eventually consist of three floors in the old grandstand section of the track; two of those devoted to gaming and the third to events. They will each have a "New York" theme; the first floor will be the "Fifth Avenue Casino," the second the "Times Square Casino," and the third floor event space will be dubbed "Central Park Festival Commons." For extra authenticity, they may want to try touches such as a reservoir on the third floor, a city bus running up and down the first, and perhaps a Madame Tussauds on the second, with wax figures of relevant personalities such as Charlie Hayward, former Governor David Paterson (whose incompetence in the selection process we have to thank for Genting being here), Gary Contessa, or Uncle Mo.
The second floor, flush with some 2,280 video lottery terminals and 205 electronic table games including Baccarat, Roulette and Craps [Queens Tribune], is the one you see in the video and in the articles linked to here. It will be open in late October, prior to the Nov 4 opening of racing. Man it's gonna be a whole new world there, that's for damn sure. There will be a food court, and the centerpiece will be a two-story atrium housing Bar 360, featuring a 28-foot-wide-by-18-foot-high television screen that [Resorts World New York President Michael] Speller said may just be the “largest high-definition television in all of Queens.” [Queens Chronicle] And that, I'm sure, is saying a lot!
And Speller said: "We will be completely finished with this project by the middle of December.” [Queens Tribune] (Though the covered walkway direct from the revamped subway station direct into paradise will not be ready until next year.]
All told, the facility will feature 4,525 VLTs, 475 electronic table games, 18 food and beverage outlets, four VIP lounges, 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space and 6,400 total parking spaces. [Queens Courier]That parking garage is already complete.
The casino will be accessible both from the Rockaway Boulevard main entrance and the entrance along North Conduit Avenue. There will be a total of 6,400 parking spaces in both the garage and in the adjacent lots.And, of course, we're assured that Aquecino has plenty of space reserved for table games should it come to pass, in 2013 at the earliest, that a constitutional amendment permitting them is approved.
As far as hiring goes, the process is under way, with 200 management and administrative positions already filled. Certainly no surprise in this economy, the demand for jobs well outweighs the number available.
“We have had over 35,000 applications for 1,350 jobs....[Speller] added that 70 to 80 percent of those jobs will be given to Queens residents and hiring will occur “shortly.” [Queens Tribune]Speller also spoke of plans to lure air passengers on layovers at nearby JFK.
Speller estimates that 50 million tourists a year fly into JFK, many with layovers that last for several hours.Seems like a constructive use of their time, yes?
These passengers normally sit idle in the terminals, he said, but a quick bus ride might entice them to place some wagers before boarding their connecting flights. [NY Daily News]