- I wrote a bit (just a bit) about the Travers here on the TimeformUS blog.
Even as he was winning generous tax breaks from Sullivan County for the proposed casino at the Concord, Mohegan Sun CEO Mitchell Etess once again warned that an Orange County casino would spell doom for the project.
"The reality (then) is whether a Sullivan County casino is even financeable.....That's because at least 35 percent of Mohegan Sun at the Concord's potential business will come from Orange County, Etess told the Times Herald-Record's Editorial Board on Monday.I'm not entirely sure how this is going to work as a threat, considering that Empire/EPR Properties, also hoping to build at the Concord, doesn't need no stinkin' financing, backed by Genting as it is. The carrot that Etess and his partner Louis Cappelli are offering is to provide benefits throughout the area, and not just at the Concord.
Given the dire condition of Sullivan County's economy — a poverty rate of 17 percent, compared with 12 percent in Orange — a Sullivan without a casino and its thousands of jobs would spell disaster."We're saying, if you put a casino in Orange County, you might as well turn out the lights in Sullivan County," said Etess, a Sullivan native whose family ran the fabled Grossinger's hotel in Liberty. [Times Herald-Record, limited free access]
Ehrlich cited a new deal with the struggling Holiday Mountain ski area in Monticello that would include a $1 million loan for a mountain coaster and zipline for Holiday and promotion of the ski slope to Mohegan Sun customers. Mohegan Sun would also develop a spa/hotel and a revitalized Big G golf course at Grossinger's, which is owned by...Cappelli. Another Cappelli property in Monticello near Albella's Italian restaurant would be transformed into office space, said Cappelli's son, Bryan, chief operating officer of the Cappelli Organization.The tax breaks add up to "approximately $36 million in tax exemptions over 20 years," according to the Herald-Record. There's also a provision to assess the property based on a lower value, and a smaller project, should one of the licenses go to Orange County. (And as we've mentioned, the potential irony with this whole Orange County thing is that a casino there, being touted as so potentially valuable [and damaging to the Catskills] due to its proximity to NYC, would be that much more susceptible to competition from the Meadowlands and from the NYC area casino(s) that would inevitably follow.....and, in fact as this commenter adroitly points out, a siting in Orange could actually spur said development in Jersey.)
- Casino Free Tyre heads to court today to press their legal action to throw out the town's resolution supporting the Wilmorite project. I'd written more on their lawsuit here.
- Montgomery County, which lost out on a possible casino when the project in Amsterdam, at Exit 27 of the Thruway, was disqualified, is considering throwing their support behind the proposal in Rennsalear. What does a casino located some 35 miles south have to do with Montgomery? Money. What did you think? The county legislature heard a presentation from John Signor, the president of Capital OTB, a partner in Hard Rock's Rensselaer casino bid.
Signor said OTB has been losing revenues during the past 10 years because of competition. This also impacts Montgomery County, which gains approximately $51,000 in revenue from OTB.Signor told the legislators that a Rennselaer casino would generate $748,000 in total for the county, as opposed to $564,000 from the proposed casino at Howe Cavern. Perhaps taking a cue from the city of Albany, the legislators decided to defer the decision in order to give other developers an opportunity to present proposals. And to sweeten them accordingly.
The partnership with the casino, he said, would double the county's revenue to $100,000 a year, depending on the gaming revenues..
In addition, OTB is partnering with a developer in Rochester (David Flaum) to own the land in Rennselaer and provide the casino operator with a ground lease. This would generate an additional $1.5 million in revenues for OTB. [Recorder, subscription only]