The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, parent of the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut, announced yesterday plans with White Plains developer Louis Cappelli to redevelop the old Concord Hotel in the Catskills into a massive gambling hall and resort.
It’s the latest plan by Cappelli’s Concord Associates to restore the once major Borscht Belt hotel in Kiamesha Lake, Sullivan County.
Several prior attempts have failed, as well as attempts to build Native-American run casinos in the Catskills — even though a 2001 state law allows for three Indian casinos there.
This plan doesn’t seek a full-fledged casino because the tribe doesn’t have land rights in New York. But it does call for video-lottery terminals and electronic table games if the Monticello Raceway moves there. Only the state’s racetracks can host the VLTs.
But the owner of Monticello Raceway, Empire Resorts, Inc., balked today at the deal, saying only they have the rights to run the VLTs.
“At this time, neither Concord Associates nor the Authority has valid New York state licenses to operate a harness racetrack or video gaming machines (VGMs) in Sullivan County, prerequisites to the operation of VGMs at the proposed development,” the company said in a statement. “In addition, Empire does not believe that such licenses can be obtained by Concord Associates or the Authority under New York law and intends to vigorously oppose any request to obtain such licenses, including if necessary, by pursuing all of its available legal rights and remedies.”
Here’s more on the deal from the AP:
HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut casino and resort and a New York developer announced Thursday a partnership to develop a gambling and racing resort intended to revive a Catskill Mountain destination.
The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, parent of the Mohegan Sun in eastern Connecticut and Pocono Downs in Plains Township, Pa., and Concord Associates will develop a $600 million project to rebuild at the site of the Concord Hotel, once one of the most popular destinations in the Borscht Belt.
Ground will be broken on the 116-acre site in June, and the resort in Thompson, N.Y., is expected to open by spring 2013.
The Mohegan Sun is a “small equity holder” in the project, said Mitchell Etess, chief executive of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. More details will be available in the future on how the total amount of money is split between the two partners and how the money will be raised.
It’s the first deal announced by Mohegan Gaming Advisors, a venture that manages and runs casino and other properties.
A 75,000 square-foot casino would feature 2,100 video lottery terminals with as many as 450 electronic table game positions, a 258-room hotel, a harness racing facility with a grandstand, a track and related paddock facilities, a simulcast site for pari-mutuel betting, 10,000 square feet of meeting rooms and ballrooms, five restaurants, retail outlets and entertainment space.
More than $100 million has been spent on site preparation, foundations, demolition and fixing environmental problems, the Mohegan Sun said.