Is Orange County, N.Y., soaking up casino developments while other counties are pushed aside?

Representatives of The Cordish Companies and Penn National Gaming details of their proposed “Live! Hotel & Casino New York” to the Village of South Blooming Grove Board of Trustees during a public work session.

According to Hotel News Resource, the casino is being built for an expected $750 million, and will include a boutique hotel with more than 300 rooms, a spa, fitness center, over 3,000 slot machines, more than 250 table games, multiple restaurants and a conference center.

The Record Online reported that the casino is proposed to be located in the Hudson Valley-Catskills Region in, N.Y., and will drive increased visitation to Orange County and the Catskills. The hotel and casino be owned and managed by a joint venture between The Cordish Companies and Penn National Gaming. An expected 2,800 construction jobs and 4,000 permanent positions are expected to come from the development.

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The development of this property may be tied up in some controversy, however. A law passed last year by the state of New York authorized four casino developments in high-need areas, including one in Sullivan County, to act as economic development drivers and job creators. According to The Journal News there is a perceived advantage for the state's Orange County, which is located in close proximity to New York City, drawing more interest in developers.

The Gaming Facility Location Board is expected to receive final applications for four upstate casinos on June 30; there are 18 remaining bidders. The law allows four casinos in three regions of the state: the Catskills, Albany area and Southern Tier.

"We really believe that gaming is intended for the Catskills. It's supposed to be about developing an economy and creating economic drivers and this wasn't just a tax revenue grab," Mitchell Grossinger Etess, CEO of Mohegan Sun, told the Poughkeepsie Journal. "We really believe at the end of the day we'll be able to make that case to the gaming board. And you can't do that if you're not in the process."

Foxwoods also recently withdrew a proposal to build a casino at the former Grossinger's hotel in Sullivan County. According to the Oneida Daily Dispatch, County Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson blames last-minute casino applications for sites in Orange County for the withdrawal. 

Samuelson said the legislation to allow for developments in the Hudson Valley and Catskills region “was so clearly written for disadvantaged areas of the upstate region to revitalize tourism and economic development. Everything that it says screams Sullivan and parts of Ulster, the Ellenville area, so it is pretty crazy that the big developers came in and have convinced the people of Orange County that they can get a casino. I just don’t believe that is the way it should go or will go."

At the current time there are only two casino proposals for Sullivan County, both for the former Concord Resort site. Only one casino is proposed for Ulster County on the site of the former Nevele resort. Six proposals have been filed for casinos in Orange County.

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