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Developers detail proposal for Catskills casino

By: MICHAEL HILL
March 13, 2014 Updated: March 14, 2014 at 9:30 am
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Developers who hope to build a $750 million casino resort on the site of a grand old Catskills hotel said they could start building within a month if granted a license, creating thousands of jobs.

Kansas City, Mo.-based EPR Properties and the operators of the Monticello Casino and Raceway unveiled details of their plans for a 1,110-room resort where the Concord Hotel once stood, about 90 miles northwest of New York City. The $750 million project cost includes $600 million in construction and the value of the land, developers said.

More than a dozen groups have expressed interest in applying for one of four casino licenses being granted this year in upstate New York, up to two of which could be in the Catskills. One advantage EPR and Monticello-operator Empire Resorts said they have is that they have been working for three years to get permits and approvals in place.

The developers said they could gear up for construction within 30 days.

"Our proposed casino and four-star hotel is already designed, and we can begin to build without delay, should we receive a destination resort license," said Emanuel Pearlman, Empire Resorts' chairman of the board.

The resort would include four hotels plus a bed and breakfast. It would offer amenities including golf, rafting and skiing.

The Concord was the biggest of the old, "Borscht Belt" resorts and dates from the days when this lake-dappled area was packed with summer tourists, many of them Jewish families up from New York City. Support for casinos run strong in this area among residents who hope it could recapture some of that tourist traffic.

Developers said the proposed resort would employ 2,200 full- and part-time workers. It would be called Adelaar, which is the Dutch word for eagle.

Voters in November passed a state constitutional amendment allowing the expansion of Las Vegas-style casinos beyond Indian-owned land. A state siting board was officially appointed Wednesday and is expected to put out a request for applications by the end of the month.

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