Developer sets Nevele casino odds at 50/50
Nevele developers met with hundreds of Rondout Valley business leaders to lay out their casino plans and explain how local businesses could help make the family friendly gaming resort a reality. Our John Wagner has more.
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ULSTER COUNTY, N.Y. – “The area’s been stuck in the same kind of mode for a long time and I think big business would be good for the area,” said White Wolf Restaurant manager Dean Perry. “It needs something, it needs some spark."
Nevele developers say a casino gaming resort would create a thousand direct jobs, with an additional 2,000 popping up in area businesses like White Wolf Restaurant.
"More people are going to be drawn to the area, more people will be drawn to try here, because the casino's not the only one that's going to benefit," Perry said.
"That is the key message that needs to be made to Albany. It's all about the positive economic impact, creating jobs," said Michael Treanor, Managing Director of Nevele Investments LLC.
By the time casino gaming could come to a final vote in November of next year, Nevele developers will have thrown $5 million in closing costs, upkeep and lobbying expenses into the pot. To win the high stakes battle over seven casino licenses, they need a strong public backing.
"If it is to be, it's up to us, the people in this area, to make it happen," said Ellenville Regional Hospital President Steven Kelley.
As of now, the developer believes the Nevele has, at best, a 50 percent chance of getting casino gaming, but local businesses are going to see what they can do to boost the odds ever in their favor.
Treanor said, "I need people's help and when they appreciate the fact that it's not a sure thing, well that empowers them to make a difference and make it happen right it gets them to make that phone call right that letter.”
"From an economic standpoint, I think you'll see a three county approach to get behind this," said Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach.
With Ellenville and Wawarsing voting in unanimous favor of casino gaming, a push for a county wide resolution has begun. Developers will conduct economic impact studies trying to prove that the Nevele could make the Catskills a thriving family friendly destination.
"There will be those people who think this is going to be a Las Vegas style or slots in a box and that's not really what this is about," said Rondout Valley Business Association President Richard Travers.
"The stronger the local and county support, the better we can make our case in Albany," Treanor said.