December 17, 2014

Schenectady celebrates casino decision

 Created: 12/17/2014 5:29 PM By: WNYT Staff

SCHENECTADY - If it receives final approval -- which it should -- the Rivers Casino and Resort at Mohawk Harbor will be built at the old Alco site on Erie Boulevard. 

The $300 million project will include gaming facilities, restaurants, a banquet facility, hotels and spa. It's expected to create 1,200 permanent jobs and bring in millions in tax revenue. 

There is plenty of celebrating going on, right now in Schenectady, after the decision was announced to put a casino in the Electric City. 
City officials and casino supporters gathered at Proctors to celebrate. That group included developers. The happy, smiling, people say it’s a great day. Proctors Theatre already had “Congrats River Casino” up on its marquee. Supporters say Schenectady is ready for Rivers Casino and Resort. 

People behind the project including the Galesi Group and Rush Street Gaming say this will complement the other development along the Mohawk Riverfront, and go hand in hand with efforts to revitalize the city’s downtown. Supporters say it will turn around a long-vacant, brownfield eyesore, and bring in jobs and millions of dollars in revenue for the city, county and local schools. 

The head of the county Legislature says they will come through with the promise of an eight percent reduction in property taxes because of this project. Residents NewsChannel 13 spoke to seem to support the news. “I think it’s great news,” said Nick Barber of Schenectady, “It’s been long anticipated. I think it’s wonderful for Schenectady, and Schenectady is the perfect place for it. It just ties into all the economic development, all the good things that are happening downtown through the city. I just think it’s going to be a real shot in the arm for the city, county and the region.” “I think it’s good news for our city,” said Michael DellaRocco, another Schenectady resident. “Everybody’s looking forward to the benefits for the local economy. There’s a lot here going on in Schenectady already, and this is just the icing on the cake.” 

“We’re going to transform this long, vacant brownfield eyesore into a waterfront tourist and entertainment destination, augmenting our other economic development successes,” said Anthony Jasenski of the Schenectady County Legislature. “Rivers Casino Mohawk Harbor will generate millions of dollars in revenue every year for Schenectady County, the city of Schenectady, and all our local school districts.” Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy pointed out that Schenectady County Community College nearby has a gaming program that he says will provide the skilled workforce needed to fill the hundreds of jobs for this big project. The developer says they’re not “shovel-ready,” their shovels are already in the ground. RELATED STORIES NewsChannel 13 takes a closer look at the Schenectady casino bid Schenectady celebrates casino decision Schoharie County disappointed over losing casino bid Saratoga Springs reacts to Schenectady casino choice NewsChannel 13 breaks down each casino proposal Local business owners weigh in on casino proposals Decision on local casino nears If Rensselaer gets casino, Albany gets paid New York casino decision expected Dec. 17 Casino decision could be coming soon    

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