** PUBLIC NOTICE AND MEDIA ADVISORY ***
WHAT:Meeting of the New York State Gaming Commission
WHEN:Thursday September 24, 2015 at Noon
WHERE:N.Y.S. Department of Labor 4th Floor Commissioner’s Suite 9 Bond Street Brooklyn, NY
Gaming Commission spokesman Lee Park says “At max, licenses are expected to be issued by the end of the year.”
Translation:No concrete pouring Or foundation laying until, April-May 2016
That’s the earliest the state can issue the long-awaited licenses for the Montreign Resort Casino at Adelaar just outside Monticello. That’s because the state Gaming Commission just accepted the rules that would regulate Montreign and the two other upstate casinos that were chosen in December. But before they become official, the state must publish the rules in the state register. That can’t happen until Sept. 30.
But don’t look for the licenses to be issued on Sept. 30, or even a few days after that.
The rules are just one piece of a complicated bureaucratic puzzle that must be complete before those licenses can be issued and the clock for the state’s two-year time limit to open the casino starts ticking.
As many of you longtime casino watchers and waiters know, background checks on the people and businesses behind the casino also must be complete. But if new key employees have been hired, or businesses have been acquired, they must be investigated. So must any new sources of financing.
And if there have been any changes to the casino – such as the new design for a larger gambling floor and the plan for fewer but swankier rooms at Montreign – they must be incorporated into the review. So must the fact that Montreign operator Empire Resorts – not EPR Properties – will now be developing the casino resort’s Monster golf course and Entertainment Village.
Plus, the state must officially accept the project’s environmental impact statement.
The Gaming Commission will apparently release an update on the licensing process – and progress - at next Thursday’s meeting.
But don’t look for word on exactly when the license can be issued.
All Gaming Commission spokesman Lee Park would say is what he’s been saying for months:
“At max, licenses are expected to be issued by the end of the year.”
After waiting so long to get the official green light from the state, Montreign – which has spent months doing hundreds of acres of infrastructure work - .is rarin’ to begin building the actual casino.
“We’re ready right now,” said Charlie Degliomini, executive vice president of Empire Resorts.
Mark Gearan announced his decision at Monday's commission meeting. It will be up to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pick his replacement, who must be confirmed by the state Senate. Gearan is the president of Hobart and William Smith College in Geneva. He is a former director of the Peace Corps and was a deputy chief of staff under President Bill Clinton. Gearan cited increasing obligations and workload as his reason for stepping down. Gearan led the commission since March of last year. Gearan says it was an "enormous privilege" to serve on the commission. He cited the commission's work to oversee the selection of new casinos and efforts to promote race horse safety as two accomplishments during his tenure.
You might think the biggest news to hit Sullivan County this summer is the coming of the Montreign Resort Casino at Adelaar.
You haven’t talked to all of the folks who rave about the new ShopRite in Liberty.
The 15,000 square foot store – about one-sixth the size of the gambling floor of Montreign – has 19 aisles boasting everything from a Sushi bar with delicacies like Philadelphia rolls (tuna, avocado and, what else, cream cheese) to a kosher section featuring favorites like Mezonos Maven frankfurter buns. Plus, it has a hot Asian food bar with such Catskills staples as General Tso’s chicken.
It even has something that I’ll bet few, if any, supermarkets have – its own smooth-voiced former radio DJ-turned cashier, Chuck “Chaz” Martin, formerly of WVOS-FM. His rhythmic patter lets you know about “winner, winner chicken dinners” between such piped-in songs as Sly and the Family Stone’s “Hot Fun in the Summertime” and the Beatles’ “I’m Happy Just to Dance with You.”
All of which is why one of Sullivan County’s most fervent casino dreamers feels the county hit it big with the store that even has its own storefront for bottle returns.
“They deserve a medal,” says Liberty’s Evan Bloom, who’s seen more failed casino dreams and development schemes than numbers on a roulette wheel.
He mentions those 19 aisles, the LED lighting on the shelves (“for us old folks”) and “more beauty aids.”
“Not that I should need them,” he says, sounding like a punchline-ready Catskills comedian.
Colleen McIntyre of Liberty loves the store so much she’s there every day shopping for the senior citizens for whom she cares.
“I’ll tell you a secret,” she says, lowering her voice as if the Oscar Meyer Wieners in the case behind her could hear. “You know, everybody’s coming here from all over now, from Monticello, too.”
But what really makes this ShopRite more than just another store is that it’s proof that something promised can actually come true in Sullivan County - where it often seems there are more empty development schemes than items in that store.
It sits down the road from a symbol of those schemes – the still-crumbling, never renovated Grossinger’s resort.
And it sits in a mall where the storefront headquarters for the failed Foxwoods’ casino project next to Grossinger’s remained vacant for months.
In the show-me county, the Liberty ShopRite has shown folks that it can deliver something more than groceries. After so many decades of coming up empty, that#$%$ the jackpot.
The Town of Thompson has approved recently proposed changes to the Montreign Resort Casino at Adelaar that will make the project bigger and swankier.
The Town Board last month approved an amendment to the final site plan that would allow the casino at the former Concord Resort property off Exit 106 on Route 17 to expand its gambling area to 95,200 square feet from its original plan of 80,000. While the casino's hotel will now have fewer rooms - 333, down from 395 - the space will be used to create more luxurious accommodations, including new penthouse and garden suites. Seven, two-story private villas will also be built. A harness track approved for the resort casino's original plans has been removed from the current plan and will remain at Monticello Raceway, which is owned by Empire Resorts, the operator of Montreign.
The Thompson Planning Board also last month approved Adelaar's newly redesigned Monster Golf Course.
These changes mean the $1 billion project will now cost $100 million to $150 million more than originally projected. It is slated to open in 2017, or two years from the issuance of the casino licence, which should come in the next few months.
If you need someone hold your hand and tell you when to buy or sell , I'm not that guy. IF NYNY stock goes to sub $4.00 dollars or north of $10.00 dollars , I could care less. Every single town in Sullivan has been buzzing for months, If you pass by the site of the planned casino, construction is raging at an incredibly rapid rate. New small bussiness and stores are opening up ,broken down houses are being bought up fast and redone . Charles D. has a call out to anyone who owes rental apartments within a 10 mile range of the casino site to sign up so the workers can be referred for good housing. The cops are breaking up the drug dens and dealers are running for the hills. So there you have it. And One more thing there are plenty of YoYo you can look too get advise on stocks, right here on this humble message board, good luck with that!
Tourism in Sullivan County is booming, growing and bringing the county some $372 million per year, according to a new report released by the Sullivan County Visitors Association.
That 2014 figure is an increase of some 2.5 percent over 2013, when tourism in Sullivan amounted to $363 million, according to the report by Tourism Economics, which analyzes tourism around the world.
By way of comparison, tourists spent some $430 million per year in Orange County, and $474 million in Ulster, according to recent county figures.
Spending on second homes and lodging in Sullivan accounted for the largest chunk of its tourism revenue, with spending by second home owners and their visitors amounting to $126 million, while spending on lodging totaled about $143 million.
All of which is good news for the county, which figures to see tourism increase in the next few years, with the coming of the Montreign Resort Casino at Adelaar and the Veria Nature Cure and Wellness resort, both in the Town of Thompson.
“Tourism continues to do great things for our county and our neighbors,” said Scott Samuelson, chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature. “It not only puts people to work and brings in visitors; it lessens the tax burdens on those of us who call this wonderful travel destination home.”
According to the Visitors Association, tourism-related jobs accounted for 18 percent of employment in Sullivan – or about 4,500 jobs “either directly at tourism businesses or indirectly through ancillary supplier businesses.”
Traffic was thick on Route 42 in South Fallsburg Friday, when Town of Fallsburg officials invited top NYS Dept. of Transportation (DOT) representatives to witness firsthand the traffic issues experienced most summer Fridays along the 42 corridor.
Accompanied by Allison Horan of Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther's office, Fallsburg Supervisor Steve Vegliante, Police Chief Simmie Williams and Engineer Will Illing first took the DOT reps down Main Street in South Fallsburg, pointing out trouble spots with parking, traffic flow and side streets.
That was followed by a road trip to congested areas all along 42, including in Fallsburg and Woodbourne.
“It went really well,” Vegliante said afterwards, noting the DOT's willingness to cooperate with the town's highway engineering firm (Keystone) on a traffic improvement plan. Gunther's office is also helping, noted Horan, saying, “Public safety is paramount.
” Vegliante was realistic, however. “There is just a massive amount of traffic, so there is only so much that can be done,” he remarked. “We're going to keep the conversation going.”
Donald Trump likes to portray himself as a stand-up guy – a guy who tells it like it is, unlike all of the other career politicians running for president.
A lot of folks are apparently buying that – despite Trump’s despicable, tell-it-like-it-isn’t, hateful comments about illegal immigrants, President Obama’s birthplace and Sen. John McCain.
But folks in Sullivan County may remember a different side of Trump – one that revealed him as a conniving, double-dealing wheeler-dealer, like any other politician.
Back in 2000, it appeared as if Sullivan County was finally going to land the casino it had dreamed about for decades. The St. Regis Mohawks did what only one other Indian tribe had done – gain the first stage of federal approval for an off-reservation casino, at Monticello Raceway.
The casino needed just one more federal approval – a formality, since Washington did what the regional office said it would do. The casino would have been the closest to the lucrative New York City market, which would obviously hurt Trump’s Atlantic City casinos (which have since filed for bankruptcy).
That’s when Trump – who had been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby against the casino – resorted to his double dealing.
“Triple dealing,” says the man who spearheaded the Raceway deal, Robert Berman.
While Trump and the rest of the Atlantic City casinos lobbied against the Sullivan casino, he actually was meeting with Berman in New York City and at Monticello Raceway to get in on the deal.
“He literally threatened us,” recalls Berman. “He said, ‘You won’t do this without me.’”
Meanwhile, anti-Mohawk ads surfaced, implying what would happen if the tribe opened a casino at the Raceway. One featured pictures of hypodermic needles, lines of cocaine and some marijuana that asked in big, bold letters, “Drug dealing at Monticello Raceway?” It then accused the tribe of running “the biggest cocaine trafficking ring in Northern New York.”
“Are these the new neighbors we want?” the ad asked.
The ads said they were paid for by an innocent-sounding upstate anti-casino group, the Institute for Law and Society. When reporters at the Times Herald-Record and other newspapers tried to reach the Institute for Law and Society, we first found an anti-casino man named Thomas Hunter.
But when the state investigated – and reporters dug deeper - it turned out Trump and his front men, including political operative Roger Stone, were paying at least $150,000 for the anti-Mohawk ad campaign. The Times Herald-Record reported that the Institute had only three members, including Trump.
A Trump lawyer even gave the state original ad copies that included margin notes signed by Trump that said "looks good" and "not bad."
In October 2000, Trump and his associates agreed to pay $250,000 to the state and issue an apology because he secretly paid for the ads attacking the Mohawks and didn’t inform the state lobbying commission.
That doesn’t sound like such a tell-it like-it-is guy, does it?
A US appeals court ruled in favor of resort operator EPR Resorts, formerly known as EPT Concord. The company is in charge of the construction and operation of the Montreign Resort in the Adelaar area in New York that would host the Montreign Casino. The court ruling was against real estate developer Louis Cappelli and Concord Associates.
Back in 1999, the developer’s Concord Associates purchased a 1,600-acre site aiming to build a casino resort. In 2007, the entity needed capital of $162 million, which it borrowed from the former EPT. In order to secure its loan, it used the greater part of its property as collateral.
Although Concord Associates failed to repay its loan, it could proceed with its plan for the launch of a casino but on a smaller slice of the previously purchased site. Yet, it had to fund its development by means of a master credit agreement, under which any construction loan should have been guaranteed by Mr. Cappelli himself.
Concord Associates failed in this, too, and in 2011 proposed to issue a high-yield bond totaling $395 million. EPT refused and Concord Associates brought the matter to court arguing that their proposal complied with the agreement between the two entities.
EPT, on the other hand, introduced its own plans for the establishment of a casino resort. The gambling facility is to be run by gambling operator Empire Resorts.
Apart from its ruling on the legal dispute between the two entities, the appeals court also ruled that Acting Supreme Court Justice Frank LaBuda should have withdrawn from the case as his wife – county Legislator Kathy LaBuda, had made public statements on the matter.
Mrs. LaBuda had openly supported EPT and its project. Judge LaBuda was asked to recuse himself but he refused and eventually ruled in favor of the afore-mentioned operator. He wrote that any decision in favor of Concord Associates would not have been in public interest and would have been considered violation of the state gambling law.
Quite expectedly, his ruling was questioned by people and this is why the appeals court decided that he should have withdrawn from the case. Yet, that same court also backed EPT, claiming that Concord Associates had failed to meet the terms of the contract, which were unambiguous and clear enough.
— FBI, New York State Police and other law enforcement personnel executed an early morning raid at several locations in the Monticello area, apparently focused on narcotics and firearms activities.
At noon today, there will be a press conference held at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York in White Plains to announce narcotics and firearms charges and arrests of numerous defendants in a Monticello and Sullivan County-wide investigation.
Residents on High Street said they were awakened at around 4:50 a.m.
by four loud bangs as helicopters hovered overhead and police swooped in on a house located between Landfield Ave. and Liberty St.
Police said the coordinated effort began in the early morning hours. It is believed that several locations in Monticello and Fallsburg were involved in the raid.
FBI agents could be seen talking to residents and collecting evidence Tuesday morning.
State Police cars were on both ends of High St., blocking the scene.
One male was spotted handcuffed and placed in the back of a State Police SUV and led away.
High St. residents said law enforcement has performed drug raids before on their block, which connects Pleasant St. to Liberty St.
A worker at an insurance company nearby, who reported to work at 3 a.m. Tuesday, said she saw a lot of police activity starting at 4:30 a.m. By 5:30 a.m., she related, patrons were reporting that police were raiding multiple residences.
We will publish more information as it becomes available.
Federal and Sullivan County Prosecutors Tuesday afternoon will be revealing details of a drug and firearms sweep that resulted in the arrests of 34 people.
Authorities Tuesday morning unveiled indictments spelling out a long list of charges, including heroin trafficking, and possession of illegal firearms.
Early information details a heroin-supply conspiracy, based in Monticello, distributing the drug in many parts of Sullivan County. One man, Darcy "Moey" Copeland, is said in the indictment to have run the drug network from inside the Sullivan County Jail.
The announcement is being made jointly by Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Jim Farrell, the Sullivan County district attorney and officials from the FBI, State Police and state Department of Homeland Security Investigations.
Bharara was planing a news conference for noon, in his offices in White plains. Arraignments were to be proceeding in Monticello, beginning about the same time.
The indictments include allegations that drug traffickers accepted firearms for payment for drugs, and that the traffickers conspired to distribute heroin and cocaine.
The indictment sheets detailing the alleged drug conspiracy spell out a long list of street names, including “Trip,” “Dog,” “Hollow,” “Pito,” and ‘Gang.”
Those arrested in the overnight sweep are being arraigned in Sullivan County Court today.
Listeners across the country will be treated to a little slice of Sullivan County this Saturday Morning, July 25, when they tune into Weekend Edition Saturday with host Scott Simon on NPR. Simon will interview Christine Miller, owner and proprietor of Dahlia's Delights in White Sulphur Springs, about her business and the food it serves. It's part of a summertime series on Weekend Edition exploring “local flavor” at snack stands across the USA.
“When WJFF heard NPR was searching for local, family-owned businesses serving interesting summer time snacks, we immediately thought of Dahlia's Delights,” explains Jason dole, Program Director at the non-profit Jeffersonville station. “It looks like a regular old ice cream stand, but it has some wild gourmet food choices in addition to the dogs and cones.”WJFF recommended the local business to Weekend Edition, and the national program decided to feature Dahlia's Delights on Scott Simon's show.
In addition to recording the phone interview between Simon and Miller, WJFF also recorded interviews with customers at the ice cream stand that will be part of the final feature. These community members include local families, contractors, vacationers, and even the vintage car aficionados who gather at Dahlia's on Wednesday evenings.
“It was fun working with the folks at NPR and a great learning experience for our station,” says Dole. “ And the fact that we could involve members of the community in this instance was even better.”
The final piece can be heard July 25 on Weekend Edition Saturday, which airs locally on WJFF from 8 to 10 a.m. WJFF broadcasts at 90.5 FM in the Catskills and N.E.P.A., 94.5 FM in Monticello,
About to ramp up , let me tell you so much work has been done it is a fantasy come true. In the past 2 months more work at the casino site then has ever been done anywhere in Sullivan. Homer Run.
Your negative opinion of the new casino is mostly correct however a little short sighted. Sure business in the Sullivan area would love to eat at the tourist casino goers banquet , however we all that is not going to be the case. More then likely businesses are going to make their daily bread off of repeat sales from (new residents and workers), not casino tourist. Relocated new faces with new money spent at local business. Who cares what happens to the stock!!! I'm more concerned with a revival of the small towns in Sullivan. I'm sick and tried of drug abusers and dealers, welfare cheaters and social security disability stealers , let's not forget religious tax scammers.
For decades, the one thing you could count on in so much of Sullivan County was a negative attitude.
If you told a diehard Sullivan citizen the sun would rise in the morning, the reply might be: “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Sullivan County was the victim of so many broken promises by so many casino schemers, it should have been called the show-me county.
I discovered that in 2000, when the St. Regis Mohawks received one of the first federal approvals in the country for an off-reservation casino at Monticello Raceway. That was a sure sign, I thought, that Sullivan was getting its casino.
But not the folks in the show-me county. They responded to that news with a resounding chorus of, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
If there’s one immediate benefit from the fact that the Montreign Resort Casino at Adelaar is actually going to build its $1 billion resort casino off Route 17 Exit 106 – and already has the infrastructure and site work to prove it – it’s the change in the Sullivan County attitude.
Just listen to what folks are saying.
“I get chills when I think about it. I’m so excited,’’ said Judy Piazza, daughter-in-law of Nella Vrancich, who owns Nature Restaurant and Lounge on Broadway in Monticello, which just reopened after several years of being shuttered.
Even county officials who’ve tried – without much success - to appear upbeat as Sullivan’s poverty soared literally can’t contain themselves when they talk about Montreign and the thousands of jobs it means.
“It’s just so exciting, ” said Sullivan County Legislator Kathy LaBuda, at the recent Sullivan United mixer/rally overlooking the soon-to-be renovated Monster golf course at the site of Montreign.
That’s where another Sullivan legislator and longtime casino dreamer, Ira Steingart, explained the reason for the sunny attitude, after years of so much gloom. Steingart, whose family business printed brochures and ads for the hundreds of resorts that once boomed in the Catskills, said it’s a no-brainer why Montreign would be a “game changer.”
“Two thousand jobs with a population of (76,000)? We’ll have more disposable income. We’ll see Main Streets booming, towns changing, the housing market ….”
So sure, some folks in the show-me county won’t believe the Montreign Resort Casino is real until the doors open. Old attitudes die hard, especially when folks have been burned so often.
But another longtime resident who’s been hearing about the casinos that never came for as long as he’s been alive now has been hearing what so many others in the show-me county have been hearing: hope.
Lawyer Jacob Billig represents the developer of one of the countless sites for a casino – Trading Cove of New York, which aimed to build a Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohicans casino in Bridgeville. Even he knows that this time around, the casino dreams will come true.
“In the last 24 months, there’s been a complete reversal in the attitude in the county,” he said
MOUNTAINDALE - The Fallsburg Police Department is investigating body remains found in this Sullivan County hamlet.
Chief Simmie Williams said Tuesday that body remains were found in the area this weekend, but the department could not release more information for fear of impeding the investigation.
The location of where the remains were found was not even revealed.
An autopsy was conducted on Monday but results were not released.
State police assisted in the recovery of the remains.
The countdown to the long-awaited license for the Montreign Resort Casino in Sullivan County begins Wednesday.
That's when the state officially publishes the proposed rules for casinos and the 45-day comment period on the rules begins.
The comment period ends Sept. 8.
Assuming the state Gaming Commission officially adopts or revises the rules, they can't be published until Sept. 30.
Since the state has already said background checks on the people and businesses behind the state's three new casinos should be done by the time the rules are complete, the casino licenses could be granted once the rules are published and the checks are complete - or not before Sept. 30.
Once the license is issued, a casino must open within two years.
ALBANY – The state could formally issue private casino licenses as soon as Sept. 30.
The state Gaming Commission voted last week to officially propose a set of regulations for licensing private casinos. After a 45-day public comment period, the board could adopt the rules as soon as the end of September, according to commission executive director Robert Williams.
Once the rules are adopted, the licenses could be awarded shortly thereafter.
“In general, these proposed regulations are necessary to incrementally advance facility licensing,” Williams said. “Without these, the commission would be unable to award any facility license.”
Late last year, the state Gaming Facilities Location Board recommended awarding licenses to the Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre, Seneca County; the Montreign Resort Casino in Thompson, Sullivan County; and the Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady.
Charles Degliomini, an executive with Empire Resorts, said recently the Sullivan County Montreign Resort Casino he's developing will have a regional impact that extends to Dutchess, ranging from jobs to tourism and including about $6.7 million a year.
According to the New York state Division of the Budget’s estimated fiscal impact of the Upstate New York Gaming and Economic Development Act, about $3,742,035 would be distributed annually to Dutchess County government and approximately $2,924,474 would come in school aid, property tax relief and local government aid in Dutchess County.
A spokesman, Mike Bieger, explained that these figures are based on an estimate of a $51 million annual distribution to counties in the Catskills/Hudson Valley region — Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties.
Filling 2,400 permanent jobs will require help from afar, and the jobs will be good-paying and mostly union, “fully loaded” with benefits, Degliomini told the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce in June.
Construction managers have already begun some site work at the 1,700-acre property, of which about 55 acres is devoted to the casino and related construction. They plan to take bids for most of the work this month and have, at peak, 1,500 workers on the project.
But the final casino award comes from the Gaming Commission, which met Monday to propose the casino rules and changes to the Powerball lottery odds.
The deadline to apply for a fourth casino license — which is reserved for the Southern Tier — was 4 p.m. Monday.
When the proposed rules are printed in the official state register on July 22, they will be opened to a 45-day public-comment period. After that, the commission will meet in public and assess whether there needs to be any changes to the proposals.
Once that process concludes, the commission can formally adopt the rules in the next register, which would be printed Sept. 30, and the licenses could then be awarded.
“To analogize, the casino regulations are a 100-piece jigsaw puzzle,” Williams said. “These are the first three pieces.”
A State Police background search on Lago, Montreign and Rivers’ developers and investors is expected to wrap up shortly, Williams said.
New York voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2013 allowing the state to award up to seven private casino licenses.
Up to the first four were reserved for certain areas upstate, but the state Gaming Facilities Location Board originally decided to only award three.
After the Binghamton area was passed over for the Lago proposal, a public outcry ensued, leading the state to reopen the bidding for the fourth license.
As of Monday afternoon, there had only been one bidder for the Southern Tier license: Tioga Downs Casino & Racing in Nichols, Tioga County, which had been rejected during the first round of bidding.
On Sunday, Jeffrey Hyman — an Albany-area financier that had been putting together a bid for a possible Binghamton casino — said he wouldn’t move forward with his proposal.