April 1, 2015

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Stewart can play major transportation role with casino, says Sullivan official

Baez: "We are going to rely heavily on Stewart"

NEW WINDSOR – Passenger service at Stewart Airport could play a significant role in bringing people to and from the casino-resort to be constructed in Sullivan County. That message came Tuesday from Marc Baez, president of the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development, who addressed the Stewart Airport Commission.

Baez said Sullivan County Airport in White Lake is not geared for passenger service.   It is more likely to be used by private and corporate travelers, he said. People could fly into Stewart from all over the nation and world and be shuttled to the casino and other tourism-related facilities in the Catskills, .

“We are going to rely heavily on Stewart,” Baez said

Airport Commission Chairman James Wright coined a phrase.

“Perhaps we can convince people to take the plane to Montreign and vice versa,” Wright said. “It’s corny enough that it might work.”

Baez said Sullivan expects millions of new visitors when the Montreign casino and Adelaar projects are completed.  The casino is expected to draw two million guests annually, he said.

The new projects will also need construction workers and employees and Sullivan County along does not have the population to fulfill those commitments.

“We will need workers from Orange County to fill in the gap for employees,” Baez said.  “When someone comes to us and asks ‘what’s your nearest airport’, it’s Stewart. Let’s take 10 percent of the 3.5 million expected visitors, if they come through Stewart, that’s a pretty good thing.”



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