April 10, 2015

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Sullivan County’s casino beginning to attract attention

MONTICELLO – The Adelaar Resort project, which will include Montreign, the Catskills’ only casino, is still at least two years from being a reality, but a lot of ancillary interest is emerging.  That’s encouraging for Sullivan County officials, who caution, however, that it all must fall perfectly into place.

That was the extended topic for the County Legislature’s Community and Economic Development Committee on Thursday. 

Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson said he is “energized” by what all parts of the team are doing.

“I think it’s really important that we don’t lose sight of the fact that even though we have this extraordinary catalyst here, that doesn’t mean we just sit back and not support development in this community,” Samuelson said.

He noted what happened, or didn’t happen, around the Mount Airy Casino Resort, which opened a few years ago in Pennsylvania’s Poconos, at about the same driving time from New York City as Sullivan County.  Only recently has a waterpark begun construction near that casino, which otherwise does not have much else in the immediate vicinity.

A better example, cited by Sullivan County Partnership head Marc Baez, is Branson, Missouri, which few people had heard of before it began to emerge as an entertainment mecca in the 1960s, in large part because of the way that destination is packaged.

“By putting them in a cluster, it is a destination, and I think that that, we have to remember that,” he said.

Baez said the county as a whole will benefit greatly, if the opportunity that comes with a casino is used in the right way.

Several county agencies are quickly getting in line. 

Center for Workforce Development Director Laura Quigley said a Hospitality Alliance is coming together, including Cornell Cooperative Extension, BOCES and SUNY Sulllivan.

“And it’s looking at current needs of the industry, future needs, where can we form career pathways, where can we make sure that both BOCES and the college have the correct trainings in place,” she said

Quigley said other educational institutions have contacted the county, telling them of specialized curricula, including the College of New Rochelle.


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