The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and Park Place Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: PPE) expect to break ground on the planned Sullivan County casino and resort complex by the end of next year, Tribal leaders and company
The announcement follows the New York State Legislature’s approval of a bill that authorizes Governor George Pataki to negotiate compacts for up to three Tribal casinos in the Catskill region, and three additional casinos in western New York State.
Chief Paul Thompson of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council stated, “We are extremely pleased that the New York State Legislature supports the development of a Mohawk Casino and Resort in Sullivan County. This project will allow the Tribal Council to guide the Mohawk people on the path to economic recovery and true self-sufficiency.”
Park Place Senior Vice President Kim Sinatra said, “The Legislature’s action is a major step forward for the casino project, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, the state of New York, and the people of Sullivan County. This project will mean thousands of local jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in local investment.
“The passage of this important legislation would not have been possible without the hard work and commitment of Governor Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver,” Sinatra added.
“If all goes well and we secure the additional approvals that are required, we anticipate that the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and Park Place will begin construction before the end of 2002. Much work remains to be done, but the Legislature’s action has put the Mohawk project on the fast track,” Sinatra said.
In addition to providing 2,000 construction jobs and thousands of permanent positions for casino employees, the project will yield $15 million a year in direct payments to Sullivan County, the Town of Thompson and locally impacted entities.
The Casino and Resort will be built on the site of the Catskill’s legendary Kutsher’s Resort Hotel and Country Club in the Town of Thompson, on a 66-acre site that will be held in trust for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. Park Place has acquired an option to purchase an additional 1,350 acres of adjacent Kutsher property.
The $500 million project will feature a 750-room hotel, 130,000 square feet of gaming space, 15,000 square feet of meeting space, eight restaurants and a spa.
Under the terms of its agreement with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Park Place will develop and manage the Sullivan County Casino for an initial term of seven years. Park Place will receive 30 percent of the net cash flow from operations, commencing with the opening of the casino.
In addition to finalizing a compact, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe must receive the approval of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for its Land into Trust Application. The National Indian Gaming Commission must approve the Tribe’s Management Agreement with Park Place and local officials must grant zoning and construction permits.