Park Place Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: PPE) announced that The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and Sullivan County have reached an agreement in principle that is a major step toward bringing a resort/casino to the Catskills. The County, the Town of Thompson and the other affected constituencies will receive a total of $15 million a year from the resort/casino that Park Place and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe are planning to bring to the Catskills.
Local leaders, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and Park Place Entertainment all view this agreement as a major milestone in making the project a reality. With the agreement in place, the County will give the Bureau of Indian Affairs its official approval of the casino/resort and urge the Department of the Interior to take the land in trust. This means that Park Place Entertainment and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe are significantly closer to building the resort/casino and the people of Sullivan County are closer to enjoying the economic and employment benefits that the resort/casino would bring.
Chief Paul Thompson of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe stated, “The support and cooperation of the County and town leaders and community members is essential to moving forward on the development of a resort/casino in Sullivan County. We are pleased that an agreement has been finally reached and we don’t anticipate any further delays.”
Thomas E. Gallagher, president and chief executive officer for Park Place Entertainment said, “This is a big win for everyone involved. It was important to us to reach a deal with the County that everyone was happy with, and this agreement does that. We are very pleased to have taken this major step toward becoming a member of the community here in Sullivan County, and bringing all of the economic benefits this great project offers to our new community. We look forward to continuing to work with the people of Sullivan County and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe to make it successful.”
Rowena General, spokesperson for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe added, “We are pleased that our partnership with Park Place and the people of Sullivan County is working out so well and look forward to enjoying the benefits of the resort/casino with our neighbors in the Catskills.”
Representatives of the County, the Town of Thompson and all affected constituents were equally pleased with the agreement, which not only means $15 million each year, but also that they are closer to bringing a resort/casino with economic and employment opportunities to Sullivan County.
Rusty Pomeroy, the Chairman of the County Legislature and lead negotiator, along with Sullivan County Attorney Ira J. Cohen and Special Counsel John E. Jacobson for the County, praised the deal saying, “We are thrilled that we were able to reach across the table and reach an agreement that will benefit the entire County. We believed it was crucial not to be totally dependent on Albany for compensation from the resort/casino, and we think this separate agreement, along with the economic benefits a resort/casino will bring is a huge win for the County. We look forward to joining with Park Place and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe to ensure this project receives speedy approval at all levels.”
Tony Cellini, the Supervisor of the Town of Thompson was equally excited about the agreement and the project moving forward, “I am pleased to be part of a process that is bringing 4,000 jobs to the Town of Thompson and a substantial payment to offset expenses of the Town. The Catskills will again be a premier resort destination. Working with the Tribe, Park Place and the County is a pleasure.”
The agreement is subject to approval by the Sullivan County Legislature and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council.