Tioga Downs and Traditions make pitch to gaming location board on Monday

Tioga Downs in Nichols, N.Y. and Traditions at the Glen in Johnson City, N.Y. made their pitches to the gaming facility location board in Albany on Monday. Lago Resort Casino, which has hopes to build in Tyre in Seneca County, was the last to make their pitch to the board

Each of the teams presented their proposals as well as the potential economic benefits and jobs that would be created if they get the Southern Tier’s full-fledged gaming license.

First up was Traditions at the Glen. Owner Bill Walsh and his team said Traditions would have the largest positive impact on the economy and region when compared with Tioga Downs and the third proposal in Tyre.

Traditions, according to previous releases, said it would create more than 1,000 jobs, expand its hotel by 160 rooms, build a 5,000 square foot gaming facility and an underground parking garage.

But one of the big debates was if Traditions and Tioga Downs could co-exist.

Traditions at the Glen said “yes” and believes Tioga would still be a viable business.

Tioga Downs’ CEO, Jeff Gural disagreed, and stated it could be forced to close because it would likely take in $25 million less a year as Traditions would take a lot of its current business.

During the Tioga Downs presentation, it highlighted its commitment to the area, its outreach and contributions to the community, the over 300 people currently employed, and what it has planned if it secures the license.

Gural stated that his proposal is the best and it’s better that a casino be in a rural setting than directly in Greater Binghamton. He also noted since the process began, that he would be really surprised if he did not get the license.

Gural was vital in getting Proposition 1, to allow casino gaming in New York on the ballot in November for voters.

The last presenter in the Southern Tier region was Lago Resort Casino, which would be located in Tyre in Seneca County.

Lago proposed a roughly $400 million dollar facility, hundreds of millions more expensive than Tioga Downs or Traditions.

Developer Thomas of Lago Resort Casino claims that his team could attract 3.4 million visitors a year. The grounds, according to reports, would have a 10,000 sq. foot spa and a 1,700-seat entertainment venue.

The winner of the license may be announced before this November’s election.

There will be a public hearing on Sept. 24 at Hotel Ithaca in Ithaca from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. for people to give input about the Southern Tier proposals that include Tioga Downs, Traditions at the Glen, and Lago Resort Casino.

The gaming facility location board will consider the input received on Sept. 24 before making a final decision.

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