In local-ish travel news:
Mohegan Sun Announces New Partnership with Holiday Mountain Ski and Fun Park
Mohegan Sun at the Concord Proposal to invest $1 million to redevelop one of last two remaining ski areas in the county.
Thompson, NY – September 3, 2014-- Mohegan Sun announced today a new partnership with the locally owned Holiday Mountain Ski and Fun Park that will include a $1 million investment to create a mountain coaster and zipline. This partnership represents the fourth economic development destination that will be part of the proposed Mohegan Sun at the Concord – additional developments include the revitalization of the world class 18 hole Big “G” golf course at the Grossinger County Club, the redevelopment of Grossinger’s in Liberty with a spa, hotel and vacation homes, and the redevelopment of three-acres in downtown Monticello.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Holiday Mountain, a local treasure that has been a staple of the Catskills for more than 50 years,” said Mitchell Etess, CEO of Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. “Our proposal, unlike any other, is based on a true regional approach because we understand it is going to take multiple sites and multiple projects to have the greatest long-term economic impact on the Catskills and return this region to the top tourist destination that it once was.”
In addition to the redevelopment efforts at the ski area, the partnership between Mohegan Sun at the Concord and Holiday Mountain will extend benefits to all guests and employees of the proposed $500 million destination resort casino, including a 25 percent discount on all activities at Holiday Mountain.
“As one of the last remaining ski areas in the Catskills, we look forward to working with one of the most successful brands in the world,” said Craig Passantes, owner of Holiday Mountain Ski and Fun Park, which employs more than 80 local residents. “Hands down, Sullivan County is the best choice for a resort casino in New York and Mohegan Sun at the Concord provides the best opportunity for local businesses, like myself, to have a real chance at economic growth.”
Founded in 1950, at its peak Holiday Mountain employed more than 120 residents and was one of as many as seven ski destinations in the region. Today, the ski area and fun park is only one of two remaining in the Catskills.
“More than any other location, the Catskills needs this, it’s a matter of survival for these residents and local businesses,” said Passantes. “I know I speak for a lot of area business owners in saying that without a doubt, an Orange County casino would cripple this already distressed region.”
Sullivan County has the highest unemployment rate among nearby counties at 8.9 percent, the lowest per capita income level at $24,462 per year, and the highest historical unemployment level at 6.73 percent. Neighboring Orange County, where six other operators are competing for a license, in contrast, has been the second fastest growing County in New York over the last two decades.
Additionally, according to a recent study released by Capacity Business Consulting a resort casino in Sullivan County will likely generate the most money the fastest and have the biggest impact on the New York economy and a recent poll found that New York voters believe Sullivan County is a better location for a casino than Orange, by a wide two to one margin.
"Sullivan County businesses and residents have waited long enough for their chance at real economic development,” said Sullivan County Town of Thompson Supervisor William Rieber. “Sullivan County is not only equipped to get to market faster, but also has the overwhelming local support that is needed to create a successful and sustained casino gaming industry and carry out to the true intent of the gaming legislation. Anything that can be done to create more employment and keep the Ski Area open and viable is a plus for the Town of Thompson and the Hudson Valley”
Mohegan Sun at the Concord is expected to produce $3 billion to $3.7 billion in total economic benefits over a 20-year period, with approximately $1.5 billion to $1.86 billion of those gains to be realized in Sullivan County.
One of Mohegan Sun at the Concord’s key project differentiators is the operator’s industry-leading and first-of-its-kind Momentum Points Partnership program, which will allow guests – including the five million already established momentum club members – to redeem their earned points at participating area businesses and destinations outside the resort. With traditional industry points programs, such as those in Las Vegas, patrons are only able to redeem their points at businesses located within the resort casino.
“This legislation is intended to help not hurt our local businesses, particularly those that are already in distress,” said Etess. “That’s why our entire proposal is based on an outwardly facing business model that drives guests to sites all throughout the Catskills including Holiday Mountain, Grossinger’s, and especially to the hundreds of struggling local restaurants and shops.”
Mohegan Sun is planning an approximately $500 million resort casino on the site of the historic former Concord Resort Hotel in Thompson, which is expected to create at least 3,000 construction jobs and more than 1,200 permanent jobs.
The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority
The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority is an instrumentality of the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut and the owner and operator of a gaming and entertainment complex located in Uncasville, Connecticut, known as Mohegan Sun, and a gaming and entertainment facility located in Plains Township, Pennsylvania, known as Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. For more information, visit: www.mtga.com.
About The Cappelli Organization:
The Cappelli Organization has developed more than 10 million square feet of mixed use, retail, waterfront, single and multi-family residential, hotel, office, industrial laboratory and parking facilities, with a portfolio value exceeding $3 billion. Among its prestigious developments are: Renaissance Square - a $700 Million, 900,000 square foot development that is anchored by a full service Ritz-Carlton Hotel with two 43-story Ritz Residence towers, a 60,000 square foot Triple A office building and a 900 car multi-level underground parking structure; and City Center at White Plains - a $500 million, 1.1 million square foot mixed use complex containing a regional retail complex, 15 multi-plex movie theater and 3 residential towers containing 500 rental and condominium homes. These two developments have been hailed as the catalyst for the revitalization of downtown White Plains.