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Schenectady Casino Ahead Of Schedule, Opening In February

The $330 million Rivers Casino and Resort at Mohawk Harbor has been reshaping Schenectady’s waterfront. Beside a completed Courtyard Marriott Hotel, an in-progress office complex, and a parking deck, the casino itself was recently adorned with new signage.

At a gathering complete with champagne Wednesday afternoon, Rush Street Gaming CEO Greg Carlin remarked on the progress of the building. Thanking the team of public and private leaders that is making the project a reality, and ahead of schedule, Carlin also thanked the citizens of Schenectady for their input.

“I knew it was going to be spectacular, but I have to say, I thank all of you folks in Schenectady. When we sort of got a little off track and said ‘OK, we’re going to do an industrial-themed casino.’ And it kind of went over like a thud. And we quickly said ‘OK, yeah, we’re going to switch back to contemporary,’ and I’m really glad we did because the place looks great. You should see it inside, the place looks spectacular.”

Rush Street Gaming is partnering with Galesi Group to redevelop the site of the former Alco plant along the Mohawk River.

It’s been three years since casinos were approved by voters in New York. In December of last year, Schenectady was awarded its full-scale casino license after a close competition in the Capital Region that also included sites in Saratoga Springs, the Town of Florida, and Rensselaer.

Galesi Group COO Dave Buicko lauded the fast progress of the construction of what he called one of the largest mixed use developments going up in New York.

“Welcome to Mohawk Harbor. The sun always shines on this place. It’s been five years since we bought a bunch of dilapidated buildings. About 60 acres. Who would’ve ever thunk this, huh?”

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy called the group consisting of Rush Street Gaming, the Galesi Group, architects, and labor “partners in progress.”

He also said the project would not have become a reality if not for the Metroplex Development Authority and the other partners that have helped transform the city’s downtown.

“Today, we’re on the top. People look to Schenectady to see how things are done, how we make things happen, how we work with organized labor, how we work with business, the financial community to bring complex deals together. To do it in a way that adds value and expands the opportunities within this community,” said McCarthy.

The promise of employment has attracted the attention of residents. More than 950 people attended a recent job fair for the casino.

At the flip of a switch, the brand new LED sign displayed another announcement...

"Our grand opening, February 8th, 2017!"

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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