Two Maryland casino operators are teaming up in hopes of opening a casino and resort in the Hudson Valley-Catskills area of New York, and are considering other projects in that state, the companies announced.
The Cordish Cos., which runs Maryland Live in Hanover, the state's largest casino, and Penn National Gaming, which runs the second-largest, the Hollywood Casino in Perryville, hope to build the project in the Village of South Blooming Grove in Orange County, less than a 90-minute drive from Manhattan.
Penn National spokesman Eric Schippers said the plan is to create a "destination resort experience" that will be larger than either of the two operations in Maryland, as it is meant to include a hotel and spa. He said the location near Interstate 87 — a major highway from the Bronx to the Canadian border — is meant to draw customers from New York City. The closest casino to the city now is the Sands in Bethlehem, Pa., a bit farther away.
Schippers said Cordish has an option to buy 120 acres of undeveloped land. The entire project is estimated to cost $750 million. When it opened in June 2012, Maryland Live was described as a $500 million venture.
Schippers said details of the number of slot machines, table games and hotel rooms are yet to be worked out. He said no official plans have been filed with two local governments — the Town of Blooming Grove and the Village of South Blooming Grove — that would have to approve them.
A public meeting on the proposal is scheduled Thursday evening in the Town of Blooming Grove, said Schippers, whose company is based in Wyomissing, Pa., and runs gambling and racing operations in 17 states and Ontario, Canada. Cordish, based in Baltimore, has developed entertainment centers and casinos around the country, including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., and Charleston Place in Charleston, S.C.
According to a news release, Cordish and Penn National are finishing details of a 50-50 agreement to own and run the project in Orange County that would carry the Cordish Live brand. The companies are also considering sites around Albany, N.Y., that would carry Penn National's Hollywood Casino brand.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun