By Fred Stabbert III
Town of Delaware Supervisor Ed Sykes sat back in his seat last Wednesday night, looking his...
Sullivan County’s strong presence did not go unnoticed at the Progress County Leaders Breakfast at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel.
Pattern for Progress President Jonathan Drapkin, who hails from Rock Hill, welcomed the more than 30 Sullivan County business and government leaders who attended the event to a rousing round of applause from the 250 attendees.
Heading the list were legislators Scott Samuelson and Cora Edwards as well as County Manager Josh Potosek.
And three of the individuals most instrumental in helping Sullivan County win the casino
license – Partnership President Marc Baez, Chamber President Cathy Paty and Visitors Assn. President Roberta Byron Lockwood – also made the trip.
Sullivan County’s casino project is still the buzz across the region.
“A casino means a lot for Sullivan County – and the region,” Sullivan County legislature chair Scott Samuelson said. “It’s a win-win for the Hudson Valley and the state.”
Samuelson said that Montreign Casino, which will be built on the former grounds of the Concord
Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, will be an economic catalyst for the entire region as the $1.1 billion building project breaks ground.
“We are planning to have a tourism summit,” Samuelson said. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for everyone. An incredible project which we are thrilled to host.”
And the leaders from Orange, Dutchess and Ulster echoed Samuelson’s words, stating that each of their counties will benefit from such a huge economic development project.
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus said, “We did what we did [during the casino selection process]. [After the announcement] I called Scott to congratulate him. This will have a huge impact regionally.
“The residents of Orange County need jobs. We have 23,000 veterans here,” he said. “Sullivan County has been nothing but respectful to Orange County, especially Charlie Degliomini. This project is going to have a positive impact for the region.”
Degliomini, executive vice president of Empire Resorts, will help oversee the Montreign Casino as it begins to rise out of the ground this year.
Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, who’s project at the Nevele failed to gain a casino license, said, “Having a casino in the Hudson Valley is good. The Sullivan County proposal was incredibly strong.
County proposal was incredibly strong. “A certain number of dollars come to neighboring counties,” he said. “It will help set the tone for communities [near Sullivan County’s border]. I couldn’t be more excited.”
Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro went one step further.
“If Sullivan County was not awarded a casino the constitutional amendment would have been a fraud,” he said. “This project will have a ripple effect both directly and indirectly to our revenue stream.”