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Mohegan Tribe Partners on $600 Million New York Catskills Casino

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The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, operators of the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut and Pocono Downs in Plains Township, Pennsylvania, partnered with Concord Associates to develop a $600 million casino and racing facility in the New York Catskills, reported the Associated Press.

The casino, slated to open by spring 2013, will be built on the site of the historic Concord Hotel. The premiere destination from the '50s and '60s in the Borscht Belt shut down in 1998 and was demolished in 2008, according to the AP. The Concord Resort & Golf Club website states that the resort is now a massive golf course rated by Golf Digest as one of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses.

The Sun will run day-to-day operations of the project, known as the Concord Resort.

"This project, under the powerful Mohegan Sun brand, will become a catalyst for the Catskills to regain its status as a world-class resort destination," Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority CEO Mitchell Etess said in a press release.

The project is of particular significance to Etess—it will take him back to his roots. His family ran a famous Catskills hotel when it was a "thriving regional tourism destination," he said in a statement. "I am thrilled to be part of its revitalization."

Concord Associates—headed by Westchester, New York developer Louis Cappelli—owns the 116-acre site in Thompson, New York. It will include a 2,100 video lottery terminals and capacity for up to 450 electronic table game positions, a 258-room hotel, a harness horse racing track, and five restaurants, states the release.

“We believe our successful track record of creating large-scale economic development projects throughout New York, along with Mohegan Sun’s property management skills, represent a natural partnership,” Cappelli said.

The AP reports the Mohegan Sun is a "small equity holder" in the project, and more details on revenue allocation between the two partners and how the money will be raised will be available in the future.

Thus far, $100 million of the total planned budget has been spent on site preparation, foundations, curtain wall, demolition and remediation of environmental issues.

Over the next decade, the revitalization of the Concord is expected to generate billions of dollars in economic benefits to New York State’s Catskill region and create more than 1,000 new construction and permanent jobs. Most employment opportunities will benefit New York’s Sullivan, Orange and Ulster counties.

Community backing is strong. State Senator John Bonacic said he is “100 percent in support of this tremendous economic development opportunity.”

The Concord Resort development team also includes investment bank Jefferies & Co. and Marnell Architecture, whose design accolades include the Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey.