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EXTRA! EXTRA! BUILD IT…: Locals a big part of new construction. 5A HOPE YOU’RE HUNGRY: Casino has something for every taste. 6A VOL. CXXVII NO. 70 5 SECTIONS | 36 PAGES


EDITORIAL: Casino is the real deal. 11A

Published twice-weekly TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 $1.25

Modern design meets Catskills at the new casino BY REBECA C. RIVERA

THOMPSON — Surrounded by glass, the 18-story hotel at Resorts World Catskills shines brightly amidst the surrounding mountains. The gleam and glow of the new structure, however, goes beyond the slot machines and 10 restaurants and is overwhelmingly present in the casino’s modern design and architecture. The hotel and casino were planned and designed by JCJ Architecture, a firm who has worked on several notable projects such as upgrading Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater and the Empire State Building’s Observation Deck in New York City. A tree-lined path brings guests up close to the $1.2 billion resort destination campus that sits on 1,100 acres and includes several 5star and 5-diamond amenities. “The building is actually designed to reflect the natural environment,” Charles Degliomini, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs & Corporate Communications of Empire Resorts, said. The building’s reflective glass exterior provides visitors with the illusion that it is changing depending on the outside weather. “If you’re here in the morning at 6 a.m., the building looks cold. If you’re here on a blue, sunny day, the building looks blue. On the kind of overcast day… it looks greenish,” he said. Additionally, the design purposefully enhances the feeling “that every single day the building looks just a little bit differently.” Casino main entrance doors open unto a rotunda, which was created, according to Deliogmini, to provide a “sense of calmness” and to provide visitors with a feeling of stepping into a non-hectic environment. The casino floor offers guests an array of gaming options, but no one should

By the Numbers

$980 million The total cost of constructing the Resorts World Casino

1.6 mil Property square footage, over 1,600,000 square feet, including more than 100,000 square feet of gaming area. MATT SHORTALL | DEMOCRAT

Byran Pitts, from Westtown in Orange County, tends bar in front of the 7.7 million pixel waterfall. Custom-designed by Fusion CI Studios, this computer-generated waterfall hides a secret door where performers enter onto the stage. At left, floral-shaped light fixtures help to bridge the casino’s modern and natural design strategy.


lose focus on the carefully chosen “sleek and modern” design elements that surround it. Many casinos have been accused of limited views to the outside world and dining internal lights so as to create an isolated gaming experience. However, Sullivan’s new casino has fully embraced the light by creating a space that is illuminated by natural sunlight during the day and

moonlight and stars at night. “The natural environment spills onto the gaming floor,” Degliomini stated. Therefore, floor to ceiling windows allow visitors to take in the beauty of the mountains and trees as they roll the dice or enjoy an authentic Szechuan dish on the approximately 100,000square-foot casino floor. Along with exterior light, the casino features lighting fixtures that resemble modernist interpretations of flowers. Hanging high above the casino floor, translucent fixtures appear as if they are floating against the blue-gray ceiling. Similar lighting appears in other places such as the casino’s Asian market that feature oval shaped, open lights. Several of the more than

150 table games that are featured in the casino are covered by garden-style pergolas that stand at approximately 12 feet tall. The dark brown, non-intrusive structures cascade over the players, enhancing the design’s concept of traditionally used external elements onto the casino’s gaming floor. Adjacent to the pergolas are columns, which resembles a tree in its height, color, and placement. Each column features light boxes with a thoughtfully placed stenciled flower pattern. Textured and calming colored walls help in aligning with the casino’s design mixture of nature and modern aesthetics. Horizontal lines flow gracefully across several walls that assist in creating the illusion of openness and help to draw one’s eyes deep-

er into the casino. Further helping to illuminate the space is the color-changing walls, located near the casino’s technologically advanced food court, that are appropriately referred to as the “mood walls” by some of the employees. Every few minutes, the circles on the walls slowly fade from one calming color to another. At first glance the change is not noticeable, but if you stand and wait patiently, the changing colors alter the perspectives of the surrounding design elements. Although some may say that this casino is like any other, many would probably disagree for Resorts World Catskills is a destination resort whose goal is to provide local residents and visitors with a unique and sophisticated experience.


Kristt Co. Kristt Kelly Office Systems Corp., also known as Kristt Co., has established quite the business relationship with the new casino. “I have had the good fortune of supplying most of the construction companies for the past two years or so with many items,” Kristt Co. Owner Les Kristt said. “Those things range from copiers, to furniture, to office supplies to wide format prints for their plans. That has obviously been helpful. The casino itself, once it had gotten its temporary offices, has leased two copiers from me along with many supply items.” According to Kristt, the casino recently ordered 19 copiers, which have already been delivered, and are looking for even more of them. They have set up 34 ALMANAC



7B 5B
















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different offices so far to order supplies online from Kristt Co. “In the future, we, as everyone else here, very much look forward to the opening of the water park,” Kristt added. “It will hopefully bring the same type of opportunities for new business that the casino has.” On the impact on local businesses, Kristt says, “... since the construction began, the restaurants have seen a big increase in business, especially for lunch. Everywhere I go to eat, there are construction people. The real estate people have all told me this winter they have been quite busy, especially when compared to the last few years. That will only get better as the casino brings in more people to work. The people coming to visit the casino at the very least will be buying gas and other items from the convenience and grocery stores.” Gasko & Meyer, Inc. The Lake Huntington-based Gasko & Meyer, Inc., has gotten an initial order for draft beer from the casino. Also, County Fountain Supplies hooked up the draft beer systems there [Resorts World Catskills]. Jeff Nober, President of Gasko & Meyer, Inc., noted that they’ve probably gotten business from workers who’ve stayed in the area and purchased their products from the several local businesses where Gasko & Meyer, Inc., products are offered. “It [the casino] will be a big part of our business in Sullivan County,” Nober said. A. Alport & Son, Inc. South Fallsburg-based A. Alport & Son, Inc., has sold plumbing equipment and supplies to contractors working at Resorts World Catskills. This included material from the early stages of site work and infrastructure to the finishing touches of guest room sinks and faucets. Categories of products supplied are as follows... storm / sanitary / water pipe, valves and fittings, bathroom fixtures and faucets for the guest rooms and public bathrooms in the casino / events, drains and other equipment. “The construction process of Resorts World Catskills has had a positive impact on our business,” said Owner Dory Alport. “In general their seems to be a recharged energy among local businesses in the County. New jobs and new opportunities for our business community and residents have offered a lot of benefits for everyone.

Size, in square feet, of the largest room in the casino, called the Epicenter. The room will be used for multi-purposes, including meeting space, receptions, entertainment and other events.


Number of visitors the casino is expecting, on average, per day. Predictions call for 4,000,000 visitors per year.


Number of slots machines at the new casino.

Local businesses feeling the love from Resorts World Catskills SULLIVAN COUNTY –Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, but even before the new Resorts World Catskills casino officially opened its doors last Thursday, several local businesses were already feeling the love. Here are just a few examples of how the new casino has impacted local businesses...



Number of jobs created at the Resorts World Casino.


The address of Resorts World Casino, located on 888 Resorts World Drive. The number was chosen as 8s are considered good luck in Asian. MATT SHORTALL | DEMOCRAT

Dory Alport, the owner of A. Alport & Son, Inc., sold plumbing equipment and supplies to contractors working at Resorts World Catskills. “From the new Catskill Regional Urgent Care facility to the remodeling of the Trading Post... we are reinvesting in the overall long-term health of our residents, businesses, and community. It is an exciting time to live, work, and play in Sullivan County.” Combined Energy Services The Taylor family’s Monticello-based Combined Energy Services (CES) has sold the casino some carbon dioxide for their carbonated beverages, as well as some welding supplies during construction. “As a business owner, we’re hoping they bring quality employees to the area who will join the community,” Co-owner Mike Taylor said. Taylor added the casino brings quality jobs that will create more good quality earners, which will benefit the local fabric. The hope is that these individuals/families will come to CES to heat their homes, as well as spend money at other local businesses. “Hopefully we’ll each get a piece of it and [it will] boost the local economy,” Taylor said. Lazy Pond Bed & Breakfast During the building of the casino, several supervisors of the construction stayed at Lazy Pond Bed and Breakfast in Liberty. Owner Jeanne Tulp described the guests as, “very pleasant.” “I really do feel that it [Resorts World Catskills] will bring more people to the area,” Tulp said. “I think people will want to go to the casino and then explore the area. I don’t think they’re just going to do one thing.”


Number of new jobs to be created once the entertainment village, water park and golf course open.


The number of all-suite room available at Resorts World Catskills.


The number of table games at the casino


Days the casino will be closed. Once opened, the casino will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.




Faces in the crowd Steve White, Bethel, Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency - “It’s stunning. I saw it when they put the steel up. To have it here now is incredible. This thing is first class all the way. And now all these people that are working are going to live here.” Arthur Weisfeld, Monticello resident since 1954 (Holocaust survivor and former barber at The Concord) – “This is great. It’s excellent. I didn’t believe that this was going to happen here in Sullivan County. I think it’s going to help business and a lot of people are going to come here from all over.

Jim Kranz, Newburgh – “I like to gamble a little bit and I need to donate some money to the state. It’s (RW Catskills) a lot bigger than I thought and will be a nice place to visit for awhile.” Gene Cadanaugh, Newburgh – “I just walked in the door but I’m excited about it. I’m glad they (Sullivan County) got it because it’s been run down.”

Debbie Vandermark, Binghamton- “We like to gamble, that’s the main thing. We’ve gone to Monticello, Tioga Downs, too. I’m mainly a slot machine girl. We’ll probably also stop in Monticello.” Julia Altomare, Kingston – “It’s nice here, very family oriented. Nice atmosphere to get away and it’s only an hour (drive). “

Brittany Wallace, Monticello – “I actually really like it. It’s a great idea [because] it’s coming into the town and bringing a lot of new employment and fun.” Garry Wallace, Callicoon - “I love it! I love the way it’s designed. I love the culture in here. The restaurants, the gaming floor, it’s phenomenal [and] so beautiful.”



Seth Friedman, Walden – “Twenty five years ago they were talking about it and we kept saying, ‘build it already.’ So when we heard they had an opening date, we said that’s a good excuse for taking off work. It’s gorgeous. I play mostly craps. I’m also glad it’s a smoke-free casino which is something we’ve wanted to go to for years. Based on that, there’s no reason for me to step into another casino.“ Kathy Friedman, Walden – “I like the décor. It’s open, it’s airy... it sparkles. Nice atmosphere. We’ll try some of the restaurants.” Jane Campbell, Monticello (works with RW Catskills construction manager) – “I think it’s going to revitalize the area. I think it’s going to help the economy and hopefully help with our property taxes. “ Nelson Mason, Monticello – “This is a beautiful place…a winter Woodstock. I hope people come here for entertainment and they enjoy it. This is a beautiful place. It took a lot of people with a lot of experience to know what people are looking for in a casino experience. I’ve waited 48 years for something like this. I feel it’s going to only help the future of this area.”

A.J. Druce, Monticello -“It’s beautiful casino, I hope I win today. I live close by so I will be playing a lot.” Dean Wright, Wallkill – “It’s nice, very nice. It’s perfect ‘cause when we go someplace [else] it’s an awfully long drive.”

Eric Maldonado and William Sestrom, Walden, “It’s unbelievable. It’s going to be good for Sullivan County. Good for Orange County. It’s good for New York.” Birinder Singh, Poughkeepsie – “I love it! I really like to play.”




Place your bets!



A look at the gaming options at Resorts World Catskills

sports bars located within the casino. According to Degliomini, he hopes the sports bars will be a place for patrons to be able to watch live sports and place bets. That all depends on the U.S. Supreme Court, which is currently reviewing a case that will reverse the federal prohibition on sports book betting. “If the supreme court reverses its decision, than this sports bar will become a sports book,” said Degliomini. High Limit is one of Resorts World Catskills’ private gaming salons. There you can bet high stakes on a number of games. At left, live casino games like Blackjack, Craps and Texas Hold’em kept the customers betting on opening day. STORY AND PHOTOS BY PATRICIO ROBAYO

THOMPSON — As the doors opened at 8 a.m. sharp, gamers streamed into over 100,000 square feet of the latest slot machines and table games.


All the slot machine games have some of the latest in gaming technology. For example, you are sitting down playing one of the 2,150 slot machines that are offered and need your drink to be cold. No worries, some slot machines come with cup holders that can keep your drink cold or warm at a press of a button. Need that phone charged while the credits roll in, next to the cup holders, the casino has installed a wireless charging base for cell phones. “Keep your coffee hot and your phone charged,” said Charles Degliomini, Executive Vice President of Empire Resorts Inc. Games with names like Den of Gold; Top Dollar; Gold Stacks; Sphinx and many more, fill the floor with lights, sounds to lure players in, and even some cool 4-D special effects to dazzle the eyes. Before the afternoon rolled around on opening day, win-

ners on the main gaming floor could be heard screaming with excitement as they pulled the handles or pressed the buttons on the slots and the credits rolled in. One winner was David Salinger of Wurtsboro, who recently had heart surgery and won big on Top Dollar Premium. “My lucky day,” said Salinger. “Right place, right time. I'm putting it in the bank and behaving myself. This is an amazing place, I am enjoying


TABLE GAMES More than 150 live table games are available for players to roll the dice or watch the cards being shuffled from dealers, some of who were trained at the Thompson Dealer school that opened in 2017. The casino floor is stocked with classic games like Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps and Texas Hold’em. Many of table games have a

progressive jackpot, which your bet increases, each time a winning hand is played.

INTERNATIONAL FLAIR “It's a casino within a casino,” said Degliomini as he showed off a full wing dedicated to Asian gaming. “With food options for the Asian community with having authentic Szechuan and Cantonese.” Thirty percent of the casino is catered to the Asian gaming market with signs in Chinese

and Mandarin. Dealers in this area speak a number of international languages and have games like Sic Bo, Baccarat and Pai Gow tiles. “We think in New York the Asian market is underserved, some places might have a small area for Asian gaming, we have a whole wing,” said Degliomini.

SPORTS BAR Resorts World Catskills has hopes that the gaming won’t stop on the casino floor with


If you have money to spend, the casino has a space for you away from the hustle and bustle of the main gaming floor in private gaming salons. In room named, High Limit, you can bet high stakes on games like Baccarat, or take your chance on slot machines where its $100 a pull. “We have different levels of VIP here,” said Degliomini. “If you play a $30,000 game of Baccarat we have a special gaming suite with private waitress services and bathrooms.” The executive’s goals were to have the amenities of a Las Vegas style casino right here at the doorstep to the Catskills.

Thirty percent of the casino gaming floor is dedicated to Asian games like Sic Bo, Baccarat and Pai Gow tiles.


ALL IN. Welcome Resorts World Catskills. Thank you for investing in our growing Sullivan County economy.




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Local contractors win big on construction BY MATT SHORTALL

THOMPSON — Before the doors opened for Resorts World Catskills last week, it had already created 1,400 new jobs for dealers, bartenders, restaurant staff, and other positions. According to Resorts World Catskills CEO Ryan Eller, they’ll eventually hire another 800 employees after the rest of the resort is complete. While these permanent, fulltime positions are very much needed in Sullivan County, let’s not forget the more than 3,000 union jobs created during the construction of the casino and hotel. Darryl Emmett is one of those workers from Sullivan County. A native of Hortonville, Emmett is a union carpenter with local 279 with more than 20 years of experience, as well as a volunteer firefighter and past chief of the Hortonville Fire Department. When he first arrived on the construction site in August 2016, he was pleasantly surprised by the number of local union contractors that were hired for the project. Well over 100 workers from his local alone were involved in making Resorts World Catskills possible. “All in all, we had everything here from crane operators to building cleanup crews,” Emmett said. “We had just about every trade covered locally.” In addition to the local union workers, Emmett said it was a good sign to see all the local vendors that supplied materials for the project. Businesses like Fallsburg Lumber, Alport & Sons, Combined Energy Services and more all got a piece of the pie. Emmett’s work at Resorts

World Catskills started out with Tri-State Drywall & Acoustical Inc., based out of Sparrow Bush, New York. When Tri-State Drywall’s work was finished, he was offered a superintendent position with LPCiminelli, the construction manager for the Resorts World project. “For me, it’s been the opportunity of a lifetime to work with LPCiminelli,” Emmett said. “It’s been a tremendous challenge. We put design and construction on this 1.6 million square foot facility on the fast track. We tried to put $25 million of construction in place each month, dealing with bad weather, and doing whatever it took to complete and open the casino three weeks early. These were just a few of the challenges, but we overcame several hurdles to get this project done.” One thing that will always stick out in Emmett’s mind is the wind that battered construction workers. “This has to be one of the windiest spots in Sullivan County,” he said. “It’s been a battle with trying to use the cranes and making sure materials are bolted down so that they wouldn’t fly away.” Not only did the Resorts World project provide jobs to most of the contract workers around Sullivan County, but working so close to home allowed them to make money while spending more time with their families. “The traveling that we’ve done to get to these jobs over the years has been extensive,” he said. “Having most of the Sullivan County tradesmen work here in the area allowed them to have more time with their families.” Emmett explained the days usually started at 7 a.m. and

they worked until 3:30. After an eight-hour day, they’d be home by 4 o’clock. Being so close to home also allowed greater opportunities for overtime work. Emmett said that with the amount of local people now working again, it might create greater opportunities for volunteerism. “That’s something I would like to see more of,” Emmett said. “With the number of local people working regular shifts here, hopefully we can give back by donating more time to the local fire departments and ambulance companies that have found volunteers lacking lately.” Emmett and Local 279 weren’t the only union workers to benefit from Sullivan County’s recent surge in contract work. Todd Diorio, business manager of Laborers’ Local 17 based out of Newburgh, has seen a difference too. “Over the last two years that we’ve been working on the casino, we’ve increased our membership a lot. Many of these new guys are from Sullivan County,” said Diorio. “It’s the first time in a long time that we’ve had so much work in Sullivan County,” he said. “We’ve had the new county jail, the casino and now we’re working on the waterpark and entertainment village.” For Emmett, work continues day to day on various restaurants and hotel floors still under construction, but he’s grateful for the prosperous journey this project has been so far. “There have been many hours put into this building,” Emmett said looking up at the hotel from the parking lot on opening day. “A lot of local people made a good living here.”


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Darryl Emmett of Hortonville was just one of the many Sullivan County natives who made Resorts World Catskills a reality.






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RW Catskills food more than a safe bet STORY AND PHOTOS BY RICH KLEIN

THOMPSON – Michael W. Beford, Vice President of Food and Beverage of Resorts World Catskills, didn’t gamble on quality when selecting the menu, chefs and aesthetics of the multiple restaurants housed at Resorts World Catskills. And if last Thursday’s opening day crowd was any indication, Sullivan County can now boast of high quality eateries to compliment the growing number of diverse restaurants that have opened around the County in the past few years. The highly anticipated Italian steakhouse run by celebrity chef Scott Conant – known as Cellaio and the 24/7 Diner won’t open until late March or early April. Conant tweeted Thursday morning about the planned steakhouse to his 150,000 followers. Governor Cuomo, too, on Thursday touted the cuisine choices on a homepage splash that promoted the opening. As early as 2014, when Empire Resorts was still pitching the casino, Conant said, “we

will source our ingredients from the region as much as possible, offer a global wine list, and deliver a dining experience that will delight our guests whether they are looking for classic steakhouse dishes or Italian classics. The menu will be a true testament to the bounty of the Hudson Valley.” Right now, though, there’s plenty to eat at the Doubletop Bar & Grill – with great views of the mountainside – that was intended to be a sports

bar, “but it’s more of a sportentertainment bar,” Beford said. The live musical entertainment in that space will likely lean more towards an “acoustical sound” instead of a louder, multi-piece rock band. The renowned international blues musician Slam Allen, a beloved native of Monticello, though, was scheduled to turn up the volume there last night. PLEASE SEE FOOD, 7A

Chicken sandwich and fries at Doubletop Bar & Grill



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Among the beer choices at the Doubletop Bar & Grill are selections from Catskill Brewery (Livingston Manor) and The Roscoe Beer Company.





FOOD: A safe bet

Congratulations to Resorts World Catskills & Sullivan County! Wishing you a prosperous partnership for years to come.

Samples from The Good Friends Market, serving Asian food Lounge are the two standalone bars at the complex; Bar360 also has a stage high enough that gives any performer a wide view of the casino floor. Beford, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, operated restaurants there before coming to New York City. He was the food and beverage director for The Dream Hotel, which he says is very similar to the casino model in that it had two nightclubs, a pool, multiple restaurants that kept guests on the premises. “When I was approached for this position it was an opportunity to oversee an opening on a large scale,” Beford said. “I love openings. You get to put your mark on things and set standards.”

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Regarding additional entertainment options for Doubletop, Beford also thinks that karaoke would be fun to have in the space. As for the food, “I looked at everything (all restaurants in the casino complex) as if it was a standalone place,” Beford said. “It was about doing things that people have proven to love, whether it’s Philly Cheese Steak or Fish ‘n Chips or lobster rolls or burgers. But I want to make them to be the best version of each.” The casino has two Asian restaurants – The Good Friends Market, for a more casual experience, and Lotus, its next door neighbor that Beford described as authentic Asian fine dining. Good

Friends has a generous and tasty beef with broccoli bowl, served with two spring rolls, that sells for $11.92 with tax. Beford supervises some 400 staffers throughout the casino and he expects to do additional hiring to fill some positions. And, he said, there will always be positions due to turnover in the restaurant business. RW Food Hall serves customized pizzas (starting at $5.99), specialty salads, burgers, burritos, deli sandwiches plus baked goods. The Food Hall area that’s adjacent to an entrance to the complex and a bus lobby, was busy all day. Electronic ordering and payment machines are utilized here as well as inside The Good Friends Market. Bar360 and the Empire







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The end of a long road Resorts World Catskills concludes decades long quest for gaming

THOMPSON – The journey that led to the grand opening of Resorts World Casino has been an odyssey, to say the least. It stretches across decades of tried and failed attempts to bring casino gaming to Sullivan County. By the beginning of the 20th century, Sullivan County had already made a name for itself as the premier hotel and resort destination for those looking to escape the struggles of city life. More than 500 resorts and hotels dotted Sullivan County’s landscape during the heyday of the resort era. By the 1950s, gaming advocates urged building casinos in upstate New York to compete with Las Vegas. By the 1970s, proponents were talking about casinos as a way to rescue the struggling Catskills economy.


Through the 1990s and up until 2008, Native American tribes tried on at least seven different occasions to bring casino gaming to Sullivan County. By 2004, the Oneida tribes, the St. Regis Mohawks and the Cayuga Nation had all proposed plans to build a casino alongside the Monticello Raceway. The Oneidas were the first in 1995. They sought Federal designation of the Monticello Raceway as tribal land so it could construct the region’s first Indian gaming casino.

The project was blocked at the time by then Governor George Pataki. In 1999, Monticello Raceway owners Robert Berman and Cliff Ehrlich looked like they had a deal with the St. Regis Mohawks. They would give them 30 acres of land next to Raceway’s harness track, which had been steadily losing money. They would build a 1.8 million-square-foot casino complex that would contribute $5 million a year to county and village coffers. At the time, even Donald Trump was so threatened by the prospect of a Catskills Casino giving competition to his Atlantic City operations, that he commissioned attack ads against the project in local newspapers. The Mohawks eventually pulled out of the Monticello Raceway project for a management deal with Park Place Entertainment for a casino at Kutsher’s Country Club. There was perhaps no greater champion for a casino in Sullivan County than former Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini. He lobbied governors and United States Senators for years to bring the project home. “It’s been a roller coaster ride, but we hung in there,” Cellini said.

THE CONCORD REBORN In the early 2000s Westchester-based developer Louis Cappelli bought the Concord with dreams of renovating the

landmark resort. Cappelli promised a $700 million project that would include return the resort to its former glory, construct an Entertainment City and even a monorail connecting Kutsher’s Country Club to the new Concord. Plans fell apart and Capelli lost most of the land to Entertainment Property Trust when he couldn’t repay money he had borrowed from them.

Congratulations Resorts W Wo orld Catski t lls

RESORTS WORLD Even after the St. Regis Mohawks pulled out of the Monticello Raceway deal, Robert Berman carried on the fight at the company that would eventually become Resorts World. Berman was a Sullivan County native whose father, Pip, was instrumental in building the famous Concord Hotel. Berman took over operations for Alpha Hospitality – the financial company behind the Monticello Raceway – and transformed it into Empire Resorts, Inc. Although Berman is no longer with the company today, Empire Resorts Executive Vice President Charles Degliomini is the only one from the original management team that helped carry the ball in for a touchdown. Looking back, it’s been a inexplicable journey that led to opening day at Resorts World Catskills last week. It’s the culmination of many years of hard work by many people in Sullivan County who had a vision that they never gave up on. There’s perhaps some level of poetic justice that Resorts World Catskills now sits near the site of the former Concord, the source of so much tourism and entertainment for Sullivan County for decades. The former Concord Resort Hotel.


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Casino is the real deal

t has been five days since Resorts World Catskills casino opened in Monticello and already there have been many winners and – some losers. The winners column is filled with the hundreds of Sullivan County residents who have found employment at Resorts World – more than 50 percent of the 1400 newly-hired employees have come from Sullivan County. And of course, that was part of the deal. According to Empire Resorts Executive Vice President Charlie Degliomini, one of the main reasons that Resorts World Catskills received one of the three initial state-wide gaming licenses was to provide opportunity and help improve the


“ Not every bet can win. So place your bet, hope for a winner, and if your number doesn’t come up, smile, you just helped Sullivan County’s economy.�


economy in the Sullivan Catskills, an economy that certainly has taken its licks since the closing of Grossinger’s in 1986. But today, with the yearly average unemployment rate now in the 4.7 percent range, Sullivan County is statistically close to full employment. It’s a great ‘problem’ to have and the labor market is certain to get even more competitive as the YO1 Wellness Center opens later this year – with 250 employees – and several new building projects ramp up, many other Sullivan County businesses begin to gear up for the summer season and the Katrite Hotel & Indoor Waterpark and Concord Monster Golf Course look to their 2019 openings. While many Sullivan County business owners have lost employees to Resorts World they say it isn’t all bad. The business owners reported they have actually taken a more active role in running their business and have engaged their remaining and new staff to

improve their offerings and provide even better customer service. Some wages have gone up, too, as employers work to keep their key employees happy. We must also give a tip of the cap to everyone at Empire Resorts who helped make this casino a reality, especially Charlie D. – as Charlie Degliomini is known – whose 25-year career has been marked with the long struggle to bring this project to reality. There are many others who supported casinos in the Catskills, many of whom aren’t alive to see this tremendous project come to fruition. And to the many businesses that have spent decades working and improving life in Sullivan County – thank you, too! Your efforts have not gone unrecognized and Sullivan County can be proud to be such a well-rounded county. And the winners column is also filled with the hundred of Sullivan County residents and businesses who helped build the new $980 million casino and 332room, 18-story hotel. It was a project which took nearly three years to complete and employed 800 union works in three shifts a day. Many Sullivan County businesses benefitted from supplying the new project with much-needed supplies and manpower, a tribute to the ‘buy local’ mentality of the casino owners. And going forward, many local businesses are involved with the new casino, from supplying services to sourcing locally produced food and beverages. Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development President and CEO Marc Baez said, “The new casino has certainly created a new buzz about Sullivan County. From investors to tourism related businesses, the Partnership has seen strong interest in what is happening in Sullivan County. And that’s a good sign.� On the losers side – well, that comes with the territory. Not every bet can win. So place your bet, hope for a winner, and if your number doesn’t come up, smile, you just helped Sullivan County’s economy.













We elc l ome to to the th Ca C ts tskills, Resorrts Wo Wor o ld Congratulations to our ne n west neighbor, Resorts World Catskills, on their recent opening g. Along with our colleagues at Catskill Regional Medical Group Urgent Care/Primary Care – located at the corner of Rt. 42 and Concor o d Road in the To own of Thompson – we remain committed to providing our neighbors with com o p prehensive, quality he h alth care. Now, we are p proud to also deliver that same level of care to the many new guests who will be visiting Sullivan County.

Lea arn more at a www.crm

A mem mber of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System 58861

Resorts World Catskills opens for business!  
Resorts World Catskills opens for business!  

See our special coverage of the Resorts World Catskills casino opening, one of the biggest events in Sullivan County history!