Resorts World Switches Gaming Project From Harriman to the Newburgh Mall
John Jordan | February 8, 2021
NEWBURGH—Resorts World Catskills Casino is poised to present plans for a Video Gaming Machine (VGM) facility at the Newburgh Mall here.
The Genting Group, parent company of Resorts World Catskills Casino in Monticello, confirmed that it will soon present plans to the Town of Newburgh to develop the VGM facility in an attempt to capture downstate gaming market share.
Resorts World had floated a plan to develop a VGM facility at the former Nepera Chemical plant property in Harriman, but has since abandoned the project in favor of the Newburgh Mall due to higher than anticipated property cleanup costs at the Nepera site, according to a Facebook posting by New York State Sen. James Skoufis (D-39).
“After a comprehensive environmental review, the Nepera site proved to be far more contaminated than previous evaluations suggested. Due to the extensive remediation that’s necessary, the property will not be buildable for the better part of a decade,” Sen. Skoufis stated. “As such, it was in everyone’s best interest—including Woodbury’s and Harriman’s—that a new location be found for the project.”
He revealed that a court settlement reached between Woodbury and the Nepera owner in December 2020 resolved an ongoing tax dispute and, as part of the agreement, will prompt the owner to begin cleaning up the site with strict DEC oversight.
Sen. Skoufis said the Resorts World Catskills’ VGM facility in the Town of Newburgh “will revitalize a dying mall and employ hundreds of permanent, good-paying jobs with an emphasis on hiring from the City of Newburgh. Furthermore, annual local benefits will be provided to the Town of Newburgh and surrounding communities—in addition to legally required casino taxes and increased property tax payments from the mall.”
A spokesman for Genting confirmed the project had been moved to the Newburgh Mall, stating, “Developing a VGM facility in Orange County has, for many years, been part of Resorts World’s long-term vision for Hudson Valley and the Catskills. It will create hundreds of good-paying unions jobs, generate significant revenue for New York’s public schools, and is an important step in ensuring the long-term sustainability of Resorts World Catskills.” The spokesman added that development of the VGM facility will ensure the long-term viability of the Resorts World Catskills operations.
Published reports indicate plans may be presented to the Town of Newburgh later this month. The Genting spokesman stated that it is finalizing the number of Video Lottery Terminals that will be housed at the Newburgh Mall facility.
Approximately 200 construction jobs are expected to be created by the project and the facility, once operational, will employ between 200 to 225 employees, according to the Genting spokesperson. Construction on the project is anticipated to take between six to 12 months to complete. No development cost for the project was released.
The plan for the new VGM facility comes as New York State contemplates moving up the timeline on the development of up to three downstate casinos in the New York metro region, that could include the award of full gaming licenses at Resorts World New York (at Aqueduct Racetrack) in Queens and Empire City Casino in Yonkers.
Maureen Halahan, president and CEO of the Orange County Partnership, said of Resorts World’s plans in Newburgh, “Resorts World is making a monumental investment in Orange County, in the Town of Newburgh. Not only will they be hiring local labor, paying hundreds of thousands in taxes and creating good jobs, their presence will breathe new life into the Newburgh Mall reviving the corridor which will result in new opportunity. This is a win-win for all during uncertain economic times.”
Resorts World Catskills had operated a VGM facility at the Monticello Raceway property, but closed operations there a little over a year after it first opened the doors to the full gaming facility at Resorts World Catskills on Feb. 8, 2018.