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    Category: Restaurant Construction

    Construction of new bank on Aspen’s Main Street set to begin – Aspen Times - March 2, 2020 by admin

    An image of what a new bank building will look like at the corner of Main and Monarch streets. Construction begins March 1.Courtesy rendering

    An image of what the Base2 Lodge would have looked like at the corner of Main and Monarch streets. Voters in 2015 shot the proposal down and a bank building will be constructed this year.Courtesy rendering

    The Conoco gas station at 232 Main St. will be demolished in the next month to make way for a bank.Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

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    Construction is set to begin this week on a prominent corner in downtown Aspen on Main Street that will be the location of a bank.

    Landlord Mark Hunt and his development partner Centaur Construction are building on the former site of Conoco gas station at 232 E. Main St., and demolition and tank removal are scheduled to take a month, with construction of the new building to be completed by this fall and interior work through early 2021.

    Chase Bank will occupy the new building, which is designed as a contemporary interpretation of a mountain chalet.

    Im really excited about this building, more than any other in our portfolio, said Spiro Tsaparas, CEO of Centaur, who along with Hunt, are developing several properties in town, including the redevelopment of the Crystal Palace into a boutique hotel on Hyman Avenue.

    The Main Street property, which Hunt bought for $6 million in 2014, was originally envisioned to be developed into a commercial building.

    But after Hunt was approached by then-Mayor Steve Skadron, who wanted to fill a niche of affordable accommodations in town, Hunt changed plans and designed a 37-room, three-story lodge.

    But a majority of Aspen voters shot down the proposal in 2015 after City Council referred a ballot question that was initiated by a citizens group, led by Councilman Ward Hauenstein prior to him being elected.

    The vote was instigated by a petition drive that successfully aimed to overturn City Councils variances given to the lodge. Those concessions included giving the lodge more than three times its allowable floor area for the site, 15,000 square feet, in addition to variances for employee housing and setbacks. However, the building met the allowable volume envelope requirements at the time, according to Tsapras.

    Hunt and his team campaigned heavily, spending about $50,000, but it wasnt enough to convince residents that a lodge was better than a commercial building.

    Unfortunately, all of our efforts of knocking on doors and campaigning did not yield a successful result for us, Tsaparas said. It was a business decision to make it a bank.

    Instead of what could have been millions of dollars in sales tax revenue with a lodge and restaurant, the building will house what will be the towns eighth financial institution.

    Over 60% of the electorate chose the commercial building over the lodge, because they worried about density, traffic and where guests were going to park since onsite parking was not part of the proposal.

    The new building, which was approved by the citys Historic Preservation Commission in 2017, will be roughly 5,900 square feet and 21 feet tall.

    The two-story building is well below the allowed height limit and is designed to blend into Main Streets historic district, according to the application filed with the historic commission by land-use planner Sara Adams.

    It incorporates lively outdoor space to energize Main Street, and redefines the street corner, she wrote. The proposed building is a fresh approach to new construction in the historic district that blends Victorian and modern by drawing inspiration from the gable forms of the historic Victorians and the deep overhang of the chalet style represented by the Cortina Lodge (next door).

    The corner lot also will have landscaped areas and sidewalks, creating a better pedestrian experience than what is currently there with the gas station parking lot.

    Hunt will mitigate for nearly eight full-time employees generated by the development, which he will do with housing credits.

    Chase, currently located in a Hyman Avenue Mall building Hunt and his investors own, is expected to move to Main Street next year.

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    Construction of new bank on Aspen's Main Street set to begin - Aspen Times

    McDonald’s still in the works for Huntingburg – The Herald - March 2, 2020 by admin

    By CANDY

    HUNTINGBURG McDonalds is looking to construct a restaurant in Huntingburg in 2021.

    But, according to the development group who owns the property, the public should not get too excited yet since the plan is not yet set in stone.

    I wouldnt hold my breath, said Mike Uebelhor of Uebelhor Developments, because they may change it again.

    Uebelhor Developments owns the property destined for the fastfood restaurant, at the southwest corner of Main and Sixth streets, also known as U.S. 231 and State Road 64. The Huntingburg company will continue to own the property. McDonalds started leasing the land from the company this year, Uebelhor said.

    Restaurant officials did not tell Uebelhor when construction would start next year.

    They said the construction has been pushed back to sometime in 2021, he said. Its been one delay after another.

    McDonalds representatives told city officials back in 2018 that construction would start in 2019 or 2020. The company received permits in 2018 for what was to be a $1.5 million project. Construction documents for a McDonald's restaurant in Huntingburg were also filed with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security that year.

    The Huntingburg, Indiana area remains a viable option for a McDonalds location," a McDonald's spokesperson told The Herald last August. "However, there are no definitive details or timelines to disclose at this time. The Herald has reached out to McDonald's again for another updated.

    Huntingburg Planning Director Paul Lake said that if the company is looking to build next year, it will likely need to renew permits. The company has not yet done that, he said, but it could be done later this year and still be ready for 2021 construction.

    The land is the former site of a Marathon gas station that was demolished years ago.

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    McDonald's still in the works for Huntingburg - The Herald

    Mishawaka development proposed to bring businesses like Raising Cane’s and Mission BBQ – South Bend Tribune - March 2, 2020 by admin

    A new development will soon take shape in a major retail corridor in Mishawaka.

    According to site plans, three new buildings will be constructed between Qdoba Mexican Eats at 5310 North Main Street and Portillos at 5102 North Main Street, to house four new businesses. Plans show that two businesses already have leases in the development Raising Canes Chicken Fingers and Mission BBQ Nebraska-based Access Commercial Real Estate company is overseeing the project.

    Raising Canes Chicken Fingers is a Louisiana-based fast food restaurant known for fried chicken fingers baskets, cole slaw, Texas toast and more. According to the company website, the chicken finger business has dozens of restaurants across the country, predominantly in the Midwest.

    A recent construction design release filed to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security shows the address for the restaurant as 4914 N. Main Street. It will occupy a 3,300-square foot, stand alone building. A spokesperson with Raising Canes would not confirm plans for the new location, stating many factors go into our decisions, and ever-changing market conditions can affect planned locations and launch dates.

    A start date for construction and an opening date for the restaurant are not immediately clear.

    Mission BBQ is also proposed to be a part of the development. The Maryland-based company offers a variety of barbecue, including St. Louis style spare ribs, North Carolina-style pulled pork sandwiches and Texas-inspired oak-smoked brisket. The company is also known for supporting military and first responders by donating to local groups and hiring veterans. A spokesperson with Mission BBQ said the restaurant is scheduled to open by the end of this year.

    Mission will be in a multi-tenant building with its neighboring space 2,800-square feet still available, according to the listing site that was updated Feb. 3.

    A third building, sizing up to be about 13,000-square feet, is planned to be next to Portillos. A tenant has yet to be announced.

    Access Commercial listing agent Kirk Hanson did not respond to multiple requests for information regarding the project and its timeline. Mishawaka City Planner Ken Prince said the developments plans were approved late last year and the company could pull a permit and start construction anytime. Prince speculates the company will wait for the spring to break ground.

    New yoga studio opens in downtown South Bend

    A new yoga studio has opened in the Hibberd Building in downtown South Bend.

    Bend Yoga, 321 S. Main St., began offering classes Saturday. According to its website, the studio offers several different classes, including power yoga, hatha yoga, core flow and mindful vinyasa flow. There are several membership options to choose from, as well as single class and drop-in options. According to its website, prices begin at $16 per session.

    Have you heard?

    A new virtual reality and video gaming business is up and running in Mishawaka. The Waypoint VRcade opened last Friday at 620 W. Edison Road. The business offers free-roam VR games to play and more. Find out more at ... Fiddlers Hearth at 127 N. Main St. in downtown South Bend was recently listed as the best Irish food in Indiana, by ... Hop Station Craft Bar at 318 Union St. in Mishawaka was voted best beer bar in Indiana, by ... LaSalle Grill at 115 W. Colfax Ave. in downtown South Bend was recently awarded a AAA Four Diamond Award, marking 23 consecutive years of receiving the distinction.

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    Mishawaka development proposed to bring businesses like Raising Cane's and Mission BBQ - South Bend Tribune

    Construction begins on airport’s baggage claim area – The Lawton Constitution - March 2, 2020 by admin

    Construction has begun on a $3.8 million project that will create a new baggage claim area for Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport.

    The construction of a carousel-style baggage claim system similar to those seen in many other airports across the country is the first of three phases of construction that are calculated to modernize the airport terminal. This construction phase, awarded to Jet Commercial Construction in 2019, also will include upgrades in the general area of the terminal (non-passenger areas) and construction of a temporary secured holding area, which will operate as the holding area for passengers who have been screened but not yet boarded aircraft until the permanent holding area is built.

    Airport Director Barbara McNally said crews with Jet Commercial Construction have erected wall barriers, which are keeping passengers out of the work area on the south end of the terminal. The walls designate a hard hat area, where construction will be under way for months, she said.

    In the meantime, American Eagle has opened a baggage claim area on the north end of the terminal, in the ticketing area at what was the ASA/Delta ticket counter. That area had a conveyor belt for what had been checked luggage by ASA passengers, which has been reversed to allow luggage unloaded from the aircraft to be delivered inside.

    Its an easier location to keep people out of the (construction) area, McNally said.

    To compensate for the hardhat construction area, the airport also made minor changes in the entrance of the airports restaurant so it can continue to operate.

    The project will replace what had been a series of garage doors that baggage handlers raised to place checked bags on small inside ramps. The system was crowded, as well as inefficient: the doors opened directly outside, making climate control difficult inside the terminal. The new system will be a traditional flat carousel which will allow baggage to be unloaded outside from a covered baggage cart area, then carried indoors, where doors will be opened for retrieval by passengers.

    Contractors in this phase also will build out the back of the terminal to provide space for the temporary secured passenger holding area. That site will become operational during the next construction phase, when the existing secured passenger holding area will be closed and demolished, then replaced with space that will hold twice as many passengers. Once the new holding site becomes operational, the temporary site will be converted to other use, McNally said.

    Other work will begin modernization of the non-passenger side of the terminal, to include removing some support pillars to provide more open space (the roof will be reinforced, airport officials said).

    As construction on the baggage claim area is ramping up, another long-term airport project has ended: construction of a new Fire Station No. 2 on Bishop Road.

    The ARFF (air rescue and firefighting building) is done, McNally said, adding the punch list of last-minute problems is done and the facility has been turned over to Lawton Fire Department.

    While Station No. 2 is home to the specially trained firefighters who respond to aviation-related emergencies at the airport, its crews also respond to emergencies in south Lawton and the dual-use station is part of Lawton Fire Department.

    McNally said Lawton fire administrators are deciding when the station will open, through a process that will move firefighters from the existing station to the new one. The airport will sponsor a ground-breaking ceremony for the structure.

    They wanted to wait until the firefighters moved over to it, McNally said.

    The new facility is immediately west of the old station. In January, two major projects were left for completion: a trench for a hot line or the hardware that links the fire station to the airports tower and completion of software for the security fencing; and installation of a commercial grade hood for the kitchens oven.

    The $3.9 million station is one of two new fire stations that will open this year. This spring, the firefighting crews of downtowns Central Fire Station will move to the new public safety facility being built south of East Gore Boulevard, between Larrance and Railroad streets.

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    Construction begins on airport's baggage claim area - The Lawton Constitution

    Oldest restaurant in Scott’s Addition sold to new owners after 23 years – - March 2, 2020 by admin

    Thanks to a grant from Kroger Mid-Atlantic, Richmond area families facing food insecurity will now have additional assistance. The grocer recently donated more than $10,000 to open a new school food pantry at Chimborazo Elementary and stock 16 other school pantries across the district.

    After seeing a call for food assistance in October 2019, Kroger connected with local non-profit, Communities In Schools of Richmond, to offer its support.

    After learning about the need for food pantry staples in our local community, we had to help, said Allison McGee, corporate affairs manager for Kroger Mid-Atlantic. This effort is perfectly aligned with our Zero Hunger Zero Waste mission at Kroger and our goal of eliminating hunger in the communities we serve.

    The new school pantry at Chimborazo Elementary School is part of a coordinated school effort to help address the needs of Chimborazo families. In addition to supporting Chimborazo Elementary, this grant allows CIS of Richmond to help stock 16 other area school pantries with items including pasta, canned fruits and vegetables, and other shelf-stable items.

    At Communities In Schools of Richmond, we are committed to delivering the five basics. Among those, a healthy start and a healthy future, said Dr. Harold Fitrer, President & CEO of Communities In Schools of Richmond. The reality is students cannot learn when they are hungry. It is impossible to focus in class when your stomach is growling or you are concerned if you will have dinner at home that night. We are thankful for this commitment from Kroger to Richmond students.

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    Oldest restaurant in Scott's Addition sold to new owners after 23 years -

    Newman Road detours and more coming in March as road construction ramps up – Journal & Courier - March 2, 2020 by admin

    Sallie Fahey, Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission Published 12:21 p.m. ET March 1, 2020

    A truck crosses under the Newman road railroad bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in West Lafayette. (Photo: Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier)

    LAFAYETTE It might have snowed last week, but the serious road construction season is right around the corner. Heres what to watch for in the coming weeks.

    The $16 million Teal Road (U.S.52) reconstruction project has been awarded by the Indiana Department of Transportation. Lane restrictions will be imposed on Teal Road between Jan. 16 and March 31 while Duke Energy upgrades and relocates power lines. Locations will change daily, and delays are likely. Signage and flaggers will assist motorists. INDOT will be doing patching to maintain the road until all the utility companies complete their relocation work. Major road construction cannot begin until utility relocation is complete, at least one year from now. Additional project information will be provided as it becomes available.

    The eastbound lanes of Schuyler Avenue are closed between Sagamore Parkway and County Road 200 North for a sewer and water extension project. Both eastbound and westbound traffic is routed into the westbound lanes. This project will take until August 16, 2020 to complete.

    Main Street at Columbian Park is open, however sidewalks on the east side of Main and the north side of Wallace adjacent to Loeb Stadium will be closed through the end of the stadium construction project in the fall of 2020. Main Street may be closed for short durations like it was in late February. Side streets are more likely to be closed for longer periods of time.

    There will be temporary lane closures on Elston Road between Old US 231 and Old Romney Road between Jan. 31 and April 27 while a new gas line is installed. Flaggers will assist motorists.

    The sidewalk and periodically one lane will be closed at 1007 Main St. until Aug. 31, 2020, for construction of a new restaurant. Flaggers will assist traffic when Main Street is restricted to one lane.

    Watch for ongoing construction at the intersection of South and Ninth streets. The work is part of the Ninth Street Sewer Separation and Pump Station project.

    Hartford Street between 14th and 15th streets and northbound 16th Street between Hartford and Tippecanoe streets are still closed for the demolition of the west and north wings of the St. Elizabeth Hospital and the Nursing School. Sidewalk closure and detour signs are posted.

    The sidewalk and one lane on South Street are closed indefinitely between Main Street and 18th Street.

    Sidewalks are closed on South Street between Fifth Street and the alley on the west side of city hall and on the east side of Fifth Street between South and Columbia streets until April 20, 2020, for the construction of the Star City Crossing project.

    Newman Road closes on Monday, March 2, from the Newman Road/Indiana 26 intersection to Benson Drive. The project will replace the existing Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad underpass with a modern structure. This structure will allow for the large commercial traffic expected from development of the Purdue Aerospace Park. Newman Road will provide facilities for pedestrians and bicycles. Construction is expected to be complete on Nov. 1. Detour routes will be phased. Phase 1: From March 2 to June 1, the detour route will be from Indiana 26 to Sharon Chapel Road. Phase 2: From June 1 through July 15, the detour route will be from U.S. 231, Lindberg Road, Klondike Road, Indiana 26 and Sharon Chapel Road. Phase 3: From July 16 through fall 2020, the detour route will be from Indiana 26 to Sharon Chapel Road.

    The intersection of Klondike and Cumberland closed on Feb. 7 for construction of the roundabout at that location. The schools can only be accessed from the north off U.S. 52. Access to properties on County Road 250 North and businesses such as American Suburban Utilities and the sports complex are from County Road 400 West then east on County Road 250 North. The best estimate is that the roundabout will be completed in July. The entire project all phases still has a November 2020 completion deadline. New detour information will be available on the project website at

    County Road 450 North will be closed between County Road 625 East and Indiana 25 from March 2 to May 1 for a culvert replacement.

    Bids were accepted but not yet awarded for two county road projects, both of which will smooth out curves. The first project is on County Road 600 North just west of County Farm Road near Battle Ground Middle School. The second project is at the 90-degree turn on County Road 200 North south of Schuyler Avenue and just before the road crosses Interstate 65. More information will be provided when construction is ready to begin.

    INDOT is replacing decks and widening the I-65 northbound and southbound bridges over the Wabash River north of the Schuyler Avenue/Indiana 25 exit. Lane shifts and nighttime lane closures will continue until October 2020.

    INDOT is patching and rehabilitating Indiana 28 between Indiana 25 and U.S. 231. Patching is complete; paving will continue in the upcoming construction season until the end of June 2020.

    Fahey is executive director of the Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission. She rounds up and updates road construction projects in Greater Lafayette monthly for the J&C.

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    Newman Road detours and more coming in March as road construction ramps up - Journal & Courier

    A cheese restaurant on a barge will be sailing into the UK – Coventry Telegraph - March 2, 2020 by admin

    A restaurant aimed solely at cheese-lovers will be sailing into the UK.

    And if you like boats too, it will be close to heaven for you.

    The double-decker cheese-themed barge is coming to London this spring - and it's supposedly going to be a permanent fixture to the dock.

    However, there sadly seems to be no plans to sail up to this part of the world just yet.

    The Cheese Barge is currently under construction in a Somerset boatyard, but is set to dock in Paddington this April, reports The Mirror .

    Matthew Carver - a World Cheese Awards judge and Cheese Bar founder - is the man behind the scheme, having made a name for himself through his Seven Dials restaurant Pick $ Cheese, where dishes are rolled out on a conveyor belt.

    The floating restaurant will serve seasonal dishes which celebrate the best of the UK's 'small producer' cheeses.

    The menu has a number of elaborate dishes to try, like the Windrush Goats Curd with lamb scrumpets and pickled walnuts, and Cropwell Bishop Stilton Devils on Horseback, which is basically medjool dates stuffed with Stilton and wrapped in bacon.

    Or for a lighter snack, there are Cheddar curds, which are curried and tossed in chilli honey.

    But for larger groups, the sharing plates offer a half-kilo of Baron Bigod cheese which is baked to order, alongside house-made sausage - with hints of blue cheese - and a selection of side dishes.

    Head chef Reagan Ellenbroek has joined up with executive chef Ross Keeling to put together the menu.

    Matthew said: "I spent my childhood years messing around in boats.

    "So, when the opportunity of opening The Cheese Barge came along, we couldnt say no."

    He added: "Weve always set out to create fun restaurant experiences, and what could be more fun than eating the best of British cheese on the Grand Union Canal."

    And, it doesn't stop there, The Cheese Barge also offers a couple of sweet treats.

    There's a Yorkshire Curd Tart and a Malted Milk Chocolate Cremeux - but whether or not cheese is hidden in there is another thing.

    A cheese restaurant on a barge will be sailing into the UK - Coventry Telegraph

    New Restaurant and Bar in Dewey Beach set to Open in the Summer – - March 2, 2020 by admin

    DEWEY BEACH,Del.-Along the bay side in Dewey Beach there is a new restaurant and bar making progress on construction, and it could open in the summer.

    The town says this spot is ideal for sunset, near the famous lighthouse in town.The Lighthouse Restaurant and Sunset Bar on Dickinson Street is set to open by summer.

    Scott Koenig, the Town Manager for Dewey Beach said,"The town is very excited about all of the improvements including the new restaurant. It's been a very long construction time line. Now that we're coming to the end there's a whole lot of excitement for the upcoming season."

    TKO Hospitality, the group in charge of the project likes the progress it has made.The company said, The Lighthouse Restaurant and Sunset Barwill feature live entertainment, fresh seafood, local beers, cocktails and a revamped menu.People who visit the area say it will be nice to see the updates near the bay.

    Richard McGarvey, from Millsboro said,"Well it's replacing a place that was there, that was right on the water, so yeah it'll be fine."

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    Oak Grove Racing, Gaming and Hotel gives update on construction, plans – Hopkinsville Kentucky New Era - March 2, 2020 by admin

    Despite the rain and poor weather, Oak Grove Racing, Gaming and Hotel are still on schedule and making good progress, according to a press release.

    Oak Grove Racing and Gaming recently announced that they are expected to finish construction by the end of the summer, predicting to be done by July.

    According to the press release, the fifth floor of the hotel is estimated to be finished by the end of February and to have all of the Historic Racing Machines installed by mid-March.

    Officials added that by that time, the pace of change will likely increase as the weather is expected to dry out.

    In early February, Churchill Downs Incorporated announced the hiring of Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotels new president and general manager, Darold Londo. Shortly after, Oak Grove Racing and Gaming signed John Derby as the new chief financial officer.

    Oak Grove Gaming, Racing and Hotel is set to open this summer and will host 128 luxury rooms and suites, a Historic Racing Machines venue with over 1,300 games, racing and equine facilities, multiple bars and restaurants and more.

    In Februarys press release, officials announced the facility will also host a 30-space RV park and an amphitheater featuring fixed seating as well as room for lawn chairs, blankets, etc.

    Oak Grove Tourism Commission also recently announced that Tourism would be partnering with Racing and Gaming to host events at its new amphitheater should Tourisms Valor Hall not be able to meet needs of certain events.

    Racing and Gaming also released its restaurant and bar lineup. The hotel will feature Garrison Oak Steakhouse, Peek-A-Boo Bar and VIP Lounge, Sgt. Peppers Burgers and PoBoys, Lucky Lime Tex-Me and ODark Thirty Coffee Shop.

    While Oak Grove Racing and Gaming continues planning for the official opening of the hotel and begins its second season of racing, the business plans to participate in more community events.

    It will be taking part in the Compass Awards event on Mar. 5, Fort Campbell Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program 2020 Spring Job Fair Mar. 17-18 and Spring into Summer Salutes Fort Campbell Festival on May 23-24.

    Racing, Gaming and Hotel is also looking to fill these job opportunities: director of facilities, food and beverage positions, human resources positions, hotel positions, security, accounting managers, internal audit positions, marketing and purchasing, guest services, executive chef, executive housekeeper and executive assistant.

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    Resorts World Catskills has delivered economic boost to Sullivan – Times Herald-Record - March 2, 2020 by admin

    Look at the two-dozen empty storefronts in the seat of Sullivan County, Monticello. No way would you think that the long-dreamed casino neighboring this village has done what it, and many of its supporters, promised:

    To reinvent, revitalize and reimagine the region, said the CEO of Empire Resorts, the company that, until several months ago, ran the struggling $1 billion casino, Resorts World Catskills, which on Feb. 8 celebrated its two-year anniversary and is now owned and run by Genting.

    But look just beyond those storefronts to some of the established businesses of Monticello and to the town that hosts the casino, Thompson. You'll find benefits few could have imagined on that cold December day in 2014 when the state chose the Sullivan County resort casino then called Montreign over eight other regional contenders and made decades of casino dreams and schemes come true.

    Just about every week for the past two years, Monticello Greenhouses florist which is actually in the Town of Thompson has been delivering at least 25 arrangements of flowers like gladiolas, birds of paradise and carnations for the lobby, spa, rooms and high-rolling areas of the casino at the site of the old Concord resort. When the casino hosts special events like weddings or holiday celebrations, the nearly century-old family business increases its delivery to the tune of 1,500 poinsettias at Christmas. All of which has meant about 5-7 percent of its business, says Greenhouses' owner, David Heins.

    A nice shot in the arm you can count on every week, he says.

    Talk to a long-time business owner in Monticello, which, during the heyday of the resort-filled Catskills, was bustling with strollers on a Broadway lined with businesses like the Rialto movie theater, Kaplan's Deli and the Elegante gift shop.

    Les Kristt's Kristt Kelly Office Systems supplies the copy/printing machines for all of the offices in the casino some 30 in all along with office supplies like envelopes and paper.

    And they all have service contracts, says Kristt.

    Another venerable Monticello business that's profiting from the casino and its eating/drinking spots is the 52-year-old family-run Monticello Bagel Bakery, which bakes some 40-50 dozen bagels a week for the casino along with another often larger order for the Kartrite Resort and Indoor Water Park next to the casino.

    It's great they're using local products, says co-owner Craig Fleischman.

    Then there's the approximately $7.4 million Sullivan County and the Town of Thompson has each received from the casino's one-time licensing fee ($2.5 million each), and quarterly slot machine revenue ($4.9 million each) payments. Plus, the town, county and Monticello school district have received a total of about $5 million in payments in lieu of taxes from the casino during construction and operation.

    All of which has contributed to a 20 percent decrease in taxes in the Town of Thompson over the last four years, along with the replacement of some 60 percent of its fleet of snow plows and new commercial and retail activity, according to Thompson Supervisor Bill Rieber. Most of the county's casino revenue has gone to its general fund, with about $704,000 earmarked for road machinery equipment in 2020.

    We've had growth where we've never had growth, says Rieber, who also owns Rieber Realty in Monticello and cites such new casino-inspired businesses that have opened or are set to open like Marshall's, Taco Bell and the new Urgent Care Center of Catskill Regional Medical Center.

    Plus, Resorts World has about 1,400 employees down from nearly 1,700 when it opened who receive salaries and benefits packages more generous than the average Sullivan compensation. Resorts World dealers can initially earn between $50,000-$55,000 depending on tips, with access to benefits like health insurance and a 401K plan in this county where the average per capita annual income is about $29,000. The casino's heftier salaries and benefits have also meant that several local businesses have lost workers to Resorts World or had to up their own compensation.

    Businesses have lost employees (to the casino), but that's created openings for new employees; that's what economic development is all about, says Sullivan County Center for Workplace Development Director Laura Quigley.

    Two years after it opened, Resorts World Catskills may not be the savior fulfilling the potential to revive a once thriving resort destination area that has experienced a significant downturn , as the state said when it chose the casino - as evidenced by those empty shops in Monticello, and the region's highest poverty rate of 16%. But even after losing more than $200 million, slashing its workforce and downsizing its gaming operation, the casino has provided a shot in the economic arm in this county where, about 21 years ago, 1,000 job seekers lined up for $6.50 an hour jobs at the new Monticello Wal-Mart.

    Is it the be-all and end-all? No, says Sullivan County legislator Ira Steingart, a longtime casino supporter and chairman of the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency whose printing business, Steingart Associates, prints gift certificates, menus and table cards for the casino. But in the last few years, the county has had a turnaround and the casino has gotten us in the right direction for developers to be attracted to the area.

    We had zero before, so any impact has been positive, says Monticello Mayor Gary Sommers, whose village sits in the Town of Thompson but was not included in any of the state's casino revenue sharing from slot machines and the licensing fee that was earmarked for host towns and counties and even nearby counties like Orange (about $5.4 million) and Ulster (about $2.6 million). Sommers says Monticello does receive about $35,000 to $40,000 per year for providing water to the casino.

    Much of that impact has been those spinoff businesses the casino and its 1,400 employees and three million visitors have generated at places like Monticello Greenhouses, Kristt Company, Steingart Printing, Thompson Sanitation, which hauls the casino's trash, Albella Italian restaurant and gas stations and convenience stores like Tommy's Mobil, where folks who stay at the casino's hotel have often stopped for packaged beer and gas. Even Monticello's Ethelbert B. Crawford Library has seen increased activity in the form of employees who've just moved to the county and get new library cards and use its notary public and computers.

    The indirect spending to serve the casino can be bigger than the direct spending; says Steve Rittvo, former chair of the Innovation Group casino consultants who now heads the casino development company, Innovation Project Development.

    He's not surprised that many shops remain empty in Monticello because the patrons don't shop in the community. The big money comes from supplying the casino, and, he adds, from new employees using services in the community, such as gas stations, medical offices and restaurants.

    Some of that indirect spending includes buying pastries from DeFillipi's Bakery in Monticello, which was a go-to breakfast and lunch spot for casino employees during construction, as well as providing pastries and sandwiches for meetings in on-site trailers. While the bakery no longer provides baked goods on a regular basis for Resorts World, it does supply pastries for special events like weddings and anniversaries as well as creating high-end gift boxes of pastries for the rooms of high rollers.

    Then there's another homegrown business that's profiting in a somewhat surprising way from the casino and its nine restaurants and eating/drinking spots.

    CES (Combined Energy Services) of Monticello may be best known for supplying oil and propane to scores of local customers throughout the region. But for Resorts World, it provides gallons and gallons of the CO2 needed for its carbonated beverages and to adjust the pH levels in its several pools, both in its spa and in its private suites. Plus, Resorts World's vehicles often fill up on gas and diesel fuel at CES' Monticello gas station.

    They're a good customer, says CES owner Michael Taylor. It all adds up.

    Indeed it does, says another long-time casino supporter and owner of several businesses, Randy Resnick, whose Rez-Bear Energy supplies propane gas for the smaller hotel at Resorts World, the Alder. Plus, his upscale Rock Hill restaurant, BHR, and his Ramada Rock Hill at Sullivan Center hotel attract casino guests seeking dining and lodging alternatives particularly on the weekends, or when Resorts World's two hotels are packed and charge much more than their $79 and $59 (at the Alder) per night mid-week rate that can undercut nearby hotels, like his, which has also lost employees to the casino.

    And when the casino wanted to attract Player's Club gamblers to a recent Valentine's Day weekend, it showcased Ani and Alex and Pandora jewelry from Gallery of the Lakes in Rock Hill.

    Plus, having such a huge business that needs everything from plumbing supplies to pastries has created an unforeseen benefit. The casino has helped area businesses make connections with one another and find new outlets for business.

    A. Alport and Son plumbing and heating supplies of South Fallsburg, which supplied everything from toilets and sinks to pipe fittings during construction, is still reaping benefits from its work on the casino the largest project it ever completed. Because it worked with Thomas J. Kempton mechanical contractor of Middletown, it's now working with the company on the Legoland theme park in Orange County.

    The biggest impact has been the relationship we formed with other vendors during construction, says Alport president Dory Alport. Working on the casino gave us exposure to other projects we wouldn't otherwise have been exposed to.

    See original here:
    Resorts World Catskills has delivered economic boost to Sullivan - Times Herald-Record

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