Several weeks ahead of schedule, in an effort to attract visitors who are traveling during the Chinese New Year holiday, which begins on Friday, Feb. 16, at 8am today the $900 million Resorts World Catskills casino resort will open its doors to the public for the first time, after on Monday, Feb. 5 being issued an operation certificate by the New York State Gaming Commission. The hope is that New York’s largest full-scale casino can breathe new life into what was once a thriving resort destination.

Following the public opening this morning, at 11am the casino resort will reportedly host a private ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Casino amenities:

Located approximately 90 miles north of New York City in Thompson, Sullivan County, Empire Resorts, Inc.
(NYNY:NASDAQ GM) property’s 100,000 square feet of Vegas-style gambling features approximately 1,600 slot and video poker machines, more than 150 live table games, a poker room, sportsbook and private gaming salons with butler. Also offered are 10 restaurants bars and lounges, including two entertainment bars in the casino and a sports bar; a 5-diamond designed luxury 18-story 332 all-suite hotel, with two spas and two fitness centers, and the 2,500-seat RW Epicenter.

President and CEO for Empire Resorts, Inc. Ryan Eller, said, “Today marks a major milestone,”

“We’re looking forward to bringing something we believe is truly special to the people of New York State and the Catskill Region – a thriving resort destination that will become a beacon for both economic opportunity and excitement. We’re very thankful for all the hard work, dedication, and vision of so many that brought this to its fruition, including the contributions of over 3,000 union workers employed in the construction of this project,” according to Business Wire.

Resorts World Catskills is the last of three non-Native American casinos in Upstate New York awarded a casino license in December 2014, with a fourth license ultimately awarded in the Southern Tier for the existing Tioga Downs racetrack.

Further plans:

Currently being developed, the 1.6 million-square-foot four-season destination resort where Resorts World Catskills is situated will also reportedly include an entertainment village that will provide visitors with additional entertainment options, food and accommodations. The resort will also include an 18-hole Rees Jones-redesigned golf course and a four-season two-acre indoor waterpark lodge named Kartrite Hotel & Indoor Waterpark, both of which are reportedly slated to open early next year.

The estimated total price of the integrated casino resort is expected to hit $1.2 billion at build out.

Resorts World Catskills’ parent company Empire Resorts is a subsidiary of Malaysian-based gaming and hospitality conglomerate Genting Group. The Resorts World brand is responsible for integrated destination resorts located in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bimini, Bahamas, Manila, Philippines, Birmingham, England, New York City, New York and the newest property currently under construction in Las Vegas, Nevada planned to open in 2020 at a cost of about US$ 7.2 billion.