Foundation work on construction of the Lago Resort & Casino will begin this week, according to an announcement on Monday by the project’s developers.

However, efforts to block the new Las Vegas-style gambling venue in New York’s Finger Lakes continue, and a protest was held at the state Capitol on Tuesday by opponents of the Lago casino who argue that the casino will vulture business from a nearby tribal casino and racino. Speakers at the protest called on the state’s Gaming Commission to deny a casino license to the facility in Tyre, which was endorsed last year by the state Gaming Facility Location Board, but has yet to receive its formal license. The move comes after the project was stalled last summer over an environmental procedures lawsuit.

According to the Utica Observer-Dispatch, a spokesman for Lago said the protest was nothing more than a cynical attempt by owners of the areas two established gambling facilities to protect their monopoly.

Casino proposals for Lago, along with the Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady and Montreign Resort Casino in the Catskills were approved by the Gaming Facility Location Board in December, 2014 and since then has been plagued by opponents including community members and other gaming establishments in the area such as the Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Casino and Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack, which are both within 80 miles of the Lago project. Opponents disapprove of a new gaming destination that, according to them, will cannibalize their businesses, harm local economies and create significant environmental impacts.

Construction of the Lago facility is estimated to create more than 50 union jobs in Tyre, Seneca County. EJ Construction Group, Inc. from Liverpool, NY, a minority business enterprise (MBE) firm will be subcontracted for steel reinforcement and Manning Squires Hennig Co., Inc., based in Batavia, NY will be the project’s lead contractor. Managing member of Peninsula Pacific, Brent Stevens said, “Ultimately, construction of Lago will result in 1,800 jobs – not to mention 1,800 permanent jobs once operations begin,” according to the Gates-Chili Post.

Lago is expected to open by early 2017 and its plans include 94,000 square feet of gaming space with 2000 slots and 85 gaming tables, as well as a premium hotel with over 200 rooms and amenities such as a state-of-the-art spa and several restaurants and lounges. It is anticipated upon completion that approximately $425 million will have been invested in the opening.

 

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