On Monday, officials of Schenectady, New York as well as developers of the former ALCO site were on hand to take part in a ceremonial ground-breaking to begin the Courtyard by Marriott hotel. The 124 guest room property is a $15 million project that is a part of the greater project taking place along the Mohawk River waterfront.

The Galesi Group is investing $480 million at the site and Chief Operating Officer of the group, David Buicko, stated that the company wanted to keep people staying here, spending money and enjoying the options available in downtown Schenectady. With the hotel, visitors will have an upscale accommodation option as well as access to the Rivers Casino, which will have a $300 million price tag, but will not be eligible for operation until licensing is approved by the State Gaming Commission.

Phillip Morris is the CEO of Proctors, a company investing in a theater in the downtown area, who says it is interesting at the time frame it is taking for the casino to be approved. It was about ten months ago that the area of Schenectady was recommended for the full casino license by the Gaming Facility Location Board. Morris says when the casino is opened, the theater will have a working relationship with the facility including shuttle service back and forth and additional transactions.

The completion of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel should be done by August 2016, with the Mohawk Harbor expanding, with boat traffic to be allowed in the future. Licensing for the casino is expected to be approved by the end of the year with construction estimated at a year and a half before completion.