In anticipation of increased traffic and possible safety concerns, casino personnel and local police are taking the necessary measures in preparation for the opening of Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady on Wednesday, February 8.
Wednesday at noon the $330 million casino will open its doors in the Capital Region of New York state to what is expected to be thousands of people. And Schenectady police are planning to handle the expected increase in traffic by deploying additional personnel, according to The Daily Gazette. Casino officials are confident the opening will take place without incident.
Rivers Casino and Resort’s general manager, Mary Cheeks, said, “When I look at the experience of the three other Rush Street properties, crime has either decreased or maintained at its current state. Nowhere did crime increase,” as reported by the news agency.
The venue will have an increased security presence during the influx of visitors within the first days and weeks of the casino’s opening. The area will be policed with city police and on-site security. Schenectady Police Sgt. Matt Dearing said on Sunday that he wasn’t sure exactly how many extra officers would be utilized, but that shifts were being added. He reportedly said, “We’re pretty much going to monitor it and see exactly what happens in the first several days and weeks.”
In addition to safety issues, traffic and parking are concerns, especially for individuals who live within walking distance of the new casino resort. Last week a public service announcement was released by city police advising those driving the best ways in which to enter the facility. For visitors who opt to park in nearby neighborhoods in an attempt to avoid the crowds, Dearing said that casino guests are being advised by police that typical parking restrictions will be enforced and illegally parked vehicles will be either ticketed or towed.
The facility’s 1,800 on-site parking spots, which include surface lots and the garage, can accommodate 7,029, all of which Cheeks hopes will be filled in the first days of the casino’s opening. To give visitors more space to park, employees will park off-site on opening day and the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) will provide service to the casino, according to the report. Cheeks said, “We have a pretty healthy security team that’s been trained in traffic control.” The general manager went on to say that, “[Police Chief Eric] Clifford and [Public Safety Commissioner] Wayne Bennett have worked very closely with us, as well as the mayor, to make sure we have traffic control along with our sefcurity personnel. We’ll make sure we don’t bring Erie Boulevard to a stop.”
The 50,000 sq ft gaming floor at the Las Vegas-style gaming venue will debut with 1,150 slots, 67 table games, a high-limit area, and a 15 table poker room. In addition, an entertainment lounge and five restaurants will be available to guests.