The Times Herald-Record reports that construction at the $1.2 billion Town of Thompson resort and casino has been fatality-free and on time. Executive director of the Construction Contractors Association of the Hudson Valley, Alan Seidman, lauded the project’s safety since the January 2015 groundbreaking on what was the Concord Resort Hotel property. While there have been some injuries, despite long hours and dangerous conditions including extreme heights, there hasn’t been any fatalities or major accidents.
Touring the site recently, Charlie Degliomini, who is the executive vice president of Empire Resorts, the casino’s parent company, emphasized certain features of Resorts World Catskills he believes will distinguish it from other venues. Degliomini reportedly said that more than anything, the 1.6-million-square-foot facility scheduled to open on March 1st, will reflect what Malaysian-Chinese casino magnate, Lim Kok Thay, envisioned for it, including its luxurious accommodations. Lim is behind the project and part of the family trust that owns the investment company, Kien Huat Realty, which is the majority shareholder in Malaysian multinational gaming and business conglomerate, Genting Berhad, and Empire Resorts.
Degliomini said, “Lim’s vision is to cater to both the high-end, ultra exclusive market and the general market.” He went on to say, “My son was in diapers when we first started talking about a casino being built in the Catskills, and now he’s 24, so it has very special meaning to me to see the project coming together like this,” according to the Times Herald-Record.
It is estimated that eventually, the casino will be visited by 4 million people annually. Route 17′s Exit 106 will where 80 percent of the traffic will come from. When entering the property, which will be open around the clock, visitors will drive by fieldstone walls lined with high-end LED streetlights. They will choose from valet parking or a 2,800-space garage.
The 18-story hotel tower’s façade consists of all glass windows, designed in such a way as to mirror its surroundings on sunny days. The priority of the entire casino, Degliomini said, will be luxury. From the garden suites’ personal pools to the gym and private balconies on the third floor where elite guests will stay, and several of the three bars and six eateries, which includes a high-end Italian steakhouse from Food Network star Scott Conant. The food court will accommodate those seeking quick eats in between gaming, a round of golf on the 18-hole golf course designed by Rees Jones, or some other activity on the property.
The biggest moneymaker will, however, be gambling. According to the news agency, Degliomini expects that 70 percent of Resorts World Catskills’ 332 suites will be given away in order to accommodate its extravagant guests playing 2,150 slots and 130 table games.
A key driver for the property will reportedly be Asian gamers and as such an area of the 100,000-square-foot casino floor will feature casino games popular in the Far East and Mandarin-speaking staff.
Other features include a 2,000-person event room, which is expected to attract concerts, mixed martial arts fights and conferences. Instead of the “entertainment village” packed with high-end stores, to accommodate guests of those events, those plans were discarded in favor of an extra boutique hotel. Linking the boutique hotel to the main hotel will be a covered walkway. The boutique hotel is expected to be completed in September next year and includes a restaurant and a night club.
Business manager of Laborers’ Local 17 and president of the Hudson Valley Building Trades Council, L. Todd Diorio, reportedly said it is the hope of union workers that the casino is successful, so there is some concern about oversaturation in the Northeast upon completion of the project. However, Diorio trusts Empire Resorts’ executives, according to the Times Herald-Record.
Diorio said, “They’ve done their homework, and they’re going to go over and beyond the quality of the other casinos in New York State to try to make their money,” Diorio added that building a destination resort is the goal and he thinks that’s exactly what it will be.