Updated 01/16/2013 07:52 AM
Town Board approves resort at Concord site
The proposed resort on the old Concord site finally got the stamp of approval it needs to move forward. Our Eva McKend was at the public hearing in the town of Thompson and has more on what the approval could mean for Sullivan County.
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THOMPSON, N.Y. -- The Town of Thompson has approved a resort at the site of the Old Concord hotel. Residents are hopeful the $600 million project will revive Sullivan County. It was standing room only at the meeting.
"I’ve been a resident up here for 33 years. I’ve watched the peaks and valleys of the county go up and drop and I just honestly feel that this will be the stimulus that gets the county moving in the right direction," said Thompson Resident and Clemente Latham Concrete Sales Rep Kevin Maher.
The resort is expected to create more than 25 hundred jobs and would generate $42.5 million in property taxes alone.
In the past the town has struggled with developers who have abandoned promises of economic development.
This time, town supervisor Tony Cellini says it will be different.
"EPT and Empire Resorts have the resources to pull off a project such as this. On their professional team, they have worldwide known planners and engineers. They've spent a considerable amount of money getting this far in the project and I cannot see why they won't go further," said Cellini.
Developers have already bought adjacent land to the property as a potential gateway to the resort. The area surrounding the Concord is expected to also receive a boost through potential restaurants and local businesses that would now be more attracted to the area. Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development says the implications of the resort are encouraging.
"The day to day life in this area certainly will be changing and we are looking forward throughout the entire county to that change," said Allan Scott, the Partnership's president.
Entertainment Properties Trust and Empire Resorts say they are not waiting for a state referendum on gambling to begin construction of their project, which is also said to include an entertainment village with an indoor water park and a golf course.