Village contemplates loss of decades-old raceway
By Eli Ruiz
MONTICELLO January 22 Empire Resorts has a license to operate a casino/harness track at Monticello Casino & Raceway, for decades located on Route 17B in the Village of Monticello.
The company is proposing to move its harness/casino operations to the old Concord Hotel site in Kiamesha Lake, where it is developing a huge resort complex.
Village of Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins said, “Although the village stands to lose about $480,000 in tax revenue and another $188,000 that we receive from the state under a profit sharing agreement related to the slots, I would not want to interfere with the Concord project at all. I’m currently in negotiations with them on the matter, and I’m confident that they will do the right thing regarding the loss of the Racino… they won’t leave the village high and dry.”
The mayor said he met with the EPT/Empire Resorts group last Tuesday and that discussions, thus far, have been limited to water issue; the Concord project, according to Jenkins, needs the village’s water.
Although compensation for the village’s loss of the Racino has not yet been discussed, Jenkins assured, “It sure will.”
Added Jenkins, “Shoot, this [the Concord project] is some of the best news I’ve heard in a very long time… I’m all for it.”
The Village of Monticello Board of Trustees will be holding a special meeting on Thursday, January 24 at noon with Empire Resorts to discusss the Concord water contract.
Empire Resorts Executive Vice President Charles Degliomini, when contacted by the Democrat, issued the following statement:
“Empire Resorts has been working closely with the Village of Monticello regarding our relocation to the site of the former Concord Resorts. Initially, the barns, backstretch and training track will remain in place and service the new harness race track at the Concord. As the existing Raceway property is strategically located and valuable, we fully expect that over time the Raceway property will be redeveloped and compliment the Concord master plan. Importantly, we have been in active dialogue with the mayor and the trustees to finalize a plan that will bring revenue and economic certainty to the Village, through guaranteed property tax and other significant payments that we would make once we relocate. We are looking forward to creating over 1,000 good jobs, and that, of course, will be a tremendous benefit to the residents of Monticello.”