Resorts World Casino NYC

en ru es

Resorts World Casino NYC

  • Home

Racino breaks ground on $400M expansion to be done by mid-2019

The $400 million expansion of Resorts World Casino will bring a hotel, four eateries and retail outlets to South Ozone Park. Queens officials celebrated the project as an economic boon for the borough.It’s now time for Resorts World Casino to do some gambling — putting its future on the line by investing $400 million into Queens and South Ozone Park.

The racino, along with officials from around the borough, held a ceremonial groundbreaking last Thursday to kick off its two-year expansion to bring new, high-class amenities to the grounds adjacent to Aqueduct Race Track.

“The expansion will result in a boost for New York’s Education Fund, act as a catalyst for additional economic development in our local Queens community and add approximately 1,000 good-paying careers,” said Scott Molina, president of Resorts World Casino New York City.

The $400 million expansion — expected to be completed in mid-2019 — will make Resorts World the “ultimate play, stay, dine and shop destination,” Molina said. The project will bring a four-star hotel, which the racino says will “rival Manhattan’s finest accommodations,” four dining outlets including one to be led by a to-be-named celebrity chef, retail outlets and additional space for gaming.

“I was fortunate enough to be part of the team that opened Resorts World’s doors in 2011, with a simple mission in mind: provide our guests with an unparalleled gaming experience,” Molina said. “Six years later, I can confidently say we are successfully carrying out our mission. And while these accomplishments are nothing short of amazing, the future is even brighter.”

Resorts World anticipates more than 3,000 construction jobs to be created and 1,000 permanent jobs to be available following the completion. Racino officials also expect it to generate an additional $200 million for the New York City economy over the next 10 years.

“This is a huge opportunity for Queens,” Tom Grech, executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said in an interview. “The whole area down here by Southeast Queens is growing by leaps and bounds and this is just a wonderful addition.”

Borough President Melinda Katz celebrated the expansion as another sign of Queens’ growing economy.

“Queens is hopping,” Katz said. “People want to come here, live here, play here, spend their money here — and they want to make their money here, which means investment in our borough ... I am excited about this expansion and I am excited about the thousands of tourists that will come here.”

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), a self-admitted frequent visitor to the racino, called the move “a very risky endeavor.”

“People invest tens of millions of dollars into Manhattan real estate knowing they’re going to be making that money back very soon, but in Queens, there aren’t a lot of people lining up to invest this kind of money in this type of community, so we are absolutely appreciative and thankful for the jobs, for the investment and for the trust Resorts World has put into this community,” Ulrich said.

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Park) noted the racino is not the only entity in the area deepening its footprint — John F. Kennedy International Airport is also undergoing some renovations.

“We want the travelers that come to our community to come locally, spend their dollars here and stay here and learn that Queens is a destination to travel to,” Pheffer Amato said. “Our borough is attracting more tourism and there’s more demand for quality.”

But it wasn’t just Resort World’s fiscal investment in the borough that was celebrated — attendees also lauded its investment of time and support for South Queens as well.

“We’ve read horror stories in other parts of the country where casinos opened and of the negative impacts on the surrounding communities,” Ulrich said. “Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth here in South Ozone Park.”

State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) can attest to that not only as an elected official, but as a neighbor of the racino.

“I live about a half-mile away in Ozone Park,” Addabbo said. “And I want to thank you for being a good neighbor.”

Since opening in 2011, Resorts World has helped rebuild parks devastated by Superstorm Sandy, offered its space to recovery efforts after the storm and hosted blood drives, job fairs and annual events honoring the Police and Fire departments.

Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton said there was some “trepidation” in the community when Resorts first broke ground in 2010. Since then, CB 10 and the racino have had an excellent working relationship.

“We had high expectations, and Resorts World has delivered,” Braton said. “Not only has our casino delivered on the jobs front, it’s an economic engine in our community and borough ... And when I said ‘our casino,’ that wasn’t a slip of the tongue. It was quite deliberate. From the get-go, cooperation and collaboration have shaped the relationship between our community and this casino.”

Even people from outside the city limits remarked at how well the racino works with its neighbors.

“Usually, casinos have a narrow view and they’re only looking out for themselves,” Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Mount Vernon), chairman of the lower chamber’s Racing and Wagering Committee, told a Chronicle reporter. “And what I’ve seen from Resorts World is they’re not only looking out for themselves, but the entire community. They’ve been a steward for this part of Queens.”

Resorts World, which beat out other suitors to bring a gaming site to Queens, has helped generate close to $2 billion for the state Education Fund since its opening.

In 2016, the state approved a deal to bring 1,000 additional video lottery terminals to the site that were originally intended for Nassau County.

Source: Queens Chronicle