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Concord Associates announces deal with Mohegan Sun, Empire Resorts vows to fight it

By Fritz Mayer
May 6, 2011

Concord Associates announced on May 5 that it has reached a deal with Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (MTGA) to develop the long-delayed Concord Resort in Kiamesha Lake NY.

A press release said the deal will immediately spark new action on the project. According to the release, A proposed joint-venture entity called Concord Kiamesha Holdings, LLC, will engage Jefferies & Company, Inc., a global investment banking firm, as its financial advisor on the project.

The release says, “Phase 1 of the project, budgeted at over $600 million, includes a 75,000 square foot casino featuring 2,100 video lottery terminals, and capacity for up to 450 electronic table game positions, a 258 room resort hotel, a harness racing facility with a grandstand, 5/8 mile track and related paddock facilities, a simulcast facility for pari-mutuel wagering, 10,000 square feet of meeting rooms and ballrooms, five restaurants, retail outlets and several entertainment spaces. It is expected that phase 1 will open in the spring of 2013.”

Developer Louis Cappelli has aleady spent $100 million on site preparation, foundation work, demolition and remediation of environmental issues.

It is not at all clear, however, that the project will move ahead smoothly. Empire Resorts, owner of Mighty M Gaming in Monticello, and who formerly was a partner with Cappelli in the development released a statement of its own.

It said, “At this time, neither Concord Associates, nor MTGA have valid New York State licenses to operate a harness racetrack or video gaming machines (VGMs) in Sullivan County, prerequisites to the operation of VGMs at the proposed development.

"In addition, Empire does not believe that such licenses can be obtained by Concord Associates or the MTGA under New York law and intends to vigorously oppose any request to obtain such licenses, including if necessary, by pursuing all of its available legal rights and remedies.

Mighty M sour grapes

It sure sounds like Empire just doesn't want any fair competition in the area. Of course if the Concord plans do go through it will certainly be the final nail in their coffin.