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Howe Caverns Casino? Owner Makes Pitch to Local Leaders

Written By Editor on 3/15/14 | 3/15/14


A casino might be coming to Schoharie County after all.

In a meeting between representatives of Howe Caves Development Corp., LLC and Senator James Seward, Assemblyman Pete Lopez, members of Congressman Chris Gibson's staff, as well as other local officials earlier this week, Cobleskill businessman Emil Galasso, who wasn't present at the meeting but whose daughter and staff was, announced Howe Caverns' interest in hosting one of the seven casinos approved in last year's statewide ballot measure on their sprawling property.

Howe Caverns
Mr. Galasso, who purchased the popular natural attraction in 2007 with businessman Charles Wright, touted the property's 330 acres of shovel ready development approved land in a press release filed Friday evening, in which he stated that after, "long consideration, he and members of his team have officially decided to pursue the process for the Howe Caverns property to be considered."

Adding that Schoharie County has suffered economically from the destruction wrought by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee's effects in August 2011, Mr. Galasso believes the proposal could spur local job growth, infrastructure repairs, and restore economic value to the county and surrounding areas, if approved. 

Pubic sentiment, however, is mixed on the idea of welcoming a casino into the county. Local residents approved the statewide ballot measure by just two hundred votes last fall, while the Board of Supervisors voted down a resolution last month that would have signaled the county's willingness to host a gaming venue. In addition, 53% of Schoharie News readers opposed the idea in a recent survey

Thanking local leaders for attending the meeting, Mr. Galasso concluded that based on his forty-five years of experience as a businessman, he found that in comparison to other proposed sites that Howe Caverns had to, "make the most sense due to its location, economic activity, opportunity for business development and beauty of the Schoharie Valley."
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5 comments:

upstateny1000 said...

Will this be in addition to the giant mechanical dinosaurs, the world-class hotel and the waterpark or instead of it? Beware taxpayers, even though you paid millions for Maranatha’s big empty building, millions for water and sewer lines to Howes Caves, and thousands in defaulted loans by the County Industrial Development Agency, it sounds like you may have a hand in your pocket yet again to pay for another local’s developer’s “big dream.”

Maybe the taxpayers of Schoharie County can ante up to make Centre Park ready to host the Summer Olympics or the old Rite Aid building suitable for the world headquarters of Microsoft. Regardless of the plan you can bet the State will give it a grant, County will make it tax exempt and give it low interest loans and the Towns will issue variances like they were handing out free tickets to the circus. Which in some way, I guess they are.

some guy said...

Where's the water park they said they were building last year? Still haven't started it I bet. Isn't Howe caverns set up as a family place? I seriously doubt a casino is gonna have a playland.

ria shaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Schoharie County make sure that your property taxes and education taxes are lowered. This is how it is done in other states I have lived in. (TN - No property; higher sales tax) the state makes so much money on tourism alone. The higher sales tax being paid by all tourist and state citizens cover it. Make sure you hold your State and local reps accountable for whatever is decided.

ria shaw said...

We need economic growth. Just thinking, there's 20 residences, 1 commercial property that have been vacant for at least 3 years, as well as two roads closed for 4 years or more - within a one mile radius of Howe Caverns.

In the 1/4 mile between our house and Howe Caverns, there's one road closed, and 6 residences vacant.

"We" can't keep chasing viable business opportunities away from this area, or this area is going to continue to falter. Obviously we already have begun, or these roads wouldn't be closed due to DPW neglect and lack of funds to make the necessary repairs.

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