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Howe Caverns Casino Submits Application, Announces Owner

Written By Editor on 6/30/14 | 6/30/14


Editor's Note: The Schoharie News was excluded from the casino's original press release blitz, but we were sent a copy of the news from another media outlet to ensure immediate, local coverage of the important announcement. Below is the original release.

Howes Cave, NY – The Howe Caverns Resort and Casino today submitted its formal application to the New York State Gaming Commission for consideration of one of the four casino gaming licenses to be awarded this fall.

The submission of the application makes it official that Howe Caverns Resort and Casino is in the running for a license in the Capital Region.

Howe Caverns Resort and Casino also announced its owner and operator of the proposed resort.

The owner and developer is Michael J. Malik.  Mr. Malik has successfully developed casinos all around the world.  He is a successful entrepreneur in the gaming, sporting and entertainment industries. He initiated his career as a consultant and developer in Indian gaming during the 1980’s.

Since 1988, Mr. Malik has been a pioneer in the casino development industry, including major projects in California, Michigan, and New York.

Outside of the gaming industry, Mr. Malik is the owner of MJM Enterprises and Development.  He is involved in a variety of development projects, including hunting and fishing preserves, financing touring entertainment acts and developing business expansion projects.

Mr. Malik has been a real estate developer and licensed broker for more than 25 years.  He has developed many commercial projects and specializes in resort development, industrial parks, retail shopping malls and urban development. 

“The first time I saw the site, I knew it was a winner,“ Malik said.  “I’ve developed many resort destinations before and this site has all the ingredients needed to be a successful destination resort,” Malik continued.

“I’ve enjoyed learning about Howe Caverns and the Schoharie Community.  I look forward to learning more as we build upon the existing successful tourist attraction, breath taking scenic views, and close proximity to major highway’s, to attract visitors for miles,” Malik concluded.

Howe Caverns Resort and Casino also announced the resort operator will be Full House Resorts, Inc.

Full House Resorts and its management team have a track record of success with gaming projects in Nevada, Michigan, Indiana, Delaware, Oregon, South Dakota, Atlantic City, Louisiana, New South Wales, and Australia.

Full House specializes in regional resorts and has enjoyed much success in developing casino projects similar to the proposed Howe Caverns Resort and Casino.

Full House Resorts is headquartered in Nevada.  One of their original founders is former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca.

“We are pleased to join the team at Howe Caverns Resort and Casino to produce a top-notch resort and casino,” said Andre M. Hilliou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Full House Resorts Inc.

“We look forward to working with Michael Malik, the team at Howe Caverns and the State Gaming Commission to develop a complex that has the potential to become one of New York’s premiere tourist destinations,” Hilliou continued.

Emil Galasso, owner of Howe Caverns said, “I am not only pleased that we were able to attract two of the best partners in the industry, but these are good people who will be a benefit to the entire Schoharie Community.”

“All along, I have held that we have the best site with the most potential to develop a successful resort and casino in the entire region, today, our chances got even better,” Galasso concluded.

The proposed resort includes a world class gaming facility with a 10-floor luxury hotel along with a contemporary waterpark and a second hotel.  The resort will include a number of dining opportunities including a fine dining restaurant.

The proposed project also includes the addition of a dinosaur theater as an added attraction at Howe Caverns.  The resort is anchored by the existing adventure attractions at the historic Howe Caverns.

The next phase will be to demonstrate to the New York State Casino Location Board that the Howe Caverns Resort and Casino is deserving of one of the four potential licenses.

With 330 acres of REAL shovel ready land that has a fully completed SEQRA study and on-site water and sewer capacity, the Howe Caverns Resort and Casino is well positioned to quickly develop from initial approval to grand opening.  

It is also the only site to include an existing tourist attraction.  Howe Caverns, the second oldest natural attraction in New York State, welcomes over 200,000 visitors each year.

Gaming, a waterpark, fine dining, and luxury accommodations will compliment the existing Howe Caverns adventure attractions drawing visitors from all across the U.S.

Most importantly, the proposed development also has the potential for the greatest positive impact on a community.  Suffering from a struggling economy, one of the highest unemployment rates in the state and continued recovery from devastating floods, Schoharie County stands to see a greater economic impact than any other potential location.

Built on a modern business model that relies on bringing new money into the region and state and not just recirculating existing dollars, the resort will grow Schoharie County tourism to the level of the Cooperstown/Otsego County area creating a regional tourism powerhouse that will benefit the entire State. 

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