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Casino Plans Advancing
On Multiple Fronts

By John Emerson
MONTICELLO — July 21, 2000 – While Arthur Goldberg and Park Place Entertain-ment move forward with plans to build an Indian casino and resort on property near Kutsher’s Country Club, it seems that Catskill Development is still fighting for a casino at Monticello Raceway.
Monday, Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini, Councilman Richard Sush and Monticello Mayor Gary Sommers met with Park Place’s lawyer, Clive Cummis, to learn more about the plans for a casino on a 60-acre parcel near Kutsher’s Sports Academy on Anawana Lake Road. Cellini said the discussion centered on the company’s plans to file an application with the Bureau of Indian Affairs for a trust casino within the next 30 days.
“They’re bringing their team up, hiring a traffic consultant and getting things going,” Cellini said. “[Cummis] told me that their application was going to be filed within a month with the BIA.”
The newly proposed site must receive approvals from the BIA before it can be taken into trust for the Mohawk tribe and a casino can be built. In the meantime, principals of Catskill Development reportedly are still courting the Cayuga tribe as a possible replacement for their site at Monticello Raceway, which has already received federal approval.
Heightening speculation that Catskill Development may be nearing some kind of an agreement, Catskill Development’s Robert Berman and other officials had lunch Monday with Mitchell Grossinger Etess, a top official at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.
Etess, who grew up in Sullivan County and whose family ran Grossinger’s Hotel, could not be reached for comment. Catskill Development officials declined to comment on the meeting.
While all this is going on, Senator Charles Schumer, who is a strong supporter of Indian gaming for the county, is still trying to arrange a meeting between officials from Catskill and Park Place to try to hammer out an agreement that will allow construction to begin quickly.
Although Catskill has an approved site, they are currently lacking a tribal connection that would allow them to move forward on their plans.
The St. Regis Mohawks, the tribe originally associated with Catskill’s application, have contracted with Goldberg and Park Place to build and manage a casino in Sullivan County.
Sources within Catskill Develop-ment said that they have agreed to meet separately with Schumer within the next week or so to discuss their plans and their vision of the project. They have not yet agreed to sit at the same table with Goldberg, although they say they have not totally ruled out the possible meeting.

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