By Matt Youngfrau
SULLIVAN COUNTY March 27, 2001 The race to get gambling into Sullivan County seems to be heating up, as there are now three separate groups jockeying for position to build a casino in and around Monticello.
At the reconvened Town of Thompson board meeting on Friday, Supervisor Tony Cellini gave an update on those interested in bringing gambling to Sullivan County. Cellini along with Sullivan County Legislature Chair Rusty Pomeroy, Sullivan County Legislator Bob Kunis, Sullivan County Republican Committee Chair Greg Goldstein, and Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development Chair Gerry Skoda is on the countys Casino Advisory Committee.
Cellini announced that the committee had met with the newest group on Wednesday in Middletown. The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of American Indians from Bowler, Wisconsin has been quietly buying property near Exit 107 (Thompsonville Road) on Route 17 in the Town of Thompson. Their first step would be to build a casino and then, later, lodging. The tribe has amassed about 300 acres of property off Thompsonville Road.
The tribe is quite familiar with casinos, including operating them. The most notable among their holdings is the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.
Cellini also updated the public on the status of Park Place Entertainment. Park Place was expected to file their application yesterday for a casino at Kutsher's Country Club in Monticello. It would be the first step to constructing a casino at that location.
Cellini also addressed Catskill Development Corporation, the first group to propose a casino, this one at Monticello Raceway. The Indian tribe involved in the process, the Mohawks, opted at the last minute to go with Park Place, but Cellini stated that Catskill is set to have a meeting with New York State Governor George Pataki to discuss their situation. While Cellini said there have been denials from Catskill, Bolton-St. Johns (the lobbying group that represents the county in Albany) has confirmed the meeting.
Cellini added that he would contact Park Place to confirm they filed their application and would keep the public abreast of developments.