Foxwoods eyes Liberty
Story by Dan Hust
LIBERTY June 4, 2013 The longtime owner of 500 acres adjacent to Liberty’s former Grossinger’s Resort has taken a notable step toward realizing a casino resort here.
This week, Muss Development of New York City announced it’s partnering with Foxwoods operator of one of the world’s largest casinos, located in Connecticut to build a casino and destination resort.
“I think we’ve found a very good partner,” said Muss’ chief operating officer, Jeff Kay, yesterday.
The resort’s construction would be dependent on gaining state approval for a casino and would be located on acreage next door to the original Grossinger’s and its golf course, along Route 52 and Grossinger Lake.
The current owner of Grossinger’s actual hotel site is Louis Cappelli, whom Kay said is not involved in Muss/Foxwood’s project.
Kay explained that Muss and Foxwoods have been in talks for the past two months and are close to signing a written agreement.
Though they continue to await State Legislature action on where to site casinos statewide plus a public vote on legalizing gaming Kay indicated that after nearly 30 years of ownership, Muss is ready to start work.
“Now is a really good time to come together and move forward,” he affirmed.
Foxwoods makes sense, Kay added, because “they’re a proven operator . . . not in an urban setting, but a setting like the Catskills.”
And the company has the expertise to create a resort around the casino.
“Foxwoods brings more than a casino,” Kay stated. “... It’s an entire entertainment complex.”
“We are extremely interested in developing a destination resort casino in the Catskills, and the 500-acre Muss site at Grossinger’s is perfectly situated to accomplish that goal,” said Scott Butera, Foxwoods Resort and Casino President and CEO.
Neither party seems worried or even competitive with the other groups vying for casinos in Monticello and Ellenville.
“The more in the Catskills, the better,” said Kay, pointing out that Foxwoods is only a few miles from the other major Connecticut casino, Mohegan Sun (which is also a player in the local casino effort).
“We believe that having more than one resort casino in the Catskills will help drive the governor’s vision of promoting a world-class tourist destination,” Butera commented. “Over the last several weeks, we have been working with Muss to develop a plan to move forward. Together, we look forward to continuing our discussions with local and state elected officials.”
Muss is now preparing to approach the Town and Village of Liberty, the latter for sewer services.
Kay doesn’t yet have a timeline or conceptual sketches, but he expressed confidence that Muss has the room and now the expertise, through Foxwoods to undertake “a top-notch project.”
“There’s a lot of land to work with,” he confirmed. “We want to make sure we do it right.”