Mount Airy Resort & Casino Plan Advances - Wednesday 19th of April 2006

PARADISE TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania – Mount Airy Resort & Casino cleared another hurdle as the Paradise Township Planning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to recommend that the Township Board of Supervisors review and approve Phase I of a $360 million plan to redevelop the site of the former Mt. Airy Lodge.

"With this action, Mount Airy continues to be well ahead in seeking to secure a gaming license for the region," said Mount Airy owner Louis A. DeNaples. "The Planning Commission's recommendation puts us one step closer to our goal of building a resort and casino that will bolster the economy of the entire region. Best of all, this project will complement - not compete with - existing businesses and attractions in the Poconos."

Phase I of the redevelopment plan calls for the construction of a 200-room luxury resort hotel, a gaming and entertainment complex that would house 3,000 slot machines, four restaurants, two live entertainment lounges, an 18-hole championship golf course, an indoor pool, spa, retail shops, and a covered parking facility.

Phase I construction is estimated at $300 million, which would be followed in Phase II with an expanded casino to accommodate a total of 5,000 slot machines, an additional 200 luxury hotel rooms, and additional conference, entertainment and parking facilities. The plan also provides nearly 550 acres of green space.

The project will create 300 construction jobs and 650 full-time jobs when complete. During its first year of operation, Mount Airy Resort & Casino will generate $83 million in state and local tax assessments. That figure is expected to grow to $161 million by the resort's fifth year in operation. The project also is expected to generate $69.3 million in total economic output during its first year and $134 million by year five.

The Planning Commission attached a number of conditions to its vote. Conditions include securing state, county and local permits; completing the design for a pedestrian bridge, and obtaining approval from the Department of Environmental Protection on the storm water management plan.

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