Mount Airy Lodge Project Clears Hurdle - Thursday 27th of April 2006

PENNSYLVANIA – As reported by the Morning Call: "Plans to build a casino at Mount Airy Lodge in the Poconos cleared another regulatory hurdle Tuesday night — two days before the state Gaming Control Board holds a hearing on its plans and that of a competitor seeking a license.

"Meanwhile, Pocono Manor, Mount Airy's competitor for a license to build a stand-alone casino that could hold as many as 5,000 slot machines, released a study showing convention business held at its hotel could generate as much as $200 million for area businesses.

"The Paradise Township Zoning Board voted unanimously to give Mount Airy three variances — one to improve the shoreline of a lake at the resort, another to help it improve a road leading to the proposed casino and a third to build a parking lot and a pond that will hold storm-water runoff.

"The company, which is owned by Scranton businessman Louis DeNaples, plans to improve the shoreline of the lake and build two stairs and a path that lead to the water's edge.

"…Dave Osbourne, an engineer with Ceco Associates of Scranton, told the zoning board no work will be done in the wetlands.

"…While Mount Airy officials were gaining regulatory approval, Pocono Manor was touting the impact its proposed 120,000 square feet of convention space would have on the economy of Tobyhanna Township and other municipalities.

"…Spectrum Gaming also concluded that convention business at Pocono Manor could generate as much as $1.7 million the Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau could use to market the region. Monroe County collects a 3 percent tax on hotel stays, and most of the money goes to the Vacation Bureau to market the area…"

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