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THOMPSON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Decades of talk and debate are now just days away from reality.
On Thursday evening, CBS2 got an exclusive preview of the new casino in the Catskills – a $1 billion project that has already created more than 1,000 new jobs.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, the full Vegas-style Resorts World Catskills casino in Sullivan County will be ready to welcome customers in just two weeks.
Already, 1,000 employees are on the job. CBS2 got a guided tour from Resorts World vice president Charlie Degliomini.
In August, Degliomini showed CBS2 the raw space – the massive main casino floor. With 330 hotel rooms, the casino is the tallest building between White Plains and Albany.
Five months later, Drone Force 2 flew inside the casino and gave perspective – 2,100 slot machines and 150 table games were in place. A poker room was still under construction Thursday.
A bar was being wired Thursday to take bets on sporting events, pending approval in a court case.
“All depending on what happens at the Supreme Court, and obviously after regulation by the New York State Gaming Commission, we can flip the switch and go from a sports bar to a sports book,” Degliomini said.
Windows at the back of the gaming floor give a view of the rolling countryside. Every hotel room has a similar view, with luxury bedding and large “his and her” bathrooms.
To bring even more business to the struggling region, the casino also includes a huge events center.
“Twenty-seven thousand square feet — not a column in the room,” Degliomini said. “Space for conventions, concerts, trade shows, or sit-down dinner for 1,300 people.”
Deep inside the facility, employees are rushing to get everything in place for Feb. 8. More of them join every day.
A total of 400 positions are open on top of the 1,000 already filled.
“I’m so proud to be one of the first people; so proud to be one of the first bar backs at the casino,” said new hire Ira Conklin.
“A way to help save towards my daughter’s college tuition, towards bills,” said new hire Natalie Peart.
The building is designed to reflect the beautiful surrounding, and many hope, change the economic landscape.
The casino is part of an integrated resort that will soon include a golf course, and a family hotel attached to a large indoor water park.
The casino debate in the Catskills has been raging for decades. In 2003, Aiello covered one proposed project that ultimately didn’t wind up working out. He spoke with Donald Trump about what a casino would mean for the region.
Article Source: CBS New York