Public forum tonight on Albany casino proposal

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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— Members of the public will get a chance to weigh in on the prospects of a casino locating on the city’s outskirts near state Thruway Exit 23.

Capital Gaming, a limited liability corporation established by the Rochester-based Flaum Management Co., is expected to discus the $300 million casino and resort near the interchange during a public form at 6:30 tonight in the Giffen Memorial Elementary School. Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin and other city officials are also expected to be in attendance.

The partnership between Capital District OTB and developer David Flaum is proposing to build a 63,000-square-foot casino, 275-room resort-style hotel and 40,000-square-foot indoor water park on the 60-acre site. Albany’s Common Council introduced a resolution supporting the casino last week. The wooded site owned by the family of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is among about a half-dozen being considered for one of four casino licenses offered by the state. Though the group has not identified the operator expected to apply for the license, they are the only one to outline some of the main details about their casino proposal.

The proposal, dubbed “E23,” also appears to be gaining support from both city officials and the business community. On Tuesday, a group of 41 Capital Region business owners announced the formation of an alliance to support the proposal.

Among them are Huck Finn’s Jeff Sperber, Bombers Burrito Bar owner Matt Baumgartner, and Angelo Mazzone of Mazzone Hospitality. Mazzone, who operates the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia and Aperitivo Bistro in downtown Schenectady, said the proposal could be “a significant piece of Albany’s bright future.”

“We’ll see an increase in tourism, and jobs, and with those increases come many benefits,” he said in a released statement.

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