The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

Howe Caverns partners with Michigan developers for Cobleskill casino

A rendering of the proposed Howe Caverns Resort and Casino.
A rendering of the proposed Howe Caverns Resort and Casino.
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A proposed casino at Howe Caverns will be named the Howe Caverns Resort and Casino and operated by Full House Resorts, Inc. based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Officials at Howe Caverns in Cobleskill plan to submit their application for a casino license with the state Gaming Commission this afternoon. They are partnering with Full House Resorts, which currently operates casinos in Indiana, Mississippi, Nevada and New Mexico.

A big name involved in the Cobleskill casino project is Lee Iacocca, who is on the Board of Directors of Full House. He is best known for engineering the Ford Mustang and Ford Pinto cars. He also served as president and CEO of Chrysler.

The proposed project for Howe Caverns includes a full-scale casino with two 250-room hotels. Plans also include a more than 50,000-square-foot water park, spas and several restaurants.

Michigan casino developer Michael Malik will own the casino. A price tag for the project was not disclosed. More details will be released in the coming weeks.

Michael Malik and his business partner Marian Ilitch spearheaded the development of three casinos in Detroit. Malik worked to open MotorCity Casino Hotel, which is the only locally owned and operated casino in Detroit.

Ilitch and her husband Mike founded Little Ceasers Pizza, the third largest pizza chain in the country. Ilitch also owns the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers.

Developers pitching casinos at four other sites in the Capital Region — Amsterdam, East Greenbush, Rensselaer and Schenectady — also plan to submit their applications to the Gaming Commission today.

Public presentations of all the projects will be held in late summer. The Gaming Commission’s Facility Location Board will choose sites for a casino in the fall. Four casino licenses will be awarded in three upstate New York regions — the Capital Region, Catskills and the Southern Tier.

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