Nemacolin casino construction begins
By Liz Zemba
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Construction on a $50 million casino at a Fayette County resort has begun, and a mid-summer opening is projected, according to a resort spokesman.
Work on the Lady Luck Casino at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington began in early October, shortly after the state Supreme Court upheld its gaming license, said Jeff Nobers, resort spokesman.
Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., which will run the gaming facility, has projected a July opening, Nobers said.
“It's moving along a little more quickly than they anticipated,” Nobers said.
Nobers said construction is under the direction of Isle of Capri. Jill Alexander, senior director of corporate communications for the group, did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Construction on the casino was put on hold because Mason-Dixon resort near Gettysburg challenged the state Gaming Control Board's decision to grant Nemacolin the last Category 3 resort gaming license in April 2011.
In affirming the gaming board's decision, the Supreme Court rejected Mason-Dixon's contention Nemacolin was ineligible and its allegations the board was politically influenced.
Mason-Dixon was denied the license in April, as were West Shore casino near Harrisburg and Fernwood Resort & Casino in the Poconos.
Nemacolin officials have said gambling there would generate $1.3 million a year in taxes for Wharton Township, $2.1 million for Fayette County and $37.7 million for the state. The gaming board report said the license will create 400 jobs related to the casino and 200 additional jobs at the resort hotel.
The 70,000-square-foot Lady Luck Casino will be located in the resort's former 48,000-square-foot Wildside arcade. It will have 600 slot machines, 28 table games and a restaurant and lounge.
Nobers said a bowling alley, video-game arcade, climbing wall and billiard tables were among the items that had to be removed from the Wildside facility to accommodate the casino.
Several additions will be made to the Wildside building to make space for the casino's table games and an office, Nobers said.
Other than the interior climbing wall, most of the items that were taken out of the Wildside facility have been relocated to Nemacolin's new Sundial Lodge, Nobers said.
The original Sundial Ski Lodge, built in 1995, was destroyed by fire in February. The rebuilt facility, under the new name Sundial Lodge, will open on Christmas Eve.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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