‘Ready, set, Lago!’: Construction advances at site of future $425M Seneca County casino
Posted on February 3rd, 2016
TYRE | Dump trucks are rolling in and out. Parking areas have been paved. And with Friday’s beam signing ceremony at the future Lago Resort & Casino site, buildings will be erected.
For Wilmorite Chairman Tom Wilmot Sr., the lead developer of the project and Lago’s co-chair, it’s an achievement that is more than two decades in the making. He’s wanted to build a casino in the Finger Lakes region, including a proposal 10 years ago to construct a gaming resort in Cayuga County.
Those plans never materialized.
But after signing his name on a beam that will be used to build the casino, Wilmot said he’s excited for Lago’s future.
“I would say you get a real shot of adrenaline from the 500 people who came out to support us today,” he said. “It’s wonderful.”
The resort will include a casino with 2,000 slot machines and 85 table games, a 200-room hotel, 40,000-square-foot indoor pool and 10,000-square-foot spa.
Several restaurants will be on site and visitors will be able to attend concerts and other events at The Vine, the casino’s entertainment venue.
Other amenities include Savor New York, a retail pavilion promoting products made in the Empire State.
The project will create as many as 1,800 construction jobs and 1,800 permanent jobs once the casino is built.
Brent Stevens, co-chairman of Lago and founder of Peninsula Pacific, a firm which manages casinos, said more than 3,000 people have expressed interest in working at Lago.
“We could not be more excited to be part of the economic resurgence of this beautiful region in upstate New York,” he said. “And we believed two years ago, when we first had the opportunity to come and meet with Tom and the entire family and hear this opportunity, that we just might be right. And today, thanks in no small part to all of you here, we know we’re right. Lago is going to be a game changer.”
Stevens and Wilmot, along with Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle and local officials, were the first to sign the beam that will be used to construct the facility. Everyone who attended Friday’s event — an estimated 500 people — were invited to sign their names to the large beam.
Wilmot said crews will begin installing the steel Saturday and heating and plumbing work will commence in the next two weeks. Roofers should be on the site in about a month, he said.
Lago is projected to open in the first half of 2017.
There has been a plenty of controversy surrounding the project. A group of Tyre residents has banded together and filed lawsuits challenging the casino.
Outside of Seneca County, Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack in Farmington and the Oneida Indian Nation, which owns Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona and Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango, have spoken out against Lago. The entities say the Tyre casino will cannibalize gaming revenues, which could lead to job losses at their respective facilities.
After the state Gaming Commission awarded Lago a casino license, the Oneidas filed a lawsuit challenging the panel’s decision.
If Wilmot is worried about the lawsuit, he isn’t showing it. On Friday, he said he’s looking forward to competing with existing upstate casinos.
“We’re confident we’re going to give the customer the best experience they can have,” he said.