Resorts World Catskills won’t open until next spring, but the Upstate New York property is already stepping up in the local community and becoming a valued asset to the region.

Resorts World Catskills New York

Resorts World Catskills is holding dealer training schools, as it’s looking to hire 600 casino dealers before opening in March. (Image: Jim Sabastian/Times Herald-Record)

Monticello, the town where the $1.2 billion casino resort is being built, revealed this week that owners of Resort World have donated $3 million to the town in order to replace the village’s rusted 70-year-old water tank. The contribution will cover nearly all of the $3.75 million project.

“It’s another win for Monticello,” Mayor Doug Solomon told the Times Herald-Record. The mayor said the town is in fiscal ruin, but he’s optimistic that the resort will energize the community and bring economic prosperity to the small settlement.

Hiring Spree

Resorts World parent company Genting Group is banking on New Yorkers and those in the northeast once again making the Catskills a year-round vacation destination. Located approximately 100 miles northwest of Manhattan and just 40 miles southwest of the state capital of Albany, the Catskills offer hiking and camping in the warmer months, and skiing during the winter.

Over the years, however, tourism has disappeared. “I’m hoping for a resurgence,” Solomon explained. “There’s a lack of single-family home ownership. There’s a lack of resident ownership, with a lot of absentee landlords, and the deterioration of neighborhoods.”

A $1 billion investment will help. Monticello is presently home to just 6,500 residents. Resorts World Catskills says it needs to fill over 2,000 employment positions to operate the 332-room hotel and spa, and 100,000 square foot casino.

Revenue Projections

Resorts World Catskills underwent a name change last spring from the Montreign Resort Casino to its present name. The company said the name switch was to include the allure of the Catskills to the venue.

When it opens in March of 2018, Resorts World will be hoping to find a different fate compared with the three other commercial casinos in Upstate New York.

Tioga Downs in Nichols, Rivers Casino near Albany, and del Lago in the Finger Lakes are all failing to meet revenue expectations predicted before they opened their doors.

That’s leading to reduced gaming taxes for state coffers, but the New York Gaming Commission says it’s far too early to judge financial results.

“It is entirely premature to give credence to any analysis of how well the casinos are operating. In fact, the Gaming Facility Location Board asked specifically for estimated gaming projections for THIRD year of operation in its 2014 Request for Applications. Such an estimate is a better metric for analysis, as it assumed all four facilities would be fully constructed and operational, and have at least two years to establish themselves in the region and marketplace,” the gaming agency said in a release.

In 2013, New York authorized the construction of four commercial casinos upstate to provide an economic boost to struggling regions. A total of 17 applicants bid for the four licenses.

Resorts Would is the costliest of the gaming resorts.