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Peek inside Resorts World Catskills, new player in Upstate N

Source:sites edit:casino time:2018-02-01

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Michael Greenlar

By Don Cazentre | Syracuse.com

Would you bet $1 billion to start a business in a market that experts call “over saturated?”  Would you start that business knowing that all your recently opened competitors are failing to make the money they expected?

The people behind the Resorts World Catskills casino near Monticello in Sullivan County are taking that bet. They are opening the initial phase of their project Feb. 8, amid widespread reports that the Upstate New York 

The Resorts World team seems to be confident this casino will be different.

“This is not a typical regional casino,” Resorts World Catskills public relations manager Talya Shlang said while leading a recent tour during the final phase of pre-opening construction. “We have more of a high-end, curated experience than you’ll find at other casinos. We have amenities you won’t find in other places. And we have a special focus on Asian-American customers others don’t have.”

Photo: The hotel at Resorts World Casino is visible through the skylight in the resort lobby. 

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Michael Greenlar

Photo: A craps table at the Resorts World Catskills casino in Sullivan County.

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Michael Greenlar

Resorts World Catskills is located near the site of the former Concord Hotel, once the largest of the famed “Borscht Belt” era Catskills resorts that drew thousands of summer visitors, primarily from New York City. Its backers don’t hesitate to throw around the word “luxury” when describing it. They proudly point to its setting amid the scenic hills of the southern Catskills.

“You’ll see lots of windows, letting the light in and showcasing out beautiful place in the mountains,” Shlang said. “It’s not dim like many casinos. We are part of the local environment.”

Photo: The  hotel at Resorts World Catskills. About 150 rooms (all suites) will open Feb. 8; the rest in late March.


Among the advantages that may help Resorts World Catskills compete with other Upstate casinos: It’s closer to New York City and its suburbs than the other “Vegas-style” casinos that opened in Upstate New York in the past 13 months. The Catskills resort just off Route 17 is about 90 miles from Manhattan. That’s closer than del Lago Resort Casino near Waterloo in the Finger Lakes, Rivers Casino Resort in Schenectady and the racino-turned casino at Tioga Downs, in Nichols west of Binghamton.

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