Wynn Resorts to Enter Philly Casino Sweepstakes
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PHILADELPHIA–Casino and hotel mogul Steve Wynn confirmed reports that his firm will file plans with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board by this Thursday’s (Nov. 15) deadline for approval to build a casino on property in the Fishtown section of the city.
Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts Ltd., based in Las Vegas, plans initially to build a 150,000-square-foot casino that will feature 100 table games. The project also includes a 300-room all-suites hotel on approximately 60 acres.
“We are excited about Philadelphia and the opportunity afforded by our piece of property on the banks of the Delaware River,” Wynn says in a prepared statement. “It allows for a luxury hotel complex and the introduction of the Wynn brand to Philadelphia. Our proposed resort begins with a hotel, retail esplanade, restaurants and entertainment, and can grow as the market progresses and we build a clientele.”
The company did not release a projected cost for the casino venture, although it states that each hotel room would total approximately 900 square feet.
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Wynn Resorts is expected to be among a number of developers vying for the second casino license (Category 2 Slot Machine License and Table Games Certificate) in the City of Philadelphia. The opportunity for the second casino resulted from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s decision in December 2010 to revoke a license awarded four years earlier to Philadelphia Entertainment & Development Partners, LP to build and open the $600-million Foxwoods Casino Philadelphia. Wynn Resorts for a short time was a partner in the Foxwoods project. The control board awarded two casino licenses in Philadelphia in December 2006—one for the Foxwoods project and the other to HSO Gaming, LP, which opened its SugarHouse Casino in September 2010. However, Philadelphia Entertainment failed to build and open the Foxwoods project.
Wynn Resorts announced in February 2010 it had entered into a letter of intent with Philadelphia Entertainment and Development Partners, LP, provided that an affiliate of Wynn would become the manager and managing general partner in the casino project slated for the Philadelphia waterfront. However, less than two months later Wynn Resorts reported it had terminated all agreements and negotiations with respect to its potential investment in the Foxwoods Casino project in Philadelphia.
Steve Wynn said at that time, “We are fascinated by the legalization of full gaming in Pennsylvania and stimulated by the opportunity that it presents for Wynn Resorts, but this particular project did not, in the end, present an opportunity that was appropriate for our company.”
On his proposal that will be submitted this week to the Pennsylvania Gaming and Control Board, Wynn states, “Our assignment is to build a facility that brings people from outside the city into the city. We hope to create a resort of a caliber not currently in existence on the eastern seaboard.”
Wynn Resorts owns and operates the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore casino and hotel, which features two luxury hotel towers of 4,750 rooms, suites and villas and 186,000 sf of casino space. The firm also own and operates Wynn Macau, a 1,008-room hotel and casino in the Macau Special Administrative region in China that offers 265,000 sf of gaming space.
For more insight on lodging and hospitality sector, check out GlobeSt.com's NEW columnist, HREC Investment Advisors' Geoffrey E. Davis, as he provides insights on the current state of hotel investment.
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