[IMGCAP(1)]MONTICELLO, NY-Empire Resorts Inc.’s JV partner, Concord Associates LP, has completed a $225 million equity loan financing with Entertainment Properties Trust, a Kansas City-based REIT. Together with Valhalla, NY-based Cappelli Enterprises’ investment in the redevelopment of the proposed Concord Resort and Hotel in the Town of Thompson, NY, this financing completes the equity of $300 million required under the new state legislation signed by Gov. David Paterson in earlier this summer. Gov. Paterson and state legislative leaders previously agreed on a tax rate revenue modification for the racino–combined racetrack and casino–at Monticello Raceway. The County of Sullivan Industrial Development Agency, has also revealed the $300 million dollar IDA bond financing is integral to the total $1.1 billion dollar project.

[IMGCAP(2)]Plans for the new Concord Resort call for the construction of a 750-room hotel; approximately 300,000 sf of casino, ballrooms, meeting rooms, retail, entertainment and other commercial uses; the relocation of Monticello Raceway to the property to be re-branded as Concord Downs; the development of a 125-room Hotel and Spa; and the reconstruction of the existing golf courses including “the Monster” to be branded by a world-renowned golf course designer. Negotiations by Concord Associates are currently underway to bring a themed hotel and indoor water park to the resort.

David Hanlon, CEO of Empire Resorts, says in a prepared statement that the completion of the equity financing and the pending IDA financing “mark two critical milestones for our company.” Hanlon continues that “we are hopeful that foundation building permits will be issued in the next few days with concrete work for the new hotel and convention center to begin almost immediately. Demolition of the former structures on the site, which began late spring, is complete.”

Louis Cappelli, Concord Associates managing member, says in a prepared statement that the completion of the equity financing and the Sullivan County IDA’s action, allows the redevelopment of the Concord Resort to take a step toward becoming a reality. “The economic incentives provided by the IDA combined with the closing of our equity financing will spur the long overdue revitalization of the Catskills.”

Since 1999, Capelli’s firm has had a $100-million investment in Sullivan County, in terms of site work at the site, infrastructure improvements, enhancements to the Monster Golf Course at the Concord, as well as, in taxes paid for the properties it owns. Cappelli says his revised development plan of more than $1 billion is necessary, because without casino gaming, a project of this size is required to serve as a catalyst for growth elsewhere in Sullivan County. Cappelli also owns the Grossingers resort in Ferndale and has an option to purchase Kutsher’s Sports Academy in Monticello.

Following the tax rate revenue modification, Gov. Paterson said in a prepared statement that “there was a time when the Catskills were the pre-eminent vacation destination on the entire East Coast. The beauty and majesty of the region has not changed, and this deal will help return the Catskills to their former glory, a destination spot. …Government and the private sector have worked together to structure a deal that will at least double the amount of money for education that the State expected to generate from the Monticello Racetrack and to create 2,000 permanent new jobs.” Sources did not return GlobeSt.com queries by deadline.

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