Front Desk

Gaming at Nemocolin Woodlands?

I'd almost forgotten that Pennsylvania approved limited casino gaming back in 2004. To date, seven of a possible 14 gaming facilities are open. Yesterday, the state gaming board approved a license for its first so-called resort casino at the Valley Forge Convention Center, a complex that includes two hotels and meeting space and will add a 500-slot casino parlor later this year or early in 2010.

The story now becomes who gets the state's other resort gaming license. (The law approved seven racetrack casinos, five standalone casinos and two in resorts. The resort casinos can each have 500 slot machines; the others, 5,000). Anyway, one early bidder for the other resort license was Nemacolin Woodlands, the plush resort built by 84 Lumber magnate Joseph Hardy deep in the woods of western Pennsylvania.

The hotel withdrew its application, leaving a group in the Poconos as the only other applicant. Now word comes from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Nemacolin might be back in the hunt for a license.

The property could get a shot in the arm with the addition of slots, assuming it's done tastefully. The property is plush with great accommodations and facilities, but it must be hurting these days since it's bread-and-butter business is meetings and conventions.

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