Monday, October 12, 2009

No Deal Yet On Mohegan Pocono Hotel

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An official for the Mohegan's Pennsylvania racetrack-slot parlor discussed the possibility of adding a hotel to the location in Saturday's edition of a Pennsylvania newspaper.

Mohegan Sun considers plan for 300-room hotel
By Nicholas Sohr
The Times-Tribune
October 10, 2009

PLAINS TWP. - Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs has applied for preliminary construction approvals for a 300-room hotel and convention center after hoteliers approached the casino about forming a partnership, a casino official confirmed Friday.

"We're very preliminary right now," said Jim Wise, a Mohegan Sun vice president. "It is not an indication we have a direct timeline to build a hotel. We are trying to cross all the t's, dot all the i's and go through the preparation hurdles so that if a deal would be struck, it would allow us or any sort of partnership to begin working sooner."

Space for a hotel is included in the casino's master plan between the two main entrances.

Mr. Wise said discussions with the hoteliers began about a year ago.

"Those conversations are starting to become a little more frequent and a little more detailed," he said. "Although people appear interested, I don't know if that's going to lead to a contractual agreement."

According to the documents filed, the hotel would have about 300 rooms and space for a convention center.

Mr. Wise said the details are all hypothetical.

"It's a framework - could go down or could go up - but that is in the ballpark," he said. "There's dozens of details that we've made no determination on yet."

Mohegan Sun opened its $208 million Project Sunrise expansion in July 2008. The circular, 300,000-square-foot facility more than doubled the number of slot machines, added dining, retail and entertainment options, and has consistently boosted revenue since its opening.

In September, the state Gaming Control Board reported $227 million in wagers at Mohegan Sun, compared to $190 million a year earlier and $183 million in September 2007.

Mr. Wise said Mohegan Sun officials are keeping a watchful eye on a bill legalizing table games - poker, blackjack, roulette, craps and other dice and card games - as part of the state budget package.

"Adding tables expands our offering and makes us closer to being that type of full-service gaming operation we've always wanted to be," he said.