Casino project slated for Ulster County gets the go ahead in court. Ulster County officials say Claremont investments, which is a casino developer, is approved to buy the Nevele Hotel for $1.7 million.
“The initial reaction is what I would call tempered excitement,” said Jeffrey Kaplan, mayor of Ellenville. “This is a process, we’re all aware of that and this was step one.”
The historic Nevele resort closed its doors in 2009 with massive debt and the property in total disrepair. Claremont Investments LLC now owns the property. The opening date must await casino legislation.
“Anyone who thinks this is going to result in immediate construction or a hotel opening, that’s not going to happen,” said Kaplan.
“What happens next is we start listening,” said Michael Treanor, a partner for the new ownership, Claremont Investments. “We take meetings in Ellenville and Wawarsing, you know then we take it to Kingston and talk on the county level and hopefully get a consensus and we bring that to Albany.”
The Nevele casino resort could provide over a thousand jobs to Wawarsing, This could reinvent the area. “The future of Nevele and of casino gambling now sits in the hands of state lawmakers and a vote by all New Yorkers.”
The Legislation could pass as early as November of 2013, but without approving gambling, the dollars and cents of an updated hotel just doesn’t add up.
“It would take somewhere between $40 and $50 million to renovate that property for use as a resort,” said Treanor.
“The math just isn’t there,” said Scott Carlsen, supervisor of Wawarsing. “You can’t generate enough revenue simply as a hotel to pay the debt load that is against it.”
“Claremont Investments is betting big on the casino. They’ll pay a million-and-a-half dollars owed in back taxes and $100,000 owed to Nevele workers. And if they win, local officials think they’ll hit the jackpot as well.”
“They want to connect to the local community, connect to the restaurants, connect to the theater,” said Carlsen.
“Nevele would offer a real jewel,” continued Kaplan, “and really start a rehabilitation and restoration of the area after a recession that hit us very hard.”