- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The prospective owners of a casino in Allegany County have scaled back their proposal because they’ve been unable to secure financing.
Evitts Resort LLC, which intends to settle on its purchase of the Rocky Gap resort Friday, originally planned to build an addition to house 850 slot machines.
But Timothy Cope, the company’s president, told the state Video Lottery Facility Location Commission on Tuesday that third-party financing had not materialized.
Evitts now plans to put a 500-machine facility in the hotel’s existing conference space, and then add additional meeting space within the next 36 months.
“[The new plan] is something we are prepared to write the check for,” Cope said. “We don’t need third-party financing for this proposal.”
The commission unanimously approved the amended proposal Tuesday.
State law allows Evitts to place slot machines inside the hotel, and the revised proposal did not change the terms of the lease for the site and therefore did not need new approval by the state Board of Public Works, said Donald C. Fry, chairman of the commission.
While Evitts’ initial proposal was expected to cost $65 million, the scaled-down version would cost in the mid- to high-$20 million range, Cope said.
Cope now says the Rocky Gap casino could be up and running by the second quarter of 2013 rather than in the summer of 2013, the date initially projected.
Rocky Gap was one of five approved slot machine locations in the state in 2008, but failed to attract an investor. As an incentive, lawmakers last year lowered the state’s share of slots revenue at the location from 67 percent to 50 percent.