Finger Lakes Casino Clears More Hurdles

The Tyre Town Board approved several measures in favor of the proposed $465 million Lago Resort & Casino and might give final approval this month. The casino project also awaits final state approval and would include a six-story hotel along with 85 gaming tables, 2,000 slots, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

The Tyre, New York, Town Board during an October 15 meeting said there would no adverse effects from the proposed 5 million Lago Resort & Casino and approved the project’s development application for the 85-acre site located on Thruway Exit 41 between Rochester and Syracuse and approved creating a planned unit development district that would enable the casino’s construction.

Board members said the project would maintain the area’s rural integrity and agricultural production while improving its economic prospects.

The town still must review and approve the casino’s site plan and a community mitigation plan.

Officials for Wilmorite, owner of the proposed casino project, said they were enthusiastic about the board’s actions, which indicated it might approve the project during its October 22 meeting.

The Lago casino is among four recommended for casino licenses by the New York Gaming Facility Location Board but awaiting final approval by the New York State Gaming Commission, which is conducting final background checks on the owners of the four proposed casinos.

Wilmorite CEO Thomas Wilmot wants to build a casino with room for 2,000 slots, 85 table games, a six-story hotel with 207 rooms, plus restaurants, entertainment, and a parking structure.

Wilmorite started construction earlier this year, but a judge ordered work stopped and a new environmental impact study done after concluding the initial review was not done properly by the Tyre Town Board.

In the meantime, the Oneida tribe, which operates the Turning Stone and Yellow Brick Road casinos, hired Mercury Public Affairs to try to prevent the proposed Lago casino’s opening.

The Oneida say the casino project would “kill jobs and actually reduce gaming revenue for the state by cannibalizing existing facilities,” among other arguments.

Lago officials say the Oneidas are just trying to preserve their current gaming monopoly in the area.