The bright lights of a casino may be just what the economically dark City of Rensselaer needs. That's according to its leaders, who are hoping the city will be selected as a site for one of the future upstate gaming facilities. Innae Park has more.
RENSSELAER, N.Y. -- There aren't any slots just yet, but after New Yorkers voted to pass Proposition 1, the bright lights aren't far away. The mayor of the City of Rensselaer is now pointing to DeLaet's Landing, which was cleared for development earlier this year.
“We've got a spot, possibly the best spot in the whole Capital District for that, including Saratoga,” said Mayor Daniel Dwyer. “If they are going to gamble, come to Rensselaer.”
The Capital Region is one of the areas to get the casino. Rensselaer County supports it 51 to 49 percent and the City of Rensselaer supporting it even more so.
Then, Wednesday night, the common council voted unanimously to allow gambling within city limits.
Mayor Daniel Dwyer points out the site's accessibility, which is within walking distance of the Albany-Rensselaer train station. He also touts the view of Albany's skyline right across the Hudson.
The developer of DeLaet's Landing, U.W. Marx Construction, did not want to give comment, though the mayor says they are on board.
County Executive Kathy Jimino was not available for interview, but in a statement, she said, "Community support for any project is crucial to success, so the City of Rensselaer's action is an appropriate first step. I look forward to any potential proposals so that a forthright review of all positive and negative aspects of a casino can be done."
Local business owners like Rudolph Berisic of Rudy's Italian Restaurant say any activity is welcome.
“More people, more traffic, more business! If that [casino] happened over here, a lot of people would come and invest in this city,” Berisic said.
The mayor agrees with the need to see an economic boost.
“With this revenue stream from the casino, I can… start lowering taxes,” Dwyer said.
As for whether the city or county have been contacted by the gaming facility operators, Dwyer said, “There's various casino operators who are going to submit the bid, we're in the running for it, that's all I can tell you on that.”