The resort in western Pennsylvania will open “Lady Luck Nemacolin” within nine months.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort (“A Tiger in the Woods,” C&RB, June 2009) has been awarded the second casino-resort license from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and now plans to open the $50 million “Lady Luck Nemacolin,” with 600 slot machines and 28 table games, within nine months at its 2,000-acre property in southwestern Pennsylvania.
In granting the license to Nemacolin instead of a new proposed $75 million casino near Gettysburg, Pa. that was strongly opposed by historic preservation groups, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said it favored Nemacolin because it already fit “the prototype of a world-class resort,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, with its two championship golf courses, spa, restaurants, 335-room hotel and other amenities including a shooting academy, trail rides and ski facilities.
The Nemacolin casino, which will be managed by Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. of St. Louis, will bring the total number of casinos in Pennsylvania to 11. The 2004 law that brought gambling to Pennsylvania set the total number of casinos to be opened at 14, with half required to be at horse-racing tracks. A recent amendment to the law will allow the Gaming Control Board to consider a third casino-resort license after 2017. The first such license was granted in April 2009 to the Valley Forge Convension Center in suburban Philadelphia, near Valley Forge National Park. That casino is scheduled to open in early 2012.
To earn the second license, Nemacolin had to meet the requirement of having at least a 275-room hotel and being at least 15 miles from any other Pennsylvania casino. The closest existing casinos to Nemacolin—the Rivers Casino in downtown Pittsburgh and the Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Washington County—will each be about an hour’s drive away.
The license stipulates that only registered overnight guests and patrons of one or more of the resort’s amenities will be permitted to use the casino. Joe Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of 84 Lumber Company, which owns Nemacolin, said in interviews after the announcement that he expects many of those who seek out Nemacolin’s Mystic Rock and Falling Rock courses as golfing destinations to now also frequent the casino, because “[many golfers also] love to gamble.”
“I’m thrilled,” Hardy told reporters. “We won for the home team.”