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damus

Eastern CT Business/Economic News

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Casinos, Utopia may make region New England's top tourst site

That's been the stated goal of the Mashantuckets and Utopia for some time. I'm sure the Mohegans have been thinking the same way.

"For years, Nutmeggers have talked about two Connecticuts: Fairfield County and the rest of the state," said Dennis Heffley, head of UConn's Economics Department, in one article. "The (data), however, may suggest that in the future we should distinguish three Connecticuts -- Fairfield County, New London County and the rest of the state."

What does he mean by that? What will "this Connecticut" look like?

Tanja Merle, owner of the Hideaway Inn, a bed and breakfast in Preston, said she sees that.

"After they've come here once for the casinos, I have people come here for the quiet and the rest," Merle said. "They start looking for other things to do in the area."

Will the region be able to retain that charm without pricing the middle class out of the quiter, rural areas that remain in the coming years?

Same story, from the NL Day

The article, written by UConn emeritus economics professor Arthur W. Wright, said southeastern Connecticut, long the

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Great Article!!!!

I agree. Things are really looking up for the area.

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Interesting that the casinos are the linchpin in many ways of making people take a closer look at the region.

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Interesting that the casinos are the linchpin in many ways of making people take a closer look at the region.

I recommend reading "without reservation" by Jeff Benedict. Richard "Skip" Hayward, who through shady means recreated the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, saw the casino as a means to an end. The end being a giant class enclosed theme park complete with a replica of the Great Wall of China. He was elected out of the office of Tribal Chairman by the people he brought to the tribe in favor of Kenny Reels, who favored focusing on the gaming side of business and giving the members more money...

Its location right between NY and Boston, and to a lesser extent New Haven, Hartford, Worcester, and Providence, makes the area very lucrative...

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Bulletin - Eastern Pequots launch what is likely their final recognition bid

"I'd like to get the sentiment across the Indian Country starting with the South and Eastern tribes of the wrong that was done to us," Flowers said.

The Eastern Pequots, along with the Paucatuck Eastern Pequots, were given federal recognition in 2002 as the Historic Pequot Tribe. But the state attorney general and leaders in North Stonington, Ledyard and Preston appealed the decision.

This past October, the bureau reversed the decision, a major blow to the tribe.

The article contains a good timeline of their history.

They weren't a "tribe" until not long before the first bid, which makes me wonder why the real Indians out west living in squalor should feel sorry for them. In terms of the region, what's another casino at this point? It may end up being a detriment to Westerly the same way the other 2 hurt Norwich, unfortunately. Other than that and the lost tax revenue to N. Stonington (which will be somewhat offset by North Stonington Studios) I don't see the big drawbacks of more casinos around here. Anyone else feel the same as I do?

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Bulletin Editorial - Norwich's Mayor Ben Lathrop gets a 'B' so far...

But en route, Lathrop should make clear exactly what he has in mind for the city. While he lacks a "grand vision" for Norwich, Lathrop does have incremental plans that should advance city fortunes.

...

Downtown: For better than a generation, the area was blighted. Today, revitalization is advancing, and will be further helped by the opening of the Wauregan apartments and Otis Library's completed renovation. Restaurants have opened and more entrepreneurial activity is a given. Lathrop must continue this growth. The Chestnut and Shipping streets projects can be only a beginning.

...

Neighborhoods: Lathrop envisions expanding revitalization zones, like that of Greeneville. Leadership in each neighborhood, Lathrop says, should be no more difficult than establishing crime watches

...

But what of regional bus service? Traffic issues? Parking? Simply getting from here to there without a hassle? How does that affect economic growth, yet be attractive to developers and entrepreneurs?

...

Bordering downtown, the Chestnut Street development will provide housing, as will the Thayer building on Franklin Square. While the Cadle building on Shipping Street by the Thames River will include condominiums, Lathrop notes that retail components will emerge there -- and he rightfully calls for ground-floor retail in condo and apartment buildings.

Lathrop intends to bring development to the Maplewood Cemetery property on the east side of Interstate 395 at Exit 80 -- "one of the most valuable properties in the city."

How can he get a "B" while not having a "grand vision" of Norwich? The city needs development plan with solid principles and goals and should follow it.

I'm disappointed again that a local paper has failed to advocate light rail or some other form of rapid transit. Look here for information about how rapid transit is actually cheaper in most cases. While saving money over a bus system, the increased ridership that light rail would attract can spur transit-oriented development which is good for both the environment and quality of life, and can actually help smaller attractions like those in Mystic or the Coast Guard museum proposed in New London by pulling visitors away from the big casinos and Utopia.

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Bulletin - Developers eye 395

John Filchak, executive director of the Northeast Council of Governments, said I-395 has what no other interstate in Connecticut can boast -- thousands of acres of developable land with access.

"There's precious little interstate with commercial land opportunities in the rest of the state," he said. "The potential is here."

Interstate 395, which runs from Interstate 95 in East Lyme to Interstate 90/Massachusetts Turnpike, is drawing development interest because of its proximity to major cities in New England and New York, available land near the highway and increased traffic that still hasn't created the congestion seen in the rest of the state.

Bulletin - Plainfield eyes desirable project

PLAINFIELD -- A mall with a mix of department stores and smaller boutiques.

A health complex with pool, complete work facilities and medical offices.

An indoor athletic complex.

First Selectman Kevin Cunningham can see any of those developments coming to town. And he is going to the people who develop them to sell Plainfield, he said.

Eight developers have come to him interested in Plainfield, specifically in the land near Exit 87 off Interstate 395.

Bulletin - Plainfield has plenty of land to develop near Interstate

PLAINFIELD -- With 545 acres of commercially developable land at three exits along Interstate 395, Plainfield is a prime target for developers.

Plainfield land has taken on new luster for some potential developers now that the 419-acre Norwich Hospital property in Preston is no longer available, because of a development agreement with Utopia Studios, First Selectman Kevin Cunningham said.

Bulletin - Many neighbors unhappy to see developments

The rezoning would allow construction of Crossing at Lisbon, the name for a proposed shopping center across the street from the town's other major shopping area, Lisbon Landing.

For Grant, the new construction could affect his survival and may mark the end of a tradition spanning several decades.

It's also a classic case of large-scale development clashing with its rural surroundings, a change confronting residents of parts of Eastern Connecticut for the first time.

...

A mudslide at Montville Commons on Route 32 last October damaged properties of Podurgiel Lane residents. The residents have filed an intent to sue the town for allowing the developer to continue construction without the proper permits.

Montville Mayor Joseph Jaskiewicz said the Route 32 corridor was long designated a place for commercial development in town.

"And, yes, sometimes when you bring development into a rural area, some people get disrupted," he said. "But in some cases you have to do it. If you don't bring in economic development, then you have to cut services."

Time for some alliteration. We could potentially see a tsunami of sprawl. Shopping plazas with big boxes are being envisioned as one of the types of developments to strive to get in each town. This area could seriously be screwed if no one speaks up and wakes up the people so they can see what they're going to get out of this. Development is not a bad word to me, sprawling development is bad.

With all this land situated right between New York and Boston, and with Utopia looming on the horizon, I don't think anyone can say we're not going to be able to support a commuter rail. The area's population could easily double from a little over 400,000 (mostly in NL county) between the two counties today within 15-20 years. Add in tourist traffic and there could be a a heck of a lot of demand for a commuter rail. Hopefully they build the light rail loop and streetcar line that I have proposed.

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Bulletin - Developers eye 395

John Filchak, executive director of the Northeast Council of Governments, said I-395 has what no other interstate in Connecticut can boast -- thousands of acres of developable land with access.

"There's precious little interstate with commercial land opportunities in the rest of the state," he said. "The potential is here."

Interstate 395, which runs from Interstate 95 in East Lyme to Interstate 90/Massachusetts Turnpike, is drawing development interest because of its proximity to major cities in New England and New York, available land near the highway and increased traffic that still hasn't created the congestion seen in the rest of the state.

Bulletin - Plainfield eyes desirable project

PLAINFIELD -- A mall with a mix of department stores and smaller boutiques.

A health complex with pool, complete work facilities and medical offices.

An indoor athletic complex.

First Selectman Kevin Cunningham can see any of those developments coming to town. And he is going to the people who develop them to sell Plainfield, he said.

Eight developers have come to him interested in Plainfield, specifically in the land near Exit 87 off Interstate 395.

Bulletin - Plainfield has plenty of land to develop near Interstate

PLAINFIELD -- With 545 acres of commercially developable land at three exits along Interstate 395, Plainfield is a prime target for developers.

Plainfield land has taken on new luster for some potential developers now that the 419-acre Norwich Hospital property in Preston is no longer available, because of a development agreement with Utopia Studios, First Selectman Kevin Cunningham said.

Bulletin - Many neighbors unhappy to see developments

The rezoning would allow construction of Crossing at Lisbon, the name for a proposed shopping center across the street from the town's other major shopping area, Lisbon Landing.

For Grant, the new construction could affect his survival and may mark the end of a tradition spanning several decades.

It's also a classic case of large-scale development clashing with its rural surroundings, a change confronting residents of parts of Eastern Connecticut for the first time.

...

A mudslide at Montville Commons on Route 32 last October damaged properties of Podurgiel Lane residents. The residents have filed an intent to sue the town for allowing the developer to continue construction without the proper permits.

Montville Mayor Joseph Jaskiewicz said the Route 32 corridor was long designated a place for commercial development in town.

"And, yes, sometimes when you bring development into a rural area, some people get disrupted," he said. "But in some cases you have to do it. If you don't bring in economic development, then you have to cut services."

Time for some alliteration. We could potentially see a tsunami of sprawl. Shopping plazas with big boxes are being envisioned as one of the types of developments to strive to get in each town. This area could seriously be screwed if no one speaks up and wakes up the people so they can see what they're going to get out of this. Development is not a bad word to me, sprawling development is bad.

With all this land situated right between New York and Boston, and with Utopia looming on the horizon, I don't think anyone can say we're not going to be able to support a commuter rail. The area's population could easily double from a little over 400,000 (mostly in NL county) between the two counties today within 15-20 years. Add in tourist traffic and there could be a a heck of a lot of demand for a commuter rail. Hopefully they build the light rail loop and streetcar line that I have proposed.

As I said before -- With or Without UTOPIA STUDIOS, the QUIET CORNER will get NOISEY!! I hope the towns will keep the characters, and I hope Sterling won't change. I'd love to see the state buy some farm development land so the farmers can continue. What I'd like to see is planned growth and small industrial parks. commuter Rail from Groton-New London to Worcester (and Palmer via NEC?) and railbanked railroads back into use. (More on that later!!)

I'd love to see Plainfield build an industrial park, maybe near the old diamond where the old NH's Midland (Providence, Hartford & Fishkill) division crossed the NH's N&W (now P&W). Have rail service and it would help the P&W. With the P&W using the Willimantic branch, it would be busy. In Norwich, the old Norwich connector would be used for part of a light rail line (Commuters from NEC's trains to P&W's trains. Then I'd like to see Palmertown and Fitchville create industries and bring back those old Cv branches.

What I'd like to see is more Maritine industries, too. Connecticut used to build ships - and still do with SUBS), but the pleasure boat market is lacking. Connecticut should create a commision on boatbuilding (canoes to Yachts) Rhode Island is known for boat building, why not us.

I would love to see RESPONSIBLE GROWTH, because if not it would be ruined.

Jim

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As I said before -- With or Without UTOPIA STUDIOS, the QUIET CORNER will get NOISEY!! I hope the towns will keep the characters, and I hope Sterling won't change. I'd love to see the state buy some farm development land so the farmers can continue. What I'd like to see is planned growth and small industrial parks. commuter Rail from Groton-New London to Worcester (and Palmer via NEC?) and railbanked railroads back into use. (More on that later!!)

...

What I'd like to see is more Maritine industries, too. Connecticut used to build ships - and still do with SUBS), but the pleasure boat market is lacking. Connecticut should create a commision on boatbuilding (canoes to Yachts) Rhode Island is known for boat building, why not us.

I would love to see RESPONSIBLE GROWTH, because if not it would be ruined.

Jim

CT does (or used to) build high speed ferries through the Pequot's ship building company. Some of these are in use in Long Island Sound today. I haven't heard anything about that so maybe they closed that down. New London could be one a pretty big cruise ship port in the future, and my dreamt up rail "loop" around the region's main attractions would be a big part of New London's viability. I imagine ships docked in New London could stay for a day or two and no one would get bored between a revitalized New London, the casinos, Utopia, Norwich (I guess), Mystic, and the beaches.

Day - Slots up at Mohegan Sun, down at Foxwoods

In its monthly report, the (Mohegan Sun) casino said it won $78 million of its $911.4 million handle

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Bulletin - City officials: Norwich map is a valuable planning tool

The map still isn't on the city's web site. Call me a cynic but this title just makes the city officials look stupid to me.

Bulletin - Buyers eye Norwich's tainted sites

The one thing I'm posting that I see as good news. Norwich might end up shooting itself in the foot in the end, but with all the development that is coming in the near future in NL county Norwich has a lot of potential to make itself a great community. It has the same potential to sprawl out beyond belief...

Bulletin - Leaders propose Norwich Business Park expansion

This last one disturbs me a little. They have a bunch of local elected officials actually planning on trying to attract sprawling developments... I'm very concerned about the future of the area.

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CT does (or used to) build high speed ferries through the Pequot's ship building company. Some of these are in use in Long Island Sound today. I haven't heard anything about that so maybe they closed that down. New London could be one a pretty big cruise ship port in the future, and my dreamt up rail "loop" around the region's main attractions would be a big part of New London's viability. I imagine ships docked in New London could stay for a day or two and no one would get bored between a revitalized New London, the casinos, Utopia, Norwich (I guess), Mystic, and the beaches.

Day - Slots up at Mohegan Sun, down at Foxwoods

In its monthly report, the (Mohegan Sun) casino said it won $78 million of its $911.4 million handle

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Day - Slot revenues for July 2006

The Mohegan Sun's July win totaled $84.2 million. The handle, or amount played in all machines, was $989.4 million, an increase of 4 percent. The casino held 8.5 percent of the money put in its machines, about the same as last year.

Jeffrey Hartmann, chief operating officer at Mohegan Sun, attributed the growth to its entertainment offerings at its arena, which included games by the women's basketball team, the Connecticut Sun, and shows by Tom Jones, Donna Summer, Mary J. Blige and other stars.

At Foxwoods, the drop from last year's record winnings of $80 million to $76 million was the likely result of more machines remaining unused as the casino proceeded with major renovations, said spokesman Bruce MacDonald. At times there were 200 fewer slot machines available, he said.

The slot handle for July was $846.4 million, about 8 percent less than last year. The hold in July was 9 percent, slightly above last year's figure.

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