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Pittsburgh Casino proposals

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This is the most recent info on the Pittsburgh Casino front, the ones closest to downtown would be the Pittsburgh Penguins on the Mellon Arena site just east of downtown, two different proposals for StationSquare south of downtown and one for the Northshore by the stadiums.

The one that is most grand is a casino/apartments/racetrack/hotel/entertainment complex within the city just up river from downtown along the Monongahela (just a ways futher from the new Southside Works complex across from Downtown and the Universities). The Betters proposal would be an awesome addition to Pittsburgh, a kind of small Las Vegas meets Disneyland all on a bluff overlooking Downtown, the Rivers and the Universitiy skyscrapers on the eastside.

Pittsburgh Casino: Possible Players

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Who is the likely candidate to own the local casino? Here's a look at the possible players:

CHUCK BETTERS

Beaver County businessman and real estate developer.

Business backing: Betters, who has built residential and commercial properties in Beaver, Allegheny and Butler counties, hopes to build a community of shops, restaurants, houses and a hotel as part of a horse-racing track and casino proposed for 650 acres above East Carson Street in Hays. One partner in the $600 million project is Putnam, N.Y.-based DGD Realty Associates, a company that jointly owns the land with Betters. One other possible partner is Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, who accompanied Betters to Harrisburg last week to discuss the project with legislators.

Proposed location: Hays, in an area bordered by Becks Run Road, East Carson Street, Glass Run Road and Baldwin Borough. But Betters could apply for a license elsewhere.

Other gambling interests: No, although he has come close. In 1993, Betters bought hundreds of acres along the Ohio River in Aliquippa, hoping to turn the land into an industrial and entertainment complex featuring a riverboat casino. In 1994, he announced another potential deal with Donald Trump to build a casino complex underneath the Birmingham Bridge on the South Side. But those two casino projects fizzled after the state Legislature turned down riverboat gambling in the mid-1990s.

FOREST CITY ENTERPRISES

Cleveland-based owner of Station Square retail and entertainment complex on the South Side and the Downtown hotel Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh.

Business backing: Forest City is a publicly-traded company that owns and manages commercial and residential real estate in 21 states, with assets worth a total of $5.9 billion. In the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2004, Forest City's net income was $42.7 million on revenues of $1 billion. Forest City would likely partner with Las Vegas-based Harrah's Entertainment, which sold most of Station Square to Forest City in 1998 but retained the right to build a casino there through 2007.

Proposed location: Station Square, in the space that until last winter was occupied by Philthy McNasty's restaurant, and before that, Woodson's Grill.

Other gambling interests: No, but Forest City does own a five-level retail and entertainment center along the Las Vegas strip, in front of the MGM Hotel Casino.

HARRAH'S ENTERTAINMENT

Las Vegas-based casino operator.

Business backing: Harrah's is a publicly-traded company that recorded net income of $292.6 million in fiscal year 2003 on revenues of $4.32 billion, up from net income of $235 million on revenues of $4.1 billion in 2002.

Proposed location: Station Square, where Harrah's has the rights to build a casino until 2007.

Other gambling interests: Harrah's owns or manages 25 casinos in 12 states under the Harrah's, Harveys, Rio and Showboat marquees. Two of its casinos are slot operations at racetracks.

WILLIAM K. LIEBERMAN

Chairman of the state oversight board that is developing recommendations for saving city finances.

Business backing: A Downtown insurance broker, Lieberman has expressed interest in joining a group of investors in a slots parlor. He has teamed up with investor Charles Zappala but said he is still looking at potential projects in which he would be a minor investor. "I don't have a deal with anybody," he said yesterday. "I don't know what the deal would be like."

Proposed location: undetermined

Other gambling interests: No.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

The 37-year-old National Hockey League franchise, whose controlling owner is legendary superstar Mario Lemieux. He may seek someone to be a business partner.

Business backing: Not determined yet, but Ted Arneault, who operates Mountaineer Racetrack and Gaming Resort in West Virginia, said he is continuing discussions with the Penguins about a partnership.

Proposed location: Not fully determined yet, but almost assuredly will be part of current Mellon Arena site in Uptown. Could be part of new arena that would fund through slots profits.

Other gambling association? No.

MERRILL STABILE

Pittsburgh parking magnate

Business backing: Stabile is president of Alco Parking Co., the city's largest private parking operator. He has previously said he was working with a group of unnamed investors.

Proposed location: On a parking lot he owns along General Robinson Street, just north of PNC Park. The land is bounded on the east by the new Marriott hotel (at Federal Street and General Robinson), on the west by Mazeroski Way and on the north by the North Shore Expressway. The Stabile family began acquiring the land in the 1970s.

Other gambling association?: Undetermined

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I'd think it would be nice to have Mario's proposal go through. I've always heard he's stayed active in the Pittsburgh community. It would be comforting having some who cares about the area in charge instead of some business people who only look at the bottom line.

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^^don't know DTJ but whatever it "is" today will certainly change tommorrow. I Remember when the 5th/Forbes revitalization was all but a "done deal" FIVE years ago . . . and we did have a "deal" with the Pens that right after PNC and Heinz went up they were next. Just way too many variables . . . the city's financial health, who wins and loses elections, the county's financial health, the Pens financial health and heck there might not be an NHL next year even. Right now the only thing I'm truly certain of is that the number one thing on Mario's mind isn't a casino or new arena deal . . . it's survival.

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Yeah, but for Mario to "survive", he's definitely going to need a new building (which the region sorely needs anyway, BTW), even with a cost-certainty NHL...

Speaking of the NHL, there will be a season next winter, even if it starts with scabs.

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Yeah, but for Mario to "survive", he's definitely going to need a new building (which the region sorely needs anyway, BTW), even with a cost-certainty NHL...

Speaking of the NHL, there will be a season next winter, even if it starts with scabs.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If they're scabbing then it'd be interesting if Mario the owner suits up to play on his own team--the man only has maybe a good year or two left and the meter is running.

Heck I might try out if they start scabbing! :thumbsup:

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