Developers Look To Diversify Area Near Casinos

Developers in Connecticut look to Las Vegas as an example of how to most successfully develop land around nearby casinos.

"The idea is not to build something so grand that it rivals the huge casinos nearby. Rather, all four firms hope to build something - like a luxury resort or riverfront marina - that complements the casinos' success and appeals to their customers."

"But whoever gets to develop the property will probably create the biggest enterprise yet to draw on the runaway success of the tribal casinos in southeastern Connecticut. The projects would far surpass the scope of the chain hotels, restaurants and shopping centers that have sprouted up over the past decade.

"'The lesson learned from Vegas is more is better, not less,' said developer Larry Gottesdiener, who owns several major properties in downtown Hartford and whose firm is one of the competitors for the Norwich Hospital site."

"The site is nearly in the shadow of the Mohegan Sun casino's 34-story glass tower, which will be joined by an even taller high-rise by 2010. But the gambling industry's expansion strategy is to build more restaurants and offer more entertainment - things to do after, between, or while playing slot machines."

Full Story: Beyond Utopia: Grand Plans

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