Casino Traffic Debate

Published 05/16 2014 04:34PM

Updated 05/16 2014 05:15PM

The owner of Tioga Downs says siting a casino in the Town of Union is a bad idea when it comes to traffic.

Jeff Gural says his racino's rural location in Nichols is the ideal spot.

Tioga Downs is competing against Traditions at the Glen on Watson Boulevard in Union and a proposal in Tyre, between Rochester and Syracuse, for the Southern Tier's full-fledged casino license.

Gural says that his commitment to creating jobs, investing in the area and his business's location are good arguments when it comes to convincing a gaming board that Tioga deserves the license.

"I just went to Wegmans on my way up here and it took me three lights before I was able to make the left turn. I can't imagine how in the world you could put a casino down that road. It's common sense. I'm surprised the neighbors there don't say anything," said Gural.

Traditions at the Glen says Gural is off base with his comments. It says properly managed traffic would help to boost the economic activity in the area.

John Hussar is the Project Manager for the proposed Traditions casino.

"We could certainly put a ramp that comes off the highway to our facility, but that's a bad thing for the community. What happens then is that everybody comes off the ramp, they go to the facility and spend their dollars, whether gaming or entertaining or dining, and at the end of the night they jump on the ramp and leave the community. That's not what this project is about, and that's not what the whole state intent is about. It's about economic development so having traffic routed appropriately throughout your community is a much better win-win for the community," said Hussar.

Hussar does say that Traditions will be making its full traffic study available to the Town of Union soon. He says traffic can come to Traditions from the east and west and that steps would be taken to make sure that vehicles aren't backed up in front of nearby businesses and homes, including adding turning lanes and lights.

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