Tioga Downs Adds Country Club to Casino Proposal

Published 04/17 2014 04:37PM

Updated 04/17 2014 05:15PM

Tioga Downs made a major announcement in further efforts to enhance its resume and position itself to secure the Southern Tier's full-fledged casino licenses.

It has signed a 99 year lease option with Tioga Country Club in Nichols contingent on the casino securing the license.

Tioga Downs would take over the operations of the country's club and workers at the golf course would become Tioga Downs employees. Tioga Downs would also build a new elaborate club house to replace the older smaller building that the country club currently has.

The casino and golf course are only three miles apart.

The President of the country club's board of directors says members overwhelmingly approved the agreement.

"The course has always been a tough hilly course with very quick greens. It's very challenging. Where we've kind of lacked over the years is that we've put the money into the course and not the clubhouse and things of that nature. Now, they're going to do that," said Vince Carpineta.

Traditions at the Glen in Union, which is one of the main rivals of Tioga Downs seeking the casino license, also has a golf course, but doesn't have an established racino like Tioga Downs does.

Since the licenses will be awarded on companies becoming destination spots for tourists, Tioga Downs also announced today that it is creating WinterFest Celebration. It will feature a technologically advanced computer lightshow that will take place between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.

"We're going to do things like take wagon rides around the racetrack. We're going to have a lighted tractor parade, which we're kind of excited about. We'll bring out live carolers. In the lobby here we'll have Christmas trees that sing every half hour. It will be a great place to come. Nothing like it has ever been done in the Southern Tier," said Tom Osiecki.

We expect to know later this year which site is selected to get the license.

A full-fledged license means that table games will be allowed instead of just electronic gaming machines.

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.