By NICOLE ANTONUCCI
The competition for one of four casino gaming licenses in upstate New York has been narrowed to 16 applicants.
Florida Acquisition Corp., the development team seeking to build a casino at Thruway Exit 27 in Montgomery County, was among those to submit an application by the 4 p.m. deadline Monday, according to the state Gaming Facility Location Board.
The developer, Clairvest Group Inc., is proposing to transform a 512-acre site straddling the town of Florida and city of Amsterdam with a $250 million project, which would be built in three phases over two years. It would consist of a casino, hotel, spa, two golf courses, 300 residential units, and potential commercial development.
"We think this project has a significant long-term positive impact on Montgomery County," Clairvest Group Inc. investment broker Peter Marcil said.
Montgomery County is among five locations in the capital region being considered for a casino. There is a proposal for a $300 million Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady. A Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is being proposed for the DeLaet's Landing in Rensselaer. The other two hopefuls are at Howe Caves in Schoharie County and an East Greenbush property.
The state also received eight applications from the Catskills/Hudson Valley Region and three applications for the Southern Tier.
Trading Cove New York and Grossinger Development Corp. did not submit applications. Both entities were seeking to build a site in the Catskills.
Applications will be reviewed by the Facility Location Board, and will be weighed according to economic activity and business development factors (70 percent), local impact and siting factors (20 percent), and work force enhancement factors (10 percent).
Operators of a casino may be asked to give an oral presentation of their proposal in front of the Gaming Facility Location Board on or after July 21.
Selection of a gaming facility operator will be determined in early fall.