February 8, 2017
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Charles Wiff – (518) 326-6400 or (607) 743-8314
Rivers Casino and Resort Opens Doors at Noon Today $330 Million Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady opens with ‘unlocking’ ceremony
SCHENECTADY, NY — The $330 million Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady opened its doors to the public today, becoming the first Las Vegas style casino to ever operate in New York’s Capital Region.
Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady was built and is operated by Rush Street Gaming, which operates SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia and Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Rush Street also operates Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois, outside of Chicago.
The doors of Rivers Casino & Resort opened after a ceremony that included remarks from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy, Rush Street Gaming Chairman Neil Bluhm and Rivers Casino & Resort General Manager Mary Cheeks. Rivers’ Grand Opening comes just barely one year after Rush Street Gaming held a celebratory groundbreaking at the site, which sits on the banks of the historic Mohawk River.
“I want to commend Governor Cuomo for delivering on his vision to make New York State ‘Open for Business’ and for leading the revitalization of communities all across upstate New York,” said Rush Street Chairman Neil Bluhm. “The speed at which New York State adopted new legislation, undertook a highly competitive process, and allowed new casinos to develop from the ground up is truly remarkable. We are excited that the City of Schenectady and the Capital Region will be the newest addition to the Rush Street family.”
Rivers Casino & Resort is led by General Manager Mary Cheeks. Mary was previously CFO of Rush Street’s Pennsylvania operations before being named GM of Rush Street’s Schenectady property.
“Rivers Casino in Schenectady is opening a little more than one year after breaking ground, and I’m confident our guests are going to be wowed by the quality, the design and the overall experience of our newest entertainment destination,” said Rush Street Gaming CEO Greg Carlin. “I’m proud of our entire Rush Street team including the more than 1,000 new team members we’ve hired who have made the opening of Rivers Casino in Schenectady an important milestone not just for Rush Street Gaming, but for upstate New York.”
Rivers Casino has hired more than 1,000 team members, and will add additional jobs when the attached hotel opens.
“Our team members have been working around the clock to make sure Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady is an absolutely world-class entertainment destination,” said Mary Cheeks, General Manager of Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady. “Today, we’re fulfilling our promise to bring hundreds of great jobs to the Capital Region, as well as be a good community partner.”
On Monday, February 6, Rivers held an Appreciation Night to thank the many partners that helped bring the $330 million casino from vision to reality. The event featured low limit gaming and the proceeds of that event, supplemented by a donation from Rivers operator Rush Street Gaming, were donated to The SEAT Center (a Schenectady workforce development organization), The Veterans Miracle Center and Schenectady Emergency Services (Police and Fire Departments). Each group received a donation of $7,000.
The $330 million Rivers Casino & Resort was designed by Klai Juba Architects, Cleo Design and DMAC Architecture. Construction management has been by NorwoodLeChase, and development management by Development Management Associates. Project partner The Galesi Group is developing the adjacent $150 million Mohawk Harbor mixed use development.
“The Galesi Group’s roots in Schenectady go back to 1969 and today, thanks to Governor Cuomo’s economic development policies and casino siting process, is a pinnacle moment in our company’s legacy,” said Galesi Group Chairman Francesco Galesi. “This is a true testament to the thousands of workers who gave their time, energy and spirit into building this project, which is a critical part of the rebirth of our storied city. We look forward to completing the Mohawk Harbor project to complement the casino and drive further growth in our community and beyond.”
More than 550,000 construction man hours have been dedicated on the Rivers Casino site by more than 1,700 construction workers.
Guests who arrived early to the Grand Opening were able to sign up for the Rush Rewards Player’s Club while they waited for the doors to open. The free, no obligation club lets players earn points for their slot play and table game play. During the month of February, Rush Rewards members will earn $5 in Free Slot Play for every 200 tier points earned, with a maximum bonus of $25 per gaming day. Additionally, guests who present a valid and active mid to high level loyalty card from a regional casino will receive an automatic upgrade to the corresponding Rush Rewards tier. This promotion will run until the end of March.
Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady features a 50,000-square-foot gaming floor with 1,150 slots, 67 gaming tables and a 15-table poker room. Rivers is the first casino in the Capital Region to feature table gaming. Additionally, Rivers features Dukes Chophouse, a marketplace with four restaurants (including favorite concepts from other Rush Street properties), the Van Slyck’s Entertainments Lounge, a 10,000-square-foot Event Center, Splash Spa (opening later in Febraury) and a 165-room hotel (opening this summer). There are special opeing incentives and promotions available to those who sign up for Rivers’ Rush Rewards Player’s Club.
Rivers Casino & Resort will be located adjacent to a new mixed-use Mohawk Harbor development currently under construction by the Galesi Group, which constitutes an additional $150 million investment in the 60-acre riverfront property. The mix of residential, retail and commercial space will include a 124-room Courtyard by Marriott and a 50-slip harbor on the Mohawk River and Erie Canal.
For more information on Rivers Casino & Resort, visit www.riverscasinoandresort.com.
About Rush Street Gaming – Founded by Neil Bluhm and Greg Carlin, Rush Street Gaming and its affiliates have developed and operate successful casinos in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Des Plaines, IL (Chicago area). By placing an emphasis on superior design and outstanding customer service, Rush Street Gaming has become one of the leading casino developers in the United States. Existing casinos generate over $1 billion in annual gaming revenues, and all Rush Street Gaming casinos were voted a 2015 “Best Place to Work” or “Top Workplace” by their team members.