Making the News

Pocono Record

Originally Published:Saturday, January 12, 2008

Matzel, who bought Pocono Manor in December, has been singing that tune for months, but the impact report, compiled by Spectrum Gaming Group, backs up the claims with hard numbers.

"We recognize that, at 750 rooms, Pocono Manor will simply not have enough hotel rooms on site to accommodate all of the convention business that will be generated by meetings and conventions that utilize its available space," the report states. "As a result, we project that the conventions and meetings business generated at Pocono Manor will have a robust impact on numerous other area businesses, particularly lodging facilities throughout the region."

Report: Casino will help growth

By Erik Mark
Pocono Record

The developers of the proposed Pocono Manor Resort say their planned hotel/casino could become one of the convention capitals of the country. They also say they will gladly share the wealth.

Pocono Manor's owner Greg Matzel, a New Jersey real estate developer, on Monday released an economic impact report that outlines how the proposed billion-dollar resort and its 750-room high-rise hotel/casino would benefit other resorts and businesses throughout the Poconos.

Matzel, who bought Pocono Manor in December, has been singing that tune for months, but the impact report, compiled by Spectrum Gaming Group, backs up the claims with hard numbers.

"We recognize that, at 750 rooms, Pocono Manor will simply not have enough hotel rooms on site to accommodate all of the convention business that will be generated by meetings and conventions that utilize its available space," the report states. "As a result, we project that the conventions and meetings business generated at Pocono Manor will have a robust impact on numerous other area businesses, particularly lodging facilities throughout the region."

"When you look at the numbers, you don't need an advanced math degree to realize that Pocono Manor Resort & Casino can't possibly house and feed everyone who comes through our doors for meetings and conventions," Matzel said Monday, in a statement.

That would mean increased business for resorts, hotels, restaurants and other businesses surrounding Pocono Manor, Matzel reasons.

Also, a Matzel spokesman disputes claims made by a local citizens group last week about the median wage workers at Pocono Manor casino and resort would earn.

No Casino Tobyhanna Township, or NCTT, which formed earlier this year to oppose the Pocono Manor casino plan, said that numbers in an economic analysis report Pocono Manor submitted along with its slots application were misleading. That report was also compiled by Spectrum Gaming Group, a New Jersey consulting firm that is prominent in the gaming industry.

NCTT did not dispute Spectrum's projection that the mean, or average, annual compensation of Pocono Manor workers would be about $25,000. The group claimed, however, that the median compensation level - the point at which half of the workers would earn more while half would earn less - was closer to $20,000, since the salaries of the top resort executives skew the average wage upward.

The mean wage of Pocono Manor workers would actually be about $26,000, Pocono Manor spokesman Ben Eckerson said Tuesday. That would be slightly above the average mean wage in Monroe County, he said, citing statistics from the Department of Labor. Eckerson referred to an updated version of the Spectrum economic report that was submitted to the state Gaming Control Board earlier this month to support the numbers he cited. That report can be viewed at the Gaming Control Board's Web site.

The slots applications of Pocono Manor and its rival Mount Airy Lodge, in Paradise Township, will be explored in depth at a public hearing organized by the gaming board on Thursday at Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony.

Mount Airy and Pocono Manor are among six contenders for two available Category 2 slots licenses outside Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The licenses, which will authorize up to 5,000 slot machines in a "standalone" slots parlor, will be awarded in December, the gaming board has said.

On the Web: http://www.pgcb.state.pa.us/Impact_reports/Pocono_Manor_Investors--LIR-Part_4_Economic_Impact.pdf

http://www.poconomanorcasino.com/

http://www.nocasinotobyhannatownship.com/pages/1/index.htm

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