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Three Maine Casinos Oppose Constructing Casino in the State

On October 8th, 2008, 3 of the state's largest ski resorts are joining in the effort to edge out a proposed casino facility in western Maine, saying a casino facility in the area would smear the state's image as a family-friendly destination. The Sunday River, Sugarloaf USA and Saddleback all announced their opposition to the casino facility on Wednesday. Sunday River the only one in the area of Oxford County, where the $150 million casino facility would be constructed if the state voters give their permission on November 4th, 2008.

The casino campaign spokesperson, Pat LaMarche said that Ski Resorts are against the casino plan because the higher pay at the casino facility will attract their workers away. She also criticizes the Sunday River for giving some contribution to the anti-casino effort.

The general manager of Sunday River, Dana Bullen said that having a casino facility in Maine will not fit its image because Maine is well-known for its rugged outdoor, sporty image and having a casino facility will just detract from the beauty of Maine. Warren Cook of Saddleback said that having a casino facility in the area would just prey on the weaknesses of the area and not contribute to its strength.

Both the Sunday River and Sugarloaf USA are owned by Boyne Resorts from Michigan and Sunday River plans to contribute to the effort to block the casino. While Saddleback opposes the casino facility, it has no plans of contributing cash. LaMarche accuses the ski resorts of hypocrisy, saying that there was no criticism to earlier casino proposals because there seems no threat to their employees.

The Olympia Group, the Las Vegas developer that wants to construct a casino, issued a statement that explains in specific detail the economic benefit of the Oxford Highlands Resort-Spa-Casino. Olympia said that the average yearly salary at the casino resort will be about $36,000. The report from Olympia also stated that the resort casino would pay 68% more than the statewide average for Maine's hotel and accommodations industry.


11/17/2008 07:24 PM


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