Excitement is building at the corporate offices of the Sugarhouse casino these days as the countdown continues to the opening of Philadelphia’s first gambling hall in September — with the originally unplanned benefit of table games.
KYW’s Paul Kurtz reports that Sugarhouse general manager Wendy Hamilton was smiling as she looked out the window (above) of her eighth-floor office at the buzz of activity across the street. She was watching the final phase of construction ahead of next month’s grand opening.
At the same time, Hamilton is gazing into the future:
“Already now we’re looking how we might expand this building and this facility once we’re open. So, we’re focusing now on getting open, and eventually we’d love to think that there’s a place for a bigger facility here.”
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Sugarhouse certainly has room to expand. And Hamilton says they also have a vision:
“It looks like we would expand to the north and add additional gaming as well as other amenities and a parking garage. So that’s all on the design table right now.”
How about a hotel?
“You never know. Not a bad idea.”
Hamilton says everything is on the table.
But Sugarhouse is likely to run into opposition from the same groups that delayed the casino’s opening by two and a half years. Lily Cavanagh is the organizing director for Casino Free Philadelphia:
“We’re prepared to do what no other anti-casino movement has every done anywhere before, which is sustain opposition to Sugarhouse. If we can stop them from expanding or delay their expansion, they won’t be able to pay back their loans as quickly and things like that, as well as sending a really strong message to Foxwoods investors that, just because you build, it doesn’t mean that Philadelphia is going to welcome you with open arms.”
(Photo by KYW’s Paul Kurtz)