A new mini casino is coming to Big Beaver.
On Monday, officials at Mount Airy Casino Resort announced their plans to open a new casino in the western Pennsylvania region, about 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. The new luxury resort and casino will be located in Big Beaver, near the intersection of the I-376 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Land for the project has already been acquired and it is expected that construction will begin sometime in the 4th quarter of 2018. Mount Airy is known for it’s AAA Four-Diamond entertainment, resort, and gambling complex in eastern Pennsylvania’s Pocanos mountains. It is expected that their second casino offering will rival the first in quality and commitment to customer satisfaction. The new facility is slated to open in late 2019 and will include a full-service hotel, convention center, sports bar, restaurant, pool, spa, salon, and much more.
In the words of owner and managing trustee, Lisa DeNaples, from Monday’s press release:
“We’re thrilled to bring our four-diamond customer service, high quality entertainment and luxurious amenities to Beaver County and the surrounding communities, while contributing a positive lasting impact on the local economy. For over a decade, Mount Airy Casino Resort in the Poconos has paved the way as one of the nation’s most dynamic, upscale destination casino resorts. Our thoughtful expansion into the Pittsburgh and tri-state area represents a huge milestone in our effort to do what we live and breathe every day: provide award-winning customer service and luxury amenities to more people.”
What will the new casino bring?
While it hasn’t been built yet, there are some things we know we can expect. There will be 750 slot machines as well as 30 Vegas-style casino table games and a separate high limit area. One anticipated inclusion in the new restaurant offerings is a second incarnation of Mount Airy’s award winning buffet.
The new facility should be an eye-catcher, as well. The world-renowned Friedmutter Group, known for their work at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, will in charge of designing the project.
Perhaps most importantly for current residents of the region, the new casino is expected to bring upwards of 700 jobs to Big Beaver. In addition, it will generate increased traffic for other local businesses and give a millions of dollars boost to tax revenues.
A winning bid wins big!
Mount Airy was awarded this license and location after submitting a winning bid in February of $21.1 million. This sum bought them one of Pennsylvania’s 10 newly minted mini casino licenses along with an obligation (as specified in the bid) to locate the casino within 15 miles of New Castle in Lawrence County.
The municipalities in the targeted radius all had an option to opt in or out of the new proposed venture. Only two decided to put their hat in the ring and of those two, Big Beaver was the victor. The move makes sense to Mount Airy officials, who were eager to expand their operation to the other side of the state and create a destination to rival their beautiful and award-winning resort and casino in eastern Pennsylvania. This location should give them plenty of room to do just that. The initial parcel of land they have acquired for the project is 110 acres, and they have an option to purchase another 70 acres in the future.
This makes two mini casino operators in so far.
Mount Airy’s Big Beaver casino bid makes them the second of Pennsylvania’s operators to take advantage of these new mini casino licenses to expand their land-based casino holdings.
The first was Stadium Casino who made and won the first of the category 4 license bids with a hefty $40.1 million offer. The move surprised some analysts, as Stadium has yet to complete construction on their primary casino, to be located in South Philadelphia’s Stadium District and opening sometime in 2020.
For their mini casino site, Stadium Casino also went west, selecting the Westmoreland Mall in the Greenburg area east of Pittsburgh. As of now, official details about when it will open and exactly what types of games/amenities will be available are unknown.
So what now?
Pennsylvania gamblers have a lot of new options coming, but for now they must wait. The new mini casinos won’t be running for over a year at least. They may or may not live near one of Pennsylvania’s twelve existing casinos. There are legal and licensed online casino games and sports betting platforms in the works, but they aren’t here yet either.
So what if you want to scratch that itch now? Here’s one option: Try out Pennsylvania’s new online lottery. It’s legal. It’s exciting. There are a ton of fun variants. You play for real money. What’s not to like?
Even better, new players receive $5 to play with just for signing up. Give it a try!