Louis Capelli, the owner of the old Concord Hotel, has announced a deal with Empire Resorts to move the Racino and Raceway to the site of the Concord as the centerpiece of a 160 acre, $700 million entertainment complex. The latest plan calls for 500 to 750 hotel rooms, a convention center and retail. Capelli does have a track record with multi-use entertainment complexes, having developed New Roc City in New Rochelle. The announcement indicates that demolition of the existing Concord tower to start in 45 days, construction will start this year and be complete in 2010.
Pardon us if many of us here are a little skeptical. Capelli has floated a number of development plans for the Concord. (He’s owned the Concord since 2001). In February 2007 he flew up to the county in his helicopter to announce that the Concord redevelopment project would absolutely break ground by May 2007. (He indicated that his credibility was on the line because none of the previous starts, well, started.) If the project does come to pass, it could be a great addition for the county. But right now I’m not holding my breath.