A convention center in South Ozone Park? Possibly.

According to reports, Genting is thinking about installing a convention center near to the Aqueduct racetrack. Genting officials unveiled the plans before a state board and state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. last month.

Addabbo said a convention center would likely be welcomed in Queens because of the revenue it would generate for the city and state.

Currently, the only convention center is the Jacob Javitz center in Manhattan.

Share

New Racino causes security concerns

With all the hype of a racino coming to South Ozone Park, residents have expressed concerns about safety at almost every community meeting.

In May, over 100 neighborhood residents attended Community Board 10’s monthly meeting to address the potential problems that the rush of visitors would bring the neighborhood.

They all asked Patrol Borough Queens South Assistant Chief James Secreto one question: how many police officers will be assigned to the area surrounding the soon-to-open Resorts World Casino in Ozone Park?

Even, Councilman Eric Ulrich requested more police presence at Aqueduct. He sent a letter to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly in June, stating that he believes “this request is warranted given the size and scope of the new venue and the necessary planning that will go into maintaining a good quality of life for area residents.”

At the time, Secreto assured the residents that he was working on the issue and trying to get more cops from the 106th Precinct around the racino. Last month, he told attendees of the 106th Precinct Community Council meeting that if One Police Plaza didn’t give him the additional police officers he has requested, he will provide them from the borough’s resources.

Not everyone is so sure that the area will receive a greater police presence before the racino opens. Howie Kamph, president of the Ozone Park Civic Association, told the Leader-Observer paper, “I hope they give it to us, but I think they’ll play the wait-and-see game.” He applauded Ulrich for making the effort to get more cops.

There is a projected 8.4 million people visiting the casino annually, there is set to be an average of 23,000 people who will be passing through the community

“One way or another we are going to have cops there,” Secreto said.

Share

Apply for a job at Aqueduct

The new racino is hiring entry and mid-level employees.

A hiring center was opened last month in an effort to hire more people from the neighborhood. The company is said to hire 1,150 employees.

Local residents have already started to take advantage, like Shatima Williams and Najah Abdulkhabir but others are concerned. The Jamaica branch of the NAACP is worried that the company will not hire enough residents from Southeast Queens, which was hit especially hard by the economic recession.

The center will be open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Four RWNY staff members will be on hand to help people with the application process. Potential employees can either drop off their resumes or fill out an application.

For more info, check their website.

Share

Resorts World offers world-class dining

On top of promising jobs and good entertainment, RWNY is also promising good food.

According to YourNabe.com: “From Cantonese cuisine to Wolfgang Puck, the developer of the Aqueduct racino announced the numerous food options that will be available at the Ozone Park track.”

Resorts World international food court.

There will be two signature restaurants – Genting Palace, which will serve authentic fine-dining cuisine by veteran Hong Kong chefs, and RW Prime, which will feature prime steaks, fresh seafood and other fine gourmet offerings.

Both are said to have 200-person seating capacities. In addition to the signature restaurants, Resorts World is also offering an international buffet that will be able to seat 450 guests.

A rendering of RW Prime.

Here’s a list of other food spots:

· Stage Deli

· Wolfgang Puck Express

· Queens Burgers

· Good Friends Noodle House

· Cups n’ Cones (Proudly serving Starbucks)

· Fiesta (Latin & Mexican Cuisine)

Share

A sneak peak at what Resorts World could look like

As Genting prepares to open the new Resorts World New York casino come the end of summer, they’ve sent out a few renderings as to what the space should look like.

According to RWNY president, Mike Speller, the look inside,  “gives our customers just a small taste of the excitement that will greet them when they walk through the doors.”

Under the schedule, 2,500 Video Lottery Terminals will be operational – rather than the 1,600 originally slated – when the casino opens in the late summer.

Share

Casino set to open by summer’s end

The Resorts World New York casino is opening its doors earlier than expected. Although the expected date is not yet determined, the opening is set for late summer.

According to the Queens Ledger, 2,500 video lottery terminals (VLTs) will be operational – rather than the 1,600 originally slated – when the casino opens.

According to the article, with the accelerated schedule – which will now take place in two phases, rather than three – not only will more VLTs be operational when the first stage launches, but the main entry, the international buffet and the parking garage will be part of the initial opening, as well.

So, what do you think? Excited about this development? Will you visit the casino? Or does the idea of a casino in a residential neighborhood sound like a bad idea?

Share

Genting NY makes good on promise to hire MWBEs

Seems like Genting NY really means business. Recently the developer for the new Aqueduct Racino hired a MWBE (Minority or Women Owned Business Enterprise) – following up on the promise made last summer.
According to Resorts World, the firm’s general contractor, Tutor Perini, has MWBE subcontractor and supplier commitments totaling approximately 36 percent of the contracts awarded to date, in such specialties as electrical contracting, carpentry, security, and other services.
One such MWBE subcontract was awarded to Jamaica based company Cannady Security, Inc.
Read more here and here
Share

Racino set to open in the summer

Add another place on your list to hit this summer – the new racino at the Aqueduct racetrack.

The gaming facility is said to open this summer after the installment of 1,600 video lottery terminals. That’s just phase one.

Phase two is said to be completed shortly after and it will bring in all 4,500 VLTs as well as two restaurants – an Asian restaurant and a steak house. The facility will also house an indoor spa.

The new gaming space is said to be open 7 days for 20 hours to attract tourists, new customers and local residents.

Share

Aqueduct vendors find space at new Merrick Flea Market

It’s safe to say that Aqueduct vendors have a new home. The 25,000 square foot space at 221-02 Merrick Boulevard, which used to be an old warehouse, has been converted into a new flea market – the Merrick Flea Market.

Some aqueduct vendors have already made their way over to the Springfield Gardens space that was opened last fall but Brian Baxter, the current manager of the Merrick Flea Market who also managed the Aqueduct Flea Market for 33 years expects to see more.

“Aqueduct had between 600 – 800 vendors at any given time. With about 125 – 150 total spaces here, we’re about 75 percent full and we can attribute about half of them to the old Aqueduct vendors,” he said.

Many vendors at Aqueduct are either out of a job or hoping for another space and the Merrick Flea is located conveniently in Queens where they wouldn’t have to travel far and where customers, who receive free parking at the market, could also follow.

Although promises were made by Senator Addabbo and the Queens Borough President, Helen Marshall, to find a new space for the vendors, Baxter said that to find a place similar to Aqueduct would be almost impossible.

“It’s so big, any property that large is not going to be zoned for a flea market,” he said.

The Merrick Flea Market is only five miles away from Aqueduct, a perk which Baxter says can only benefit Aqueduct vendors once they find out – through word of mouth – that the Merrick Flea Market is open.

The Plain and Fancy company that used to run the Aqueduct Flea Market has a confidential client list so Baxter has to promote the Merrick Flea Market to vendors using the contacts he has formed and is close with.

“I have to depend on my own contacts as well as word of mouth to spread the word to vendors out of work. But many of the vendors know one another, like a big happy family,” he said. It’s a workable strategy to get more vendors there in the coming months.

The Merrick Flea Market is an indoor market that will be open year-round on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Share