Tioga Downs Moves Forward with Expansion Plans

NICHOLS, N.Y. (WETM-18) – Tioga Downs makes two major announcements to help tourism in the Southern Tier and its application for a full gaming license.

The first is called “WinterFest”, a holiday event with music, fireworks, and light shows that will run from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. “It’s going to be a great place to come,” said Tom Osiecki, the President and COO of American Racing and Entertainment. “Nothing like it has ever been done in the Southern Tier, we think it’ll be a great economic boost for the area.”

WinterFest is expected to draw 40,000 people to the region each year. But that wasn’t the only announcement Tioga Downs made Thursday.

As construction continues on the new parking garage, Tioga Downs announced that it has put down an option to lease the Tioga Country Club, about three miles from the casino, if it gets its full gaming license. Tioga Downs has already made a $50,000 payment cementing the agreement and in support of the country club. “It’ll bring Tioga Downs to a full resort destination, casino, and that’ll fit our destination,” said Osiecki. “We’ll run shuttle buses back and forth, the clubhouse we’re going to build will be nothing short of spectacular.”

Local legislators praised the move to help secure the casino’s future. “Having the option and the ability to move right away forward with the granting of the full casino license puts them in a position where they don’t have to go out and look and try to find the property to develop the golf course, they’ve got it lined up,” said State Senator Tom O’Mara.

The 99 year lease option benefits the country club as well, giving it stability it didn’t have before. “Where we’ve kind of lacking over the years is we put the money into the course and not into the clubhouse and things of that nature, said Vince Carpineta, President of the Board of Directors for the Tioga Country Club. “Now they’re going to do that, they’re going to bring all that stuff up to speed.”

The Tioga Country Club employs three people year-round, and has 20 to 25 seasonal employees. Carpineta says that the employees will become employees of Tioga Downs if the casino gets its full gaming license.

Tioga Downs also announced it is expanding its wine list of Finger Lakes wines that the casino will offer.

Bids for casinos are due to the state by June. Operators for the casinos will be selected by early fall.

More Stories

Don't Miss

Latest News

Video Center