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Lago Resort Moves Forward With Construction

Tom Wilmot (L) & Brent Stevens (R) at 'beam signing' ceremony
Greg Cotterill
Tom Wilmot (L) & Brent Stevens (R) at 'beam signing' ceremony

A ceremonial step forward Friday for the Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County.

The partners in the project, who include Rochester developer Tom Wilmot, and Brent Stevens of a company called Peninsula Pacific, took part in a "beam signing" ceremony  to mark the increased pace of construction at that site.

That's after the state gaming commission last month issued a formal license to Lago, and casinos in Schenectady and the Catskills.

Stevens isn't worried about the market for gambling becoming too diluted because of the various racinos and casinos that already exist or are now under construction.

“Competition is something that is a reality in any business, and what does competition do, it causes every competitor to look within themselves and figure out how they can address the most fundamental part of their business which is the need of the customer.”

Rochester developer Tom Wilmot is one of the partners in the resort and he says they expect it will have a positive spinoff effect on the Finger Lakes economy

"We’re hoping to draw many people off that Thruway that haven't been stopping, they they'll come to Lago and then go to the wineries and to the lakes and parks and restaurants and everything else the Finger Lakes has to offer."

Wilmot says the project will eventually create 1800 permanent jobs. Opponents have included people who live near the project who feel it will change the rural character of where they live, and the Oneida Indian Nation, which operates the Turning Stone Casino.

Lago is due to be completed in early 2017.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.