It's Our Time.
That's the message Howe Caverns Resort and Casino reps took to Albany Monday.
The four Capital District projects still in the running for a state casino license detailed their projects in hour-long sessions in front of the NYS Gaming Facility Location Board.
Next up: A September 22 hearing back in Albany that HCRC plans to bus hundreds of supporters to.
"We're keeping our fingers crossed," Caverns' owner Emil Galasso said, his support for what he calls a "game-changer" unwavering.
"When you look at all the criteria, we meet it 110 percent. When you look at what it could do for the economy, the jobs it would create, it's our time."
That's the message HCRC reps, including Mr. Galasso, Michael Malik of MJM Enterprises, the owner and operator of the proposed casino; James Dacey of Full House Gaming, tapped as operator; and businesswoman Susan McGiver, who spoke of the chance for economic recovery the resort and casino would offer, shared Monday in buttons on their lapels: It's Our Time.
It's also the message HCRC will be taking back to Albany on the 22nd.
With help from the Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce and others, Caverns' Chris Tague is organizing that end of the effort.
He and other members of the HCRC team planned to talk about ways to support the project at a meeting with business leaders last night, Tuesday, at Howe Caverns.
Mr. Tague said his goal is filling as many busses as he can with 300-500 project supporters wearing t-shirts with the message "It's Our Time," for the September 22 public hearing at the Turf Inn in Albany.
More information on both is available on the project's website, HoweCavernsResort Casino.com.
Though it will be impossible for everyone attending the hearing to speak, Mr. Tague said it will also be impossible to overlook the show of that much support.
And the support is there, Mr. Galasso said, with people stopping him in Stewart's and Ace Hardware to offer it.
Just Wednesday, Mr. Galassso said, the Montgomery County Legislature voted to back Howe Caverns' plans instead of the Hard Rock casino proposed at de Laet's Landing in Rensselaer.
The Caverns casino also has the support of Chambers and officials in Otsego, Fulton, and Herkimer Counties, Mr. Galasso said.
"This is much bigger than us," he said. "Everyone will benefit and everyone recognizes that."
Especially, he said, when it comes to jobs.
"Not to downplay the casino, but the jobs alone...When we hold a job fair at Howe Caverns and 300 people turn out for 100 jobs, it's gut-wrenching. We're never going to get something like a chip factory here. I have to rein myself...just the idea of all those jobs."