Pequots announce plans for Caribbean resort casino
As Reported by the Boston.com
Connecticut - The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which operates
Foxwoods Resort Casino, said Wednesday that it plans to build a
600-acre resort and casino in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the latest
move by an Indian tribe to expand operations off tribal land.
The tribe said
its plans include a 400-room hotel, a marina, casino, 160 residential
lots, condominiums, two golf courses, retail shops, a convention
center and botanical gardens.
which is built on tribal land in Connecticut, is one of the largest
casinos in the world. Other tribes, including the Mohegans, have
diversified. The Mohegans, operators of Mohegan Sun, recently purchased
the Pocono Downs racetrack in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in anticipation
of opening a slots facility.
Pequots said they are working with William and Punch Partners, a
development group that owns waterfront property on St. Croix, where
casino gambling is legal.
Bruce McDonald said no additional information will be available
a news release issued by a lending company last year, the developers
are planning to build "The Mills of St. Croix," on the
site of one of the island's old sugar mills. It did not mention
the tribe's involvement.
James A.D. Francis,
chief of staff to Virgin Islands Senate President Lorraine L. Berry,
said Wednesday that the casino plan was in development and believes
the tribe's involvement will be viewed favorably by local officials.
be good news for St. Croix because it would mean William and Punch
had a financial backer to really assist them," Francis said.
At a Senate
hearing last year, residents said they wanted the resort project
but were concerned about environmental effects and that the developers
may not obtain financing for the deal, The St. Croix Source newspaper
is a market that has exciting possibilities, and any development,
like our other enterprises, should respect the natural beauty of
its surroundings," Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council Chairman
Michael J. Thomas said in a statement.
The nearly 600-acre
site was purchased for $3.75 million, according to last year's news
release by Kennedy Funding, a lending group, which said it had arranged
a loan of $3.9 million.
casino developers must seek approval from the Virgin Islands Casino
Control Commission. Legislators generally support casino gambling
to increase tourism, he said.