Cumberland Times-News

July 25, 2013

Casino may build parking garage sooner rather than later, says commissioner

Matthew Bieniek
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — The popularity of the casino at Rocky Gap is leading to a crowded parking lot and casino officials are considering moving sooner rather than later on a parking garage, Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine said.

Valentine said he discussed the Rocky Gap Casino Resort  with Scott Just, the resort’s general manager, on July 12. No exact timetable for building the parking garage was available. Potentially building a parking garage was part of the original package the casino’s owners, Lakes Entertainment, planned in the application to build a casino.

Valentine spoke at Thursday’s Allegany County Commission business meeting at county offices on Kelly Road. Valentine said that the lodge was having a number of return visitors who came back not just to gamble again, but enjoy Lake Habeeb, the trails and other park amenities.

“I think we got the complete package (with the casino),” Valentine said.

The Rocky Gap Casino Resort reported earnings of $2.5 million in its first full month of operation, according to June revenue figures released Friday by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

At Thursday’s meeting, commissioners also recognized Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen Sabrina Elizabeth Frost, who attends Mountain Ridge High School. In two weeks, Frost heads to Orlando, Fla., to compete for the national title.

“It’s definitely crunch time,” Frost said. She said her scholarship money from the pageants will go toward her plan to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and study biochemical engineering. She thanked commissioners for their support of her efforts.

The Miss Maryland organization is an “official preliminary of the Miss America Organization, one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women,” according to the organization’s website.

The commission’s main piece of business Thursday was approving a contract for inmate meals at the county detention center. Commissioners unanimously ap-proved a contract with Aramark Inc., which has been providing food service at the jail since 2000. The contract is based on an average population off 165 inmates per day and the estimated value of the agreement is for $336,598, according to  a memo from Sheriff Craig Robertson.

The cost represents a 1.5 percent increase in the cost of the meals over last year’s agreement, but that doesn’t take into account negotiations with the company to reduce a proposed increase of more than 2 percent, said Capt. R. Lee Cutter, the assistant administrator of the detention center.

“ACS (Aramark Correctional Services) prepares well over 1 million meals a day for state and municipal facilities, partnering with our clients to meet the unique challenges of the corrections environment,” according to the company’s website. The company provides food service at more than 600 correctional facilities nationwide, according to its website.

Commissioners also ap-proved a vehicle transfer from the county to two towns, Barton and Westernport. The only limitation placed on the transfer is that the towns can’t sell the dump trucks for three years without the written authorization of the county.

The trucks were declared surplus property at the July 11 commission meeting. Both trucks are 1995 Fords. Commissioner Creade Brodie Jr., said he plans to drive the trucks to the towns himself.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at