Cumberland Times-News

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May 3, 2013

Rocky Gap casino to open after testing

ROCKY GAP — Following the completion of some scheduled testing of its gaming operations on May 20, the new Rocky Gap Casino plans to open May 22 or shortly thereafter, based on the amount of adjustments needed stemming from the testing, according to Scott Just, the resort’s general manager.

“The tests are called ‘controlled demonstrations.’ It’s to make sure everything is working as it needs to on the gaming floor,” said Just at a media day event Friday.

Originally from New York City, Just has settled in the Ridgeley, W.Va., area and will run the operations at Rocky Gap for its owner, Lakes Entertainment.

In addition to the 18-hole golf course, the Rocky Gap Resort and Casino will have 550 slot machines, 10 gaming tables and four restaurants.

The Maryland State Lottery Commission requires the testing and subsequent monitoring of the demonstrations.

“It will allow the gaming commission to ensure we meet all the regulatory requirements and the training to properly function,” said Just.

The tests will be conducted between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. and will feature a run-through of the various games and their equipment.

“It’s live gambling. Once we are done, we do the drop process and count everything and pay our taxes. The portion of the money that is ours we are going to donate to charity,” said Just.

An audit of the tests and procedures will take place the next day. The review by the gaming commission will point out any problem areas for the casino and any corrections they will need to make.

“We may open on May 22 but then it might be May 23,” said Just.

“It’s a matter of how many adjustments we’ll have to make,” Just said.

The Rocky Gap Resort and Casino is also starting work this week on an events center. It is being constructed behind the lodge on the lake side.

“When it’s done, we will have 13,000 square feet of meeting space. It will include a large room of about 5,000 square feet and then there are several meeting rooms as well as a board room,” said Just.

The event center is expected to be completed in November. The resort plans to continue to welcome conferences, conventions and other larger type meetings for organizations and businesses.

Another construction project is also under way in the form of a 215-space parking lot.

On the right before reaching the lodge, the parking area will be for employee vehicles and free valet parking for customers.

“I think we have a unique experience in a spectacular setting. It’s the only casino in a state park that I know of,” said Just.

“People will enjoy doing multiple things here; it’s not just a focus on gaming. It’s great food and great golf course and entertainment and a spa and more. You can’t spend all day in a casino,” said Just.

Officials say the Rocky Gap Resort and Casino will employ more than 350 people when in full operation.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com.

 

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