The $743 million Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem will open May 22, 2009 just in time for the Memorial Day weekend with 3,000 slot machines and 4 eateries. Big question however in this recession economy is - Will people come?
Las Vegas Sands Corp who is building the project has been forced to scale back because of the recession. Work was stopped on the hotel and shopping mall portion of the project. The Bethlehem Sands will open with 3,000 slot machines and four restaurants on the site of Bethlehem Steel's former plant.
The Sands Corp feels that the Bethlehem casino's proximity to millions of potential customers in New York and northern New Jersey gives it an advantage because gamblers will not have to fly to get to their new casino.
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Las Vegas and other destination gambling markets continue to struggle as consumers scale back spending. Pennsylvania's casino industry however continues to grow, and posted a 6.7 % increase in gross terminal revenues from January 2008 to January 2009, according to state statistics.
Are you planning to visit the casino this year and gamble?