|By Andrew M. Seder, The Times Leader,
Wilkes-Barre, Pa.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 17, 2012--PLAINS TWP. -- Pennsylvania's first casino will become the fourth one in the state to include a hotel.
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs will hold a press conference and groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday at 11 a.m. and construction will officially begin July 23, the casino said in a release.
A convention center is part of the project; complete details will be revealed Wednesday.
Previously, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs CEO Bobby Soper said the attached 238-room hotel will stand seven-stories tall and will cost about $45 million. The casino will secure funding for the project and will operate it itself. There had been discussions previously about having an outside entity finance and build the hotel, with the casino leasing it back and operating it, but Soper said those plans have changed.
The press conference will be held outside, weather permitting, at the site of the new hotel and event center, located adjacent to the valet parking area.
When built, Mohegan Sun will join Sands Bethlehem, Mount Airy Resort and Casino near Mount Pocono and Valley Forge Casino as the only ones in the state with hotel rooms.
Situated on 400 acres off Route 315, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs contains 55,000 square feet of gaming space including 82 table games, 2,300 slot machines and electronic table games, dining and shopping options, nightlife, entertainment and live harness racing.
The hotel, which has been discussed for several years, will make it a complete destination attraction and will allow the casino to draw visitors from a farther distance, Soper and local tourism officials have said.
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