The Daily Review

After months of on-schedule construction, the parking garage at Tioga Downs Casino, located on River Road in Nichols, N.Y. will open to the public on Oct. 31, 2014. A 1 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held when the garage will open to the public.

The first 100 visitors to park in the new garage will receive an entry for a chance to win one of three $500 cash drawings, which will be held after 3 p.m.

The new garage provides 275 additional parking spaces, and easy access to the casino.

Jeff Gural, CEO and chairman of American Racing & Entertainment, and owner of Tioga Downs, promised a multi-phase expansion project at the River Road casino, which was unveiled last spring.

Starting with the groundbreaking last November, work continued through the bitter winter months. The foundation was completed in April, the assembly of the garage walls and floors began in early May, and the final beam was hoisted into place during a signing ceremony on Sept. 19.

According to Gural, “Construction of the garage brought hundreds of jobs to the Southern Tier. Not using a precast system kept these workers employed longer. The project also proves that Tioga Downs is the full gaming license candidate that would be quickest to market with a sustainable and appropriate plan. For this important regional economic development effort, approved by the voters in a referendum, Tioga Downs is the responsible pick.”

The completion of the parking garage marks the end of Phase One of Tioga Downs’ Expansion Project. The next phases include an onsite hotel and expanded gaming floor.

Tioga Downs is one of three casinos vying for a full gaming license in the Southern Tier Region. Other applicants include Traditions at the Glen located on Watson Boulevard in Johnson City, N.Y.; Lago Resort and Casino in Tyre, N.Y.; and Tioga Downs.

As of this reporting, a site selection by the New York Gaming Facility Location Board has not been announced, despite projections of a late October decision. Gural, as well as those who have worked on the full gaming application submitted by Tioga Downs, in addition to the other competing locations, are waiting for a decision to be rendered by the board