East Hartford casino site developer hoping to still be considered

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EAST HARTFORD -- Development firm Silver Lane Partners is pushing the site of the former Showcase Cinemas in East Hartford to still be considered as the site for Connecticut's third casino.

On Friday, the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegan tribes announced that East Hartford, Hartford and South Windsor were scrapped as possible locations. East Windsor and Windsor Locks are still up for consideration.

"I've long anticipated that this would be the case, as I haven't spoken with MMCT officials in literally six to eight months," said Tony Ravosa of Silver Lane Partners.

Ravosa argued that the East Hartford location is the ideal choice. "We have the most superior location when it comes to interstate highway frontage and visibility," said Ravosa. "I'll be as bold as it call it unmatched."

Ravosa said Mohegan officials expressed concern that an East Hartford site would be too close to its Uncasville casino and would cut into profits.

In a statement, MMCT Venture Spokesperson Andrew Doba said:

"Let's be clear on one thing - if MGM wins, Connecticut loses. It's that simple. And we've been clear from the start that our goal is to protect Connecticut jobs and revenue. Nothing has changed.
With all due respect to Mr. Ravosa, he believes East Hartford is the best site because he has the option on the land, and it would have been good for him personally if East Hartford was selected. But he's not the one who wants to invest hundreds of millions of dollars of their own money. And he doesn't have all the facts when it comes to picking the ideal location.
We understand that he's disappointed. But just four days ago, Mr. Ravosa was engaged in good faith in a competitive process. This project, as he has known all along, is not about the hurt feelings or interests of a particular real estate developer. It's about protecting Connecticut jobs and preventing a Las Vegas monolith from stealing our jobs and revenue without any accountability."

Ravosa is now calling on the Connecticut Legislature to review all sight locations and not merely accept the tribes' word on the best option. "They [the legislature] have a duty...to achieve the best possible deal and to find the location that creates the biggest return to taxpayers," said Ravosa.