VIDEO: del Lago announces $100K donation, gives tour of progress inside casino

del Lago

The progress is really stunning.

The tour that followed Tuesday morning’s press conference at the del Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre was an eye-opener – even for those who had been there as recently as two weeks ago.

That wasn’t the most-impressive moment of the day.

Donating $100K to Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board

Jeff Babinski, Executive Vice President and General Manager, stood before the packed construction trailer, which held a few dozen press and elected officials announcing a major donation to the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board.

That donation was worth $100,000.

Mike Davis, chairman of the Finger Lakes Works…With their Hands! steering committee and president of the Finger Lakes Building & Construction Trades Council said while speaking that it all started over a cup of coffee.

He described how in the beginning different methods for the donation were mulled by the del Lago team. The concept initially thrown out – that del Lago would donate 10 cents per active employee. “Then they said: ‘How about we just donate $100,000?’” Davis quipped after the press conference.

It wasn’t a difficult decision for anyone involved.

Karen A. Springmeier, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board said “For the past eleven years, 5,500 students have attended our Finger Lakes Works…With their Hands! event and from the first year until just recently, we have seen a significant increase in the diversity of the students attending. This donation will ensure that the quality of the annual event will continue and allow us to increase the activities on site to attract all students.”

She continued, “We are honored to receive this donation to support the development of the pipeline the skilled trades and advanced manufacturing industries so desperately need.”

Funding will directly impact the non-profit’s Finger Lakes Works…With their Hands! initiative. The program will develop and fill the pipeline of skilled trades and advanced manufacturing workforce targeting young women and minorities in the Finger Lakes region. This is the largest single donation the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board has received. The organization works to improve the economic well-being of job seekers and employers in Yates, Ontario, Seneca, and Wayne counties.

“With nearly 600 upstate union tradespeople currently working hard to bring New York’s best resort and casino to the Finger Lakes region, we understand the importance of workforce diversity,” Babinski explained. “While there is an impressive number of women and minority workers currently on site – there should be more programs to attract and train them and that’s why we are proudly supporting the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board.”

Thomas Wilmot Sr. was in attendance, but did not speak at the ceremony.

The Progress at del Lago surpasses 85 percent

The announcement of that major contribution was clearly the highlight of the day.

Running a close second was the tour that followed. Progress has surpassed 85 percent, and the del Lago Resort & Casino remains on track to be opened by February of 2017.

According to members of the management team, who hosted the tour for media after the press conference – many of casino’s major amenities are taking shape — looking more like an operational casino by the day.

Work is now being done to move electrical through a raised surface, which will allow for flexibility throughout the space.

The space on the second floor is nearing completion, where the executive offices will be. The del Lago team says that those offices will be operational in the coming weeks. While the employment office will remain at it’s Generations Bank location in Seneca Falls — this will give del Lago management an opportunity to be on-site for the rest of the construction process.

Carpeting, moving slots into the main floor, and getting the technical work ironed out are the remaining major tasks. All of those, according to members of the del Lago team who were on the tour – will be taking place in the coming weeks.

They expect it to take six weeks to get every slot machine lined up, and ready to go for opening day. There will be 2,000 slot machines in the facility.

Follow the entire tour of the $460 million project taking place in Tyre in the video above.

Also on FingerLakes1.com