Thousands converge in Tyre as del Lago Resort & Casino opens for business (full coverage)

It’s time for the Town of Tyre, and Seneca County as a whole, to place it’s bet on del Lago Resort & Casino.

Casino floor just before customers flooded the space. Photo by Jessamy Uticone.

The doors officially opened as thousands poured into the venue at 10:39 am. Massive lines were visible outside the venue, which were quickly worked through by the staff, who ensured guests were not waiting too long after the doors opened.

In many ways the anxiousness of those looking to get inside the new casino and resort located in Tyre, New York — was similar to the way elected officials and local representatives felt about the prospect of gaming, which promises economic benefits for the region.

In the moments leading up to the opening, customers could be heard chanting “del Lago!” repeatedly before employees allowed them inside.

The proceedings began with a press conference and ceremonial ribbon-cutting featuring Gov. Andrew Cuomo, del Lago Resort & Casino officials — including Executive Vice President and General Manager Jeff Babinski and Co-Chairmen Thomas C. Wilmot Sr. and Brent Stevens — and local dignitaries and government officials who were instrumental in the $440 million project.

del Lago Resort & Casino Executive Vice President and General Manager said that he was excited to be part of the community and that it was a major moment for the region.

“This day has been a long time coming, and we are thrilled to open our doors to the public for the first time,” Babinski said.

“We built del Lago Resort & Casino for you — for our customers, for the community and for our entire Finger Lakes region. From the start, the mission behind del Lago Resort & Casino has been to act as a gateway to the region, with the goal of leveraging the natural beauty and unique offerings to enhance tourism. We are so excited that this day has finally come,” he added.

“This is truly a historic event,” Tyre Town Supervisor Ron McGreevy said while addressing the packed room. He noted that the challenges faced over the last few years were all met with fierce dedication from elected officials “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and del Lago will provide the economic boost we need,” he added.

He referenced a housing project, car dealership and new gas station as being projects pending for Tyre, New York since the del Lago project became a reality.

“I’m extremely proud to say that del Lago Resort & Casino is a first class property run by first class individuals,” McGreevy concluded.

del Lago co-chair Brent Stevens noted that he was incredibly proud to be part of the project. “I’m incredibly proud of the construction team for getting us to this point,” he added. (Check out our photo gallery from the casino site as it looked just 6 months ago in July 2016)

A long line of customers waited anxiously before the casino doors opened. Photo by Jessamy Uticone.

Stevens noted that even more jobs would be added when the hotel opens on the del Lago property this summer.

He thanked the Wilmot family for their efforts throughout the process and said that their faith in the various parts, who all worked together was crucial.

“There are absolutely no limits or glass ceilings to your careers with del Lago,” Stevens added, pointing to the development of the 1,500 employees currently at del Lago.

All of the speakers thanked Gov. Cuomo for spearheading the effort to bring gaming to New York.

Co-Chairman Thomas C. Wilmot Sr. said, “We are thankful to Gov. Cuomo for his leadership in bringing a referendum to the New York state voters that allowed del Lago to be proposed and built the facility we are opening today.”

“We are incredibly proud of what we have built and the business operation that we are running. We will do everything we can to exceed expectations and help this region thrive,” he added.

Wilmot also noted that the project itself “was a very aggressive time table.” He was referring to the quick turnaround, which was aided even further by incredible weather throughout the construction process.

Gov. Cuomo noted that this was an opportunity like no other for the region, which will see jobs, and much-needed economic development as result of the Tyre facility.

“For decades, New Yorkers looked beyond our borders to spend their entertainment dollars, but with this resort destination casino, we will attract New Yorkers and visitors alike to explore all this region has to offer,” Cuomo pointed out.

The ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo by Jessamy Uticone.

New York State Senator Pam Helming expressed her excitement for the opening. “This is an exciting day for Seneca County and the entire Finger Lakes community, as del Lago Casino and Resort will be an important economic driver for our region with over 1,000 permanent jobs and additional tax revenue for our schools and localities. As a major employer for our area, del Lago will also help to attract more business opportunities for the local workforce and will help grow our tourism economy,” she said on Wednesday.

New York State Assemblyman Brian Kolb said that del Lago offered a unique opportunity for the region. “Today’s opening of the del Lago Resort & Casino represents the beginning of an exciting recreational and economic opportunity for the Finger Lakes Region.”

In addition to creating 1,800 jobs during construction, del Lago has created 1,500 permanent jobs with the casino opening and will create another 200 to 300 when the hotel and spa open this summer.

del Lago Resort & Casino is expected be a boon to local wineries, breweries, restaurants, hotels, stores, tourism destinations and other businesses.

Local governments — like the Town of Tyre, school districts, Seneca County and other neighboring communities in the gaming region established by the state — will see a significant, positive, direct impact from del Lago Resort & Casino through their share of the casino’s gaming tax payments to the state.

Estimations suggest that the casino will bring 3.2 million visitors per year. It will also likely bring in approximately $260 million in gross gaming revenue, $68 million in gaming taxes to New York State, and $3.4 million each to the Town of Tyre and Seneca County.

Other destinations within the del Lago Resort & Casino include:

Portico by Fabio Viviani
Savor NY
Farmers Market Buffet
The Vine

Photos from del Lago Grand Opening:

Tweets from del Lago Grand Opening:

More del Lago Grand Opening coverage online:

16 things to know about del Lago Resort & Casino’s opening day (NY Upstate)
del Lago Resort & Casino open (FLT)
Del Lago Resort and Casino is open for business (WHEC)
Del Lago Casino officially opens (WSYR)
Del Lago opens (WROC)
State gambles on future as new casino opens in Tyre (D&C)
Big Gamble Paying Off: $440M del Lago Casino Takes First Bets (TWC)
del Lago opens its doors (WXXI)
del Lago Resort & Casino opens (FL Times)
CNY’s newest casino – del Lago Resort & Casino – opens (Syracuse.com)
del Lago Resort & Casino, ‘gateway to the Finger Lakes,’ opens in Seneca County (The Citizen)

More photos from del Lago Grand Opening:

Click here for our previous coverage of del Lago Resort & Casino on FingerLakes1.com

Facebook Live Streams:

Facebook Live stream from Josh Durso as the doors opened to the general public:

Facebook Live stream from Jim Sinicropi of FingerLakes1.com on Wednesday morning (best footage is from the middle to the end):


Also on FingerLakes1.com