Commercial real estate executive says several sites along Interstate 95 attractive to casino operators.
The following is an excerpt from a podcast discussion on “The Commute” with Rick Lackey, a commercial real estate manager who markets multiple websites along Interstate 95 to casino operators. The comments have been summarized in the interests of space. The full interview is available. Visit SavannahNow.com/podcasts or mobile podcast apps by searching for “The Commute with @SavannahOpinion”.
Question: When we talk about building casinos, we’re not just talking about putting a casino somewhere in the middle of the field, are we? What do casino operators imagine at a casino resort in Georgia?
Rick Lackey: “Typically games are only 10% of the property, so 90% of the property is not a casino. There would be a tremendous amount of shopping. Think about the battery around the Atlanta Braves Stadium. It would be the same kind of They would also have housing. That would probably include manpower for the people who work there to live up to senior housing. Then there would be other things like an entertainment venue. In the case of a casino on the Georgia coast it would be a major entertainment venue. It could be two: one inside and one outside like an amphitheater. You know this would attract big-name national entertainers. “
Question: Many have seen what people at Atlanta Motor Speedway want to do with an amusement park, hotels, and the racetrack, and it looks like something out of a surreal, futuristic movie. Is this vision realistic for a location on the coast?
RL: “I think it would be a little more upscale. The operator would try to attract people from the surrounding communities and then those within a two or five hour drive. The locations along the coast would be along I-95 and I’d like to address those who are out Go on vacation to Florida northeast and grab a full tank of gas and a chick-fil-a sandwich instead of Georgia for a few days for family entertainment. “
Question: So having an amusement park in one of those locations near Florida parks doesn’t necessarily make sense. It’s important to note that this conversation about casino resorts is academic at this point as gambling in Georgia continues to be illegal. We are probably looking at 2023 as the earliest date casino games could be approved, if ever approved. How urgent are those who want to settle here?
RL: “The casino operators understand the schedule and the uncertainty, but they are paying attention. I’m meeting with a casino operator about locations along the coast (next week) so you can get an idea of their interest. The Georgia General Assembly says goodbye Laws that would put voters in a referendum. Then the casino operators will see a lot of activity in working with the owners in different locations. They will start spending money on drafts, period. But it’s heating up right now. “
Midway Casino Site Plan