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New Retail Center Plan for Turning Stone Makes Resort Stiff Competition for Future Casinos

Turning Stone

  The Oneida Nation’s Turning Stone Resort is ready to expand once again…adding to its Casino, Hotels, Entertainment and Golf courses.  Oneida Leaders are taking an aggressive approach that might be aimed at nearby competition.

Call it progress, a unique retail development – or a warning shot across the bow of future casinos…But the Oneida Nation plans to add an upscale outlet center to its Turning Stone resort.  The 250-thousand square foot indoor shopping center will house up to 60 outlet versions of luxury brand retailers, a movie theater and other entertainment and restaurants.  Oneida Leader Ray Halbritter is keeping ahead of a proposed Finger Lakes area casino to which the state is considering giving approval.

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter announced the expansion project Wednesday

  “It’s a response to the needs and demands of our market.  We get 4 million visits a year already so we’re really reacting to what we see as the market demand for this expansion.  I think it’s going to be great, of course it’s going to create hundreds of jobs and more economic opportunity that will help grow the region as well.” 

Both construction and the retail jobs are one benefit for the area, along with a boost for non-Oneida nation businesses nearby.  Plus if the shopping center increases gambling revenue, as happened when developers did the same thing in Las Vegas, local municipalities’ portion of those gaming proceeds would go up.  Oneida County Executive Tony Piscente argues it won’t just pull business away from places such as Destiny or Waterloo outlets.

“We’ve got a lot of excitement brewing in Oneida County these days with our Nano-initiative and with the work that’s being done in the cities and without question the expanding economy.  The area is growing but at the same time we’ve become a tourist destination as well.”

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
More than 100 staff and patrons joined the presentation of the new concept to be added to the resort. It's meant to enhance the entertainment and shopping that's already part of the complex, such as these "Exit 33" clubs.

  Turning Stone is partnering with the Gordon Group that developed the high-end Forum shopping center attached to Caesar’s Palace.  

They’re aiming from an opening date a round fall of 2016

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.