To many, new Schenectady casino really a conference center

Friday 27th December 2019

SCHENECTADY _ Not everyone is coming to Schenectady to gamble.

The new Rivers Casino & Resort last year hosted almost 200 meetings, conferences and other events, the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority reported Friday. Among them was the 22nd annual Technology Awards presentation last June, a three-hour event that drew hundreds of attendees, including some of the region's most prominent business officials.

While many of them may not return to gamble, they must've liked what they saw. It was the second consecutive year that the Albany-based Center for Economic Growth hosted the technology awards at the casino.

"Meeting planners are responding very well to our conference facilities with adjoining hotel, excellent services and convenient parking," said Justin Moore, Rivers' general manager.

The Landing Hotel is attached to the casino complex, while a Courtyard by Marriott hotel is a short distance away at the adjacent Mohawk Harbor waterfront development that also includes apartments, townhouses, restaurants and other commercial space.

The newly opened Schenectady rail station, meanwhile, offers transportation from cities statewide.

Metroplex said the meetings attracted 21,000 people and produced 7,850 room nights at The Landing.

The Rivers' Events Center can host 1,000 people, with banquet seating for 600, according to Metroplex.

Meanwhile, Rivers Casino continues to do well. The Times Union reported last week that it was the best performing of the state's three original commercial gaming facilities, bringing in $169 million in revenues over a 12-month period stretching from December 2018 through November 2019. That figure was up 11 percent from a year earlier.

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