Area legislators say they’ll consider a new Adams County slots proposal with an open mind, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the community’s top draw: the 6,000-acre Gettysburg Battlefield.
“I know Dave LeVan, and know that any proposal that he’s behind will be a class-act project,” said Pa. Senator Richard Alloway, whose district includes Gettysburg.
The Battlefield Harley Davidson owner and a group of unidentified investors are seeking a Category III resorts slots license, and are targeting the 307-room Eisenhower Inn and Conference Center along Emmitsburg Road in Cumberland Township.
Table games are under consideration, although the State Legislature has not passed a law permitting those games in Pennsylvania casinos.
The Gaming Control Board rejected a LeVan-backed project in 2006, Crossroads Gaming Resort, because of its proximity to the battlefield at the intersection of Routes 15 and 30 in Straban Township, and the opposition that it generated.
Now, Levan’s new project is proposed for land near the Maryland border that is already home to a commercial recreation and overnight complex.
“I know that’s an attractive property, so if there is a project, I would want to make sure that it’s done right,” said Alloway, adding that the battlefield is the “number one asset in Adams County, and it’s the reason we get three million people here every year.”
“We cannot damage the battlefield, because it’s our national treasure,” said Alloway. “It’s what we’re known for throughout the world. We have to look at this carefully, because we don’t want to damage its reputation. We don’t want this to look like Atlantic City or Las Vegas...with flashing signs saying come here to gamble.”
Similarly, State Rep. Dan Moul (R-Gettysburg) said if Levan’s proposal moves forward, he would want to see a “project that blends in with the area.”
“If someone built (a casino) in an historic part of the state like Gettysburg – not that I want one here – but it should be historic looking,” said Moul. “If it’s near a ski resort, it should look like a ski resort. I’m not big on all the flashing lights. That’s OK for Atlantic City, but not Gettysburg.”
LeVan’s business group has secured an option to buy the property, and it will now try to secure a Category III gaming license.
Category III licenses restrict the size of a facility (no more than 500 machines) and patronage is limited to hotel guests, or pass-holders.
Gaming Control Board spokesperson Doug Harbach acknowledged that one such license is available, but said the board would have to reopen the application process. LeVan’s group did not meet the July application deadline.
If any further Category III projects are considered, Alloway hopes the board “does it the right way, and opens it up to everybody.” The board is currently mulling a project dubbed the “Reading Crowne Plaza” for the final license.
“It wouldn’t be fair if they awarded it to a particular group or person, because of an inside connection,” said the first-year Republican legislator. “If we’re going to do it, let’s do it the right way.”
The land is zoned for mixed-use commercial development, so any proposal would have to go through the township’s zoning board for approval. No plans have been submitted.
If you're on Facebook, please join the group that's named No Casino Gettysburg (I think there's one on Twitter, too). I don't exactly know much about what's going on right now, but I'll try and find more information when I have time.
This garbage needs to be stopped for the second time. There should be no casino demeaning the Gettysburg battlefield. This article doesn't mention it, but the proposed site is one HALF-MILE from the park boundaries. A HALF-MILE from the battlefield, and they want to put a freaking casino up.
Disgraceful, disgraceful, disgraceful.