PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- A ceremonial groundbreaking meant the Mohegan Sun Casino is one step closer to getting a hotel at the complex in Luzerne County.
The official start of construction on a new hotel and convention center is now underway at Mohegan Sun Casino in Plains Township.
The hotel will add to the complex, which already includes a harness racing track, restaurants, and the casino.
"I think that’s fantastic. If I do come up, I’ll probably stay overnight and make a couple of days out of it. It should help the economy and jobs and everything else," said David Fix of Reading.
Just down Route 315 from the casino, the general manager of the Woodlands said he has mixed feelings about the new competition.
"Mohegan is one of our best partners. It’s a great attraction for the area. It’s a little bittersweet. We are a little sad they are building a hotel but at the same time we are happy because it’s so close," said Rick Kornfeld, the general manager of the Woodlands.
The hotel will be built where the VIP lot is now. It will consist of 238 rooms and a convention center.
Officials said the seven story hotel means hundreds of construction jobs now and hundreds of full-time jobs once it opens. The hotel and convention center will have auditoriums big enough to hold more than 1,000 people.
"We also hope to make a positive impact on tourism. We think the hotel will allow us to draw people from further out and obviously provides an opportunity for our guests to stay over and enjoy other amenities," said Bobby Soper, general manager of Mohegan Sun Casino.
Casino officials said the actual construction should start soon and the hotel and convention center is scheduled to open by the end of next year.